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Some Thoughts about Indonesia’s E-Commerce Scene from Polish Social Media Practicioners

Amir Karimuddin - 20 November 2014

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About a month ago, several Polish tech and social media practitioners come to Jakarta for E-Commerce Partnership Gathering event. Two of them are Michal Sadowski, CEO of Brand24, and Jan Zajac, CEO of Sotrender. Both are social media monitoring and analytics companies. They share some thoughts about Indonesia’s Internet and e-commerce scene, including if compared to more matured market like Poland.

Sadowski opened the conversation by saying, “I believe Indonesia is one of the most important markets out there. There is already a lot of talent based in Indonesia. During my trip to Jakarta, I’ve met plenty of high level marketing and branding experts. More importantly, Indonesia is a booming economy. This is the market filled with opportunities. This is why we are so excited to become part of it.”

“Moreover, 75 million Internet users generated a lot of data. Jakarta is undoubtedly the social media capital of the world. Indonesia is one of the fastest growing markets in terms of Internet usage. Naturally, Internet spending will increase. Companies will start to measure effects of their marketing efforts which lead to social listening or brand tracking,” he added.

About this matter, Zajac concurred. He stated, “It seems really flourishing now, and I think the growth will be even stronger over the next months. The population of Internet users is still relatively low, so there is a great space for growth. On the other hand, those who are already using the Internet, do it in a very intense way. In our reports regarding social media marketing every month we see huge numbers of fans and followers, big engagement and especially considerable growth month over month. The social media market now in Indonesia is developing at a pace that was observed in Europe 2-3 years ago, which in other words means that we should expect big growth in the future.”

When asked about the difference between e-commerce market in Poland and Indonesia, Zajac answered, “E-commerce in Poland is characterized by a huge ecosystem around Allegro (Polish’s eBay), including OLX, various classified services, etc., by a large number of very small e-stores and by fastly growing presence of retailers online. As to Indonesia, I see a very diverse competition landscape here. Such players as OLX in C2C, Berniaga in classifieds, Kaskus in forum and marketplace or Lazada, Zalora and Rakuten in B2C are really impressive.

He followed, “As Sotrender’s data tells me, most of the big e-commerce companies are also heavily present in social media in Indonesia. Meeting people from those companies, I was amazed by the level of their skills and passion about social media.”

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Sadowski highlighted the scale of e-commerce market that make huge difference of Poland and Indonesia. Also how mobile usage plays important role in this country. He pointed out, “The major differences between Polish and Indonesian Internet are related to mobile usage and the quantity of data generated by users in both countries. People in Indonesia generated several times more posts, likes, shares, etc. In example Kaskus.co.id generates more data than all Polish message boards combined.”

Social media marketing strategy for e-commerce company

In term of future investment to grow the market, especially in term of social media strategy, Sadowski wondered, “I think it is hard to stick just to social media marketing. Modern businesses should use combination of social media, performance marketing, content marketing, etc. Forms of marketing converge. It becomes harder and harder to make a definite separation i.e. between performance marketing and social media marketing which obviously uses more and more paid ads. Moreover, it becomes crucial to measure marketing effects. This is the major transition in marketing. We will move from ‘let’s all make a fanpage for our company’ strategy to ROI-based strategy.”

For the same topic, Zajac assured, “I’m deeply convinced that social media keeps being one of the channels that might speed up growth enormously. I’d also recommend e-commerce companies, especially in B2B sector, to implement content marketing strategies. I recommend Neil Patel’s website to start with, thanks to a great number of free resources and excellent selection of topics. Furthermore, marketing automation tools seem to be the next big thing.

Zajac further described, “For online businesses, social media plays various roles. First, it’s still a great way to reach many people with relatively low budgets, even after decline in Facebook’s organic reach. Moreover, using wide possibilities of targeting ads, you can precisely target various groups, based on their demographics, lifestyle or even interest. Secondly, social media often serve to engage clients, to build relationship with them and to get feedback. Finally, what is still more and more important, social media are a great channel for customer service. This requires adjusting processes and even dedicating people to these tasks. As you can see, big e-commerce players receive hundreds on inquiries and comments every months. Finally it will pay off. It’s just cheaper and faster to deal with customer service in social media.”

[Illustration: Shutterstock 1|2]

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