JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Indonesian appetite to shop online continues to strengthen, as revealed by a number of research results, indicating that e-commerce has a bright outlook for this year. However, more efforts are needed to maintain customer loyalty.

According to the latest Temasek research, in 2017, Southeast Asian citizens spent 140 minutes shopping online every month. Indonesians, on the other hand, spent just 3.9 hours per day in mobile internet, split between social media, work and online shopping.

E-Commerce Landscape in Indonesia consists of four types:

Source: E-commercIQ/Mandiri Insitute

In other words, Indonesian e-commerce companies have almost a 50 per cent chance to be visited by active internet users. This is a good news for e-commerce platform providers.

iPrice shows a similar trend. It revealed that the 5 top Indonesian e-commerce enterprises could be found by SEO (search engine optimization) or Google Search. Lazada and Tokopedia are at the top of the search for 2017.

Indonesian National Online Shopping Day, held annually, appears to have made the greatest contribution with their successful SEO game.

Meanwhile, 2018 promises to be another era of change for e-commerce. Indonesian E-commerce Association (idEA) believes that there are 4 aspects that can change and elevate Indonesian e-commerce.

First, habitual purchases of Indonesian buyers are a big deal for e-commerce in holding on to their loyal customers. Second is a bigger ecosystem. E-commerce needs to be able to connect to anywhere and everyone.

Then, e-commerce must be able to create a logical system of discounts to keep their buyers happy, while the company will not face major losses. The last is providing a great shopping experience, which will maintain buyers’ loyalty.

The development of digital payments is the first step of Indonesian e-commerce shifting in 2018. Since 2017, many have applied and received a digital payment license from Bank Indonesia. The synergy between e-commerce and digital payments is what is needed in order to give better service to loyal customers.

Several technology companies have acquired financial technology or fin-tech companies and tie-ups with banks to ensure customers can perform smoother, easier and more secure transactions.

Salim Group and Mitra Adi Perkasa (MAP) Group have shown examples on how to build synergy with banks and fintech companies to provide e-pockets for their users.

With young adults and tech-savvy customers on their radar, e-commerce players need to make things simple. They want easy payments and processes, to get what they want, so they develop their own e-pocket service – the biggest challenge, yet the best service for customers.

Other changes that could happen is an Online-to-Offline (O2O) business model. Online-to-Offline predicts to be high on e-commerce companies’ bucket lists. Still, several Indonesian retailers have closed shops in malls. This kind of business model could however help e-commerce to widen their connection with buyers. People tend to need things fast. With e-commerce, shipping conditions are currently not making things easy.

Remember, an easy process and cheap price are what buyers are looking for. By creating offline stores, e-commerce providers can expand their service to non-tech savvy and customers – ones that need things fast. Customers only need to come to their store to get what they want, having already checked on their website.

Zalora and Berrybenka are simple examples of this business model. Berrybenka has opened 2 permanent offline stores in Indonesia. The latest opened in May 2017, when they opened a bigger offline store in one of the popular malls in west of Jakarta. CEO Jason Lamuda believes that this offline store has the potential to repay their investment quickly, as reported by TechInAsia.

2018 should be another good year for e-commerce. People are still immersed in technology and on the internet. More tech-savvy citizens raised on smartphones and the internet will be eager potential customers.

Written by Staff Writer, edited by Roffie Kurniawan, email: roffien@theinsiderstories.com