Buying clothes, groceries, electronics and in some cases, even houses and cars has moved online – fueling the growth of eCommerce. Analysts are predicting that the expected size of Southeast Asia’s eCommerce market by the year 2025 will $102 billion and it actually in value from the previous year. As the eCommerce market in Southeast Asia continues to grow at a ground-breaking rate, startups are coming up with innovative marketing strategies to stand out and attract customers and investors alike. With unicorns becoming a relatively common phenomenon and the introduction of decacorns, simply riding the tech wave is no longer enough. To stand out in the eCommerce industry in Southeast Asia, startups need to stay ahead and indulge as well as invest in new technological advancements.

Ride-hailing is taking us into the age of the ‘Decacorn’

One such emerging trend in the eCommerce scene in the region is cloud commerce or commerce-in-the-cloud. This is the convergence of Cloud computing and eCommerce through Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create something called Cloud Commerce. This term refers to the use of the cloud ecosystem across different channels, enabling cleaning, mapping, and connecting of commerce data through AI and machine learning. It also enables retailers to have access to an integrated commerce cloud suite that includes electronic Direct Mailer (eDM), CRM Platforms, eStores, hosting, and marketing, to name a few.

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Commerce-in-the-cloud is the next big thing that can help early adopters get ahead in the race. Here’s how:

More flexibility and reduced complexity

A cloud commerce solution can provide businesses with flexibility, and reduced complexity by integrating data from various channels into one single platform. From syndication of product content to synchronisation of stock and orders in real-time across various digital sales channels- cloud commerce enables businesses to connect, automate and map all types of relevant Commerce Data. It also facilitates viewing real-time reports and alerts on a consolidated dashboard.

Cloud commerce enables streamlining the digital transformation of markets and customers by simplifying the entire process of online commerce business. With data from various channels mapped and automated in one single integrated platform, businesses can focus on better customer service and other aspects of sales/marketing. This gives early adopters an advantage over competitors.

Eliminate the chances of human error

Even minor errors can have significant consequences when dealing with thousands of SKUs or millions of orders at a time. Human error can lead to lost time, losses in the millions and even dissatisfied customers due to poor service or lack of order fulfilment. Commerce-in-the-cloud enables a systematic cleaning, mapping and connecting of product data. It removes manual mapping thus eliminating chances of human error and making the database more efficient and full proof.

Save maintenance and set up costs

Cloud commerce helps in cutting expenses on large investments required to purchase physical servers, software licenses and IT infrastructure for managing and maintaining the software. With commerce-in-the-cloud services (SaaS), expenses needed to update software, again and again, power requirements, cooling, data storage and hardware maintenance are entirely eliminated.

For business owners, this means that the initial, as well as maintenance costs, are typically lower because all their data is easily accessible online through a web browser interface.

Quicker response to changing trends and consumer behaviour

It helps companies respond to any upcoming market opportunities faster by quickly adding new websites for new business models, brands or countries – all on the same platform. Marketing campaigns, cross-sales, even any non-standard solutions are easy to implement.

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Cloud commerce providers make sure that previously implemented customizations are automatically carried forward when the platform is updated. Additionally, with easy access to all the code for all team members, staff changes have minimal impact on the organisation’s functionality.

Scaling and automation of the business model

Commerce cloud has the ability to automate and synchronise products SKUs, stock availability and orders in real time. Having all the data stored in one place not only reduces the possibility of errors but also helps in running the supply chain smoothly.

Companies can have more than one store on the same cloud platform with a central control point. Multiple dealerships can easily be integrated into the main system with an option of their making their own unique customizations. This helps in better organization and tracking of orders with real-time stock and sales updates.

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Singapore-based CrescoData is bringing in the latest technologies and offering the best eCommerce automation and scaling solutions. With the ever-increasing demand for innovation in eCommerce, CrescoData provides a single integration point to access over 70 digital sales channels. Startups like CrescoData are helping eCommerce companies take the next step in the technological evolution with the help of AI and machine learning. Commerce cloud seems like an opportunity for players to stay ahead in the cutthroat competition of Southeast Asian eCommerce market.

This article was contributed by Anna Trybocka, CEO of CrescoData.

About the author

Image result for anna trybockaAnna Trybocka is the CEO and founding partner of CrescoData; an eCommerce automation platform that helps businesses amplify their sales across the Asia Pacific region.

She has a 17-year digital career spanning across Europe and Australia and Asia where she has worked with brands, telcos, publishers and agencies.

She has enjoyed working on a number of bleeding-edge projects, including the UK’s first cross-carrier text message service, the UK’s first mobile internet site and Australia’s first live streaming service across the 3G mobile networks. In Australia she was Head of Mobile for Yahoo! Her work has won multiple Mobile Marketing Awards.

Prior to leaving Australia she was Director of Investment and Institutional Investment for UKTI, the commercial arm of the British Government where she helped businesses expand into the UK. Anna holds a BSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from City University, London.

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