China vs South East Asia Ecommerce landscape

China vs South East Asia Ecommerce landscape

Looking back at 2022 it has been a tough year for China

Lockdowns, uncertainty, closed borders all whilst the rest of the world opened up, travelled, met in person

It was hard to watch from the outside and even harder from within

This impacted many businesses – year 3 of not being able to travel in or out but also, more so the negative press coverage of China causing brands to put China on hold or reassess later

This is not how all brands have tackled China – some saw the opportunity to double down and are reaping the rewards

More are looking elsewhere – South East Asia has been a hot topic.

I recorded a podcast with Kelly Hazemans who has worked in ecommerce in both China and South East Asia as a trade partner and a brand ecommerce head and now as a consultant. 

In this discussion we talk about:

1. What you need to have a successful relationship with your trade partner

a. Partnership

b. Transparency

c. Trust

*it is not all a one way relationship – hint hint

2. Online marketplaces in Asia.

Exploring the differences between China and South East Asia market places – looking at costs, openness and integration

3. Importance of your own .com site in SEA vs. China

4. Explore the unique customer service landscape which is similar in China and South East Asia

China vs South East Asia Opportunity

Online sales in China are bigger than South East Asia

This should be no surprise but do you know how much bigger

South East Asia last year total online sales were 100BN USD vs. China’s 3 trillion

There are a few reasons Kelly Hezemans and I looked to explain this

⭐️ Population is about half – South East Asia is around 650m people vs. China’s 1.4BN

⭐️ Marketplace maturity

  • Tmall launched in 2008 but Taobao started in 2003
  • Shopee (2015) and Lazada (2012) both operate in 6 Asian markets.

⭐️ Complexity of logistics – more fragmentation of carriers and less mature systems than China make this still a struggle in many SEA markets

However South East Asia general ease of business is good compared to China

🚀Overall costs of setting up your marketplaces are lower as well as marketing costs are more affordable than China

🚀 Platforms are more open and integrated with external marketing tools like Facebook

Listen to the full interview to gain a real insight into E-commerce in Asia

Do get in touch with Kelly directly on LinkedIn in or her website

If you want to stay focused on China – check this out:

You may also watch the full podcast episode on Youtube by visiting this link:

Or listen to the full podcast episode on Anchor & Spotify:

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