Integrating online marketplaces
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Founder and CEO of Anchanto, Vaibhav Dabhade, talks to Enterprise IT News about the challenges of integrating various online marketplaces, or cross border selling.
EITN: What are the top challenges of cross border selling especially for Malaysia’s e-commerce?
Vaibhav: For businesses looking to start e-commerce operations in any new market, the first challenge always starts with understanding the ‘know-how’ of that market. Customer behaviour varies across each market. For instance, most Southeast Asian markets, prefer to ‘browse and buy’, instead of ‘search and buy’. Having this knowledge puts you in a better position to select the right channels to sell, attract and retain the right customers.
Table of contents
- EITN: What are the top challenges of cross border selling especially for Malaysia’s e-commerce?
- EITN: What are the top challenges for distribution and fulfilment centers in e-commerce?
- EITN: How has Anchanto helped brands, retailers, and online sellers maximise growth through seamless integration with over 43+ online marketplaces in SEA?
- EITN: What are the top multichannel selling strategies that you have observed?
- EITN: Please share about the future of e-commerce warehouse management, and how your solutions intend to address/approach these upcoming trends.
Secondly, there is the regulation factors of each individual market. As a Malaysian business, you will need to understand the applicable export taxes thoroughly, and ensure hassle-free custom clearance.
Besides that, managing logistics, fulfilment and last-mile deliveries in the new market can be tricky. You need to partner with the right players that can align with your goals and deliver the best customer experience. You also need to be mindful of the high last-mile delivery costs, which in the current context of the pandemic, have tripled.
Besides that, managing logistics, fulfilment and last-mile deliveries in the new market can be tricky.
In addition, you need systems to accept payments in foreign currencies. Acquiring complete visibility & control over your operations is equally important here, as it can slip away quickly while being dependent on partners. Another challenge is with having the right talent pool with the required set of skills. Being equipped with the best technology won’t be enough if your team does not know how to make its best use.
Finally, you need to keep aside some reserved funds for special situations. For example, your logistics requirements may increase during special sale seasons. You will be able to deploy the reserved funds to scale your infrastructure temporarily.
EITN: What are the top challenges for distribution and fulfilment centers in e-commerce?
Vaibhav: The most prominent challenge faced by distribution and fulfilment centres is, the lack of technology built to serve the e-commerce needs of today. Most players in Malaysia still operate their warehouses manually or either on old legacy systems that are not developed with eCommerce in mind.
The most prominent challenge faced by distribution and fulfilment centres is, the lack of technology built to serve the eCommerce needs of today.
Due to this, making a move to new technology and embracing automation becomes the first challenge for these players. The lack of automation automatically leads to inefficient utilization of manpower leading to reduced productivity. This also deprives management of real-time visibility over their overall operations.
Moreover, onboarding new merchants and brands becomes a tedious and time-consuming process. Distribution & fulfilment centres spend a lot of time-sharing visibility and keeping partners on various operations. The absence of a platform makes managing various integrations & tracking partner relations a complicated process.
These challenges cause distributors and fulfillment players to hire aggressively, after which they are unable to maintain leaner operations and scale profits.
EITN: How has Anchanto helped brands, retailers, and online sellers maximise growth through seamless integration with over 43+ online marketplaces in SEA?
Vaibhav: A key reason we are able to help all these businesses grow is because we have walked in their shoes. Before becoming a software company, we managed eCommerce fulfillment services for multiple brands from our warehouse in Singapore. The experience of running a warehouse and serving brands has helped us identify and troubleshoot real pain points by developing products that could solve them.
Similarly, we understand that to succeed in today’s e-commerce landscape, every business needs to work with multiple systems, partners and players. Hence, we developed our products to be integrated not only with marketplaces and webstores, but also with last-mile carriers, accounting & financing tools, ERPs and third party systems like SAP. These solutions enable businesses to run asset-light operations, eliminate redundant operations, save resources, time and investments as well as, leverage automation to achieve high efficiency and productivity.
Hence, we developed our products to be integrated not only with marketplaces and webstores, but also with last-mile carriers, accounting & financing tools, ERPs and third party systems like SAP.
In addition, while our products help SMEs and mid-market business, we also assist enterprises address complex challenges and implement strategies at scale that require customizations.
EITN: What are the top multichannel selling strategies that you have observed?
Vaibhav: The best multichannel selling strategies are developed after considering all aspects of the market. A successful strategy starts with researching the right set of sales channels that work for your business. Considering the nature of your business, propensity of your product, and other market nitty-gritties, you can go with the right marketplaces, webstores, and even offline stores.
The next step is to invest in a technology that can help you implement your core strategy and facilitate seamless operations. A multichannel e-commerce management system can not only help you launch your strategy, but also grow your business on each channel without having to make additional investments for every new channel you add. With such software, you collect crucial data and insights for all your channels to understand which work the best for your business. You can then use this data to optimize performance each channel and customise newer channels to boost sales.
If you are already an omnichannel business, or have at started thinking omnichannel, then you may want to consider implementing an effective O2O (Online-to-offline) strategy for your business.
EITN: Please share about the future of e-commerce warehouse management, and how your solutions intend to address/approach these upcoming trends.
Vaibhav: As eCommerce continues to grow across the globe, majority of logistics players have realized that sticking to B2B logistics operations is no longer viable. At some point, warehousing players will have to equip themselves with eCommerce capabilities and integrate with eCommerce players in order to avoid risk of being obsolete.
That being said, the future of warehousing will closely be linked with the evolution of eCommerce brands and retailers. As the growing customer expectations push these businesses to push boundaries and deliver a highly personalized shopping experience, the logistics and warehousing players will be expected to leverage advanced technology to stay at the forefront of the supply chain ecosystem. Technologies like machine learning and AI will be used extensively by these players to take their services up by a notch and step into the next orbit.