By 2026, Indonesia’s online commerce market will be five times larger than it is today, having a value of over $40 billion USD. Currently, 30 million Indonesians transact online, with 60% of the sales happening on eCommerce platforms. The remaining trades are occurring through social media.
Social commerce employs social media for marketing, buying, and selling. The beauty of online trade is better value and pricing, a wide variety of choices, and greater accessibility. Moreover, digital transactions are making it safer to navigate the existing COVID-19 pandemic.
The Indonesian social commerce scene is booming because its citizens are very active on social media. On average, they spend twice as long accessing the internet as Americans. However, there are still challenges when it comes to promoting goods and transacting on public platforms. Business people have to worry about online reputation management, using analytics, engaging potential and current customers, and making the entire process efficient.
We look at how social commerce is changing the game in Indonesia
Several social commerce startups in the country have figured out how to overcome these challenges and deliver quality services to their customers. Here are five of the most significant players in the sector:
Super is a consumer technology company, which turns community leaders into retailers in their location. Its platform allows these new entrepreneurs or agents, as they are called, to sell products through social media.
Because of the rising product costs in rural areas brought about by poor logistics, Super tasked its agents to obtain goods from manufacturers and deliver them to the public. It collaborates with local distributors to solve the transportation challenges while buying the products in bulk to reduce the final prices for consumers.
The company’s most recent Series B funding round was in April, raising the total amount to $35 million USD. The money will boost Super’s presence in other areas and expand its product range.
Investors include Stephen Pagliuca, Y Combinator, Insignia Ventures Partners, DST Global, B Capital Group, Softbank Ventures Asia, and TNB Aura. Other funding partners are Amasia, Alpha JWC Ventures, Arrive, and Mari Pangestu.
An online platform for reselling Muslim products in Indonesia, Evermos’s dream is to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses to compete against larger companies. The company curates halal products in different niches, such as food and drink, fashion, health, and equipment.
Resellers get a digital guide, an online store, and access to the app. They don’t need capital to start operations, and all the goods are stored and shipped from Evermos’ warehouse. Users can benefit from referral commissions, discounts, shopping points, and other rewards.
The company’s initial funding round raised $8.25 million USD, whereas the Series B funding brought $19.5 million USD. Its investors include Jungle Ventures, Alpha JWC Ventures, and Shunwei Capital.
Another reselling app, RateS, allows users to browse products and sell them to their social media followers. It offers a free online website, available products for sale, and coaching seminars for its sellers. The app brings together agents and suppliers, meaning the new entrepreneurs don’t need starting capital.
The company’s most recent funding came in February, bringing its total to $15 million USD. Some of the investors in RateS include Bo Shen, Signum Capital, Matrix Partners China, Node Capital, Genesis Alternative Ventures, and Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia & India.
Dagangan is a one-stop online service for merchandising and buying wholesale products. Its app can restock a store by having the inventory delivered to the trader’s doorstep. Its mall application allows customers to get household goods at an affordable wholesale price.
The company supports the community in rural areas by building distribution hubs that deliver goods to small traders and businesses. It also markets the best-quality local products and transports them to the intended customer.
In June this year, Dagangan raised an undisclosed amount of money in seed funding with investors including CyberAgent Capital, Spiral Ventures, 500 Startups, and Blue Bird Group.
Social commerce platform Tokobox builds excellent technologies and aims to bring social equality to the marketplace. It creates jobs for millions of people by turning them into agents. The users connect through WhatsApp to sell to their friends, families, and other followers.
When buying a product, customers notify the WhatsApp admin and provide the shipping details. The admin will then send the payment link and instructions. Upon completion of payment, the items ship to the listed destination address.
In September 2019, the company received an undisclosed amount in the pre-seed round.
These social commerce startups represent just a few of the flourishing businesses in this segment. More companies should examine this model and encourage technology adoption by teaming up with social media influencers.
However, startups should also work on user data safety to ensure they don’t lose customers afraid of identity theft. With sufficient time, investment, innovation, better support, infrastructure improvements, and seamless logistics, the Indonesian social commerce scene could become a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.