Indonesian men’s fashion online store Maskoolin mulls global expansion

Maskoolin, an Indonesian online store catering to men’s fashion, is hoping to take local brands global via expansion to Singapore, Malaysia & Australia

maskoolin

Indonesia based men’s fashion online store, Maskoolin,would launch local websites in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia by the second quarter of this year.

The online store hopes to give global exposure to local Indonesian brands. Maskoolin would open service in Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia to introduce Indonesias local brand to the global market.

Mustafa Kemal, Marketing & Sales Director PT Rocktokom Ritel Busana, the company that operates Maskoolin, says, “We plan to start selling and shipping overseas by mid-year. We will make certain changes to our platform to adjust the prices for the overseas market and we plan to keep shipping free.” He feels that the nearest competition to Maskoolin would be global player asos.com, which also has free shipping.

It’s early days for the company to come up with a concrete strategy for the overseas market. “We don’t have a specific strategy as of now; and we don’t have a local partner too as yet,” he adds.

Maskoolin was launched in August 2012, and claims to have grown by 760 per cent from the end of year 2012 to the end of year 2013. The website, recently went in for a revamp and has gone in for a responsive web design. It also added new categories such as Grooming, Hobbies, Gadget & Sport.

The biggest hurdle for e-commerce in Indonesia has been low credit card penetration. As a part of the revamp, and to overcome the hurdle, Maskoolin introduced more payment gateways — besides the credit card — like Mandiri Ecash, credit card, and offline payment via Indomaret.

“Order” rather than “Buy”
Maskoolin targets the male in the 21-35 age group, much of whom, according to Kemal, access the website from their workplace. “Most of our users are in their first jobs, with limited time,” he says. The insight helped the online store get rid of the “Register” feature, which could be a big deterrent for online sales.

Another minor change that may go unnoticed is the ‘BUY’ button giving way to ‘ORDER’. Kemal says that ‘BUY’ is perceived to be more frightening than ‘ORDER’. To add a human feel to the entire process, ‘Text us’ or ‘Call us’ have been added to overcome any further hesitation in buying.

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Almost 70 per cent of online shoppers in the fashion category are women. The fact is supported by the number of online stores targeted at women. So why is Maskoolin targeted just at men? Kemal says, “The founders of Maskoolin have a strong experience in male fashion — in production as well as distribution, and that’s the reason we decided to go ahead. We run the business with a very conventional business concept — where there is a product, there is sale and there’s a profit.”

Maskoolin’s marketing strategy is limited to digital and which is quite conventional in his words. “We use 10 per cent of our monthly revenue for digital advertising such as Google Ads/Facebook Ads, and we have very selected criteria. So you can say our advertising is very segmented and targeted,” the Marketing & Sales Director says.

“We also use social media, and we are sure that all business nowadays also do the same thing. So we don’t have any special strategy here — only post, upload, Retweet and answering questions,” he adds.

He says that both Facebook and Google have features to target a local audience in certain countries, and that is what Maskoolin will be using when it goes global.

Having said that, Kemal also feels that social media has become mainstream now. “Imagine how much information is received by one person in a day? Research shows that at least 5,000 ads are viewed in one day. What is the chance for our ads to be viewed? Very small. That is why we focus on shopping experience and never waste any single sales lead,” says Kemal.

Read Also: Fashion & faith: How Indonesia is becoming the online Muslim fashion capital

The same is true for converting sales into leads online, where, he says Maskoolin goes by the “one per cent thumb-rule”. He adds, “From 10,000 impressions only one per cent clicks are got; from that one per cent clicks, only one per cent do checkout. We further divide that number by two, as in Indonesia, many online shopping carts are abandoned at the last step. We are forced to survive in that ‘mean’ one per cent rule.”

Men are logical
On asked how are men different from women in their shopping behaviour, Kemal says that men are “more logical when it comes to  deciding.”

“The ratio is 1:10. Where a woman buys 10 clothes in a month, a man will buy only only one,” says Kemal. But that doesn’t mean that men shop less online. According to the Marketing & Sales Director, men buy not just clothes. “They spend a lot on hobbies and gadgets, and more than women. Our target is to provide all things that men need, not only fashion,” he adds.

The internet user base in Indonesia by the end of 2013 was about 75 million, a rise of 22 per cent over 2012. Users who spend three hours in cyberspace, increased to 31.7 million, up from 24.2 million in 2012. According to Maskoolin, e-commerce transactions in Indonesia in 2013 reached a peak of 19 million transactions or equal to $478 millions, up from $266 million in 2012.

An explorer and a thinker. Writes on digi-tech industry in Indonesia. Also works as a digital strategist and digital media manager in Jakarta.

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