Projections on Southeast Asia’s digital economy have been bright, particularly in Indonesia, where the e-commerce market is expected to reach $40 billion by 2025, according to a Bain & Company report released in 2022.
Among the leading platforms catering to consumers in Indonesia today is Blibli, founded in 2011. A pioneer of online shopping malls, the platform has since expanded to travel through its acquisition of Tiket.com, also strengthening its groceries business with the acquisition of Ranch Market Group, and rolling out omnichannel stores. Blibli also recently became Apple’s strategic partner for Indonesia.
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Edward Kilian Suwignyo, Chief Marketing Officer at Blibli and a keynote speaker at the eTail Asia Connect event taking place on 29 to 30 March, spoke with Retail in Asia ahead of his participation in the panel ‘Navigating Inflation in Retail: Analyze, Navigate and Accelerate’.
RiA: Blibli’s bio reads “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the foundation of our daily action.” What does that stand for?
Suwignyo: R.E.S.P.E.C.T. is the foundation of our daily actions at Blibli, representing our core values: Risk Taking, Excellence, Serving, Passionate & Proud, Encourage Growth and Innovation, Customer Focus, and Teamwork Oriented. By embracing these values, we strive to create a culture of excellence and integrity in everything we do. It is a guiding principle for all our interactions with customers, partners, or colleagues. This is the foundation that enables us to achieve the company vision as the commerce ecosystem of choice for consumers and institutions.
RiA: How do you compare Blibli with other S.E.A. e-commerce giants? What does Blibli have in advantage and the others don’t?
Suwignyo: As the most complete omnichannel commerce platform and lifestyle ecosystem in Indonesia, we are committed to providing our customers with the best seamless integrated shopping experience. With the full support of our committed shareholders, we have enhanced customer experience through building cutting-edge technology, high-quality talent, operational excellence, and infrastructure.
This leads to Blibli’s sustainable competitive advantage compared to other players:
- Assurance in quality of experience
Providing our customers with a quality experience is paramount. As a B2C commerce platform, we work only with trusted merchants and brand partners. This enables us to ensure quality of merchandise: range of selections, authenticity of the products, fast fulfillment.
- Service excellence
We strive to ensure that our services meet the highest standards, beyond the merchandising itself. This is where Blibli built strong operation and infrastructure to enable easy and free returns process, two-hour delivery service across Indonesia, product trade-in and same day pick-up and delivery, and serving our customers with our global 24/7 customer care.
- Blibli Tiket, our unified ecosystem with subsidiary tiket.com and Ranch Market
Blibli’s diverse ecosystem ranges from lifestyle products, consumer electronics, consumer goods, utilities, automotive, to travel, entertainment, and groceries, which enables us to fulfil 88 percent of Indonesian spending. Customers can use one account to access multiple platforms, with unified membership benefits.
- Our omnichannel solutions
We believe that it is no longer online or offline commerce, but online and offline. Blibli enables customers to shop in whichever way they prefer. This makes Blibli stand out from other industry giants.
RiA: Is expansion a potential next step for Blibli?
Suwignyo: Indonesia’s young and digitally savvy population, the country’s increasing internet and smartphone penetration, and the country’s large and dispersed population, with many people living in remote areas, have made e-commerce an attractive option for many consumers.
As a platform created by Indonesians, for Indonesians, Blibli is currently focused on expanding and consolidating our presence in the Indonesian market. We believe there is significant potential in the market alone and are committed to serving the needs of our customers in Indonesia. While we don’t rule out the possibility of expanding to other Southeast Asian countries, our primary focus remains serving our customers in Indonesia. We will continue to invest in understanding our customers, expanding our offerings, and enhancing the customer experience to meet their needs.
RiA: How would you describe Indonesian consumers?
Suwignyo: Indonesian consumers are also increasingly looking for quality products and services. The pandemic has massively influenced Indonesian customers, most importantly in their mobile technology adoption. It is no longer only about social media, but also digital financial services, e-commerce, e-learning, productivity, transportation and many more.
In the last two years, we have seen how e-groceries have become part of Indonesian daily life. More Indonesian customers are paying with digital wallets versus internet banking; ‘buy now, pay later’ has become more popular than credit card use. Interestingly, we also see that Indonesians are growing more demanding in terms of service experience. Our two-hour delivery has generated massive growth traction. Customers are more focused on the authenticity of the product they would like to purchase, as well as the after-sales service (i.e. return/exchange experience) and access to customer service.
RiA: Blibli claims to provide the best customer-centric experience for buyers and sellers. How do you measure this?
Suwignyo: We continuously monitor and evaluate our performance through various indicators, one part is the App Store and Play Store ratings. We are rated 4.7 (out of 5) from 500k+ android apps users, and 4.8 from 60k+ Apple apps users. Our ratings are a testament to this commitment, consistently ranking among the highest in customer satisfaction. These ratings also provide valuable customer feedback and allow us to make necessary improvements to enhance their experience on our platform.
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RiA: Can you give us a sneak peek at what you will share with the audience at eTail Asia 2023?
Suwignyo: We will share our perspectives on how the pandemic has accelerated the shift toward e-commerce as a solution, not just an option. As the world continues to change, e-commerce will play an increasingly vital role in how we shop and live our lives. We look forward to sharing our thoughts on the future of e-commerce and how we can work together to shape it. One of the key areas is omnichannel experience. As the pandemic has changed customer behaviour, the line between online and offline shopping has blurred, and customers now expect a seamless experience across all channels. We are committed to providing the best customer experience and will share our strategies and insights on navigating this new reality.