“For practitioners like us, it’s generally business as usual, but with more clarity. Particularly when it comes to investment,” Lamuda said.
“The government basically [has] shown positive signs of support by implementing this … it helps make the [e-commerce] industry grow faster,” he added.
Berrybenka Managing Director Danu Wicaksana said that he is particularly looking forward to seeing more details about the new taxation regulation.
“By what we have heard so far from the media … We’d like to see how local businesses will be advantaged by the new regulation,” he added.
In 2015, the West Jakarta-based startup claimed to have grown revenue by 200 per cent, with 20 per cent contributed by sales in male categories, indicating the existence of a new segment of customers. However, Berrybenka’s Islamic fashion platform Hijabenka recorded even larger revenue growth at 300 per cent since 2014.
For 2016, the fashion e-commerce company plans to expand locally within the Indonesian market, with a stronger incorporation of O2O as a key strategy.
Pop-up stores and bazaars, a perfect landing ground
For the Indonesian e-commerce sector, Jakarta and other big cities on Java island remain their core target market. However, Sumatra seems to be the new sexy as e-commerce platforms such Tokopedia revealed the island as their biggest market after the capital city, with future plans to expand there.
Lamuda revealed Medan is Berrybenka’s new target market outside of Java for the year 2016. The startup will begin by hosting pop-up stores and participating in bazaar events in the city staring from late January.
Sulawesi also among the startup’s next targets. Berrybenka will host more offline events in Manado and Makassar, where Hijabenka has been seeing strong demand.
Pop-up stores and bazaars are key elements in Berrybenka’s O2O plans as they help highlight the company’s presence in the local market. Customers are also able to directly see the product quality and compare the price with offline retailers.
Last year, its pop-up store event in Bandung managed to gather 10,000 visitors in three days.
Regarding payment method, COD remains popular, with 25 per cent of Berrybenka customers paying that way. The startup also partners with local mini-mart chain Indomaret to enable customers to pay directly at their outlets.
“We expect this number to increase with the implementation of our new O2O strategy … especially since the COD method is mostly used by customers outside of Java,” Wicaksana explained.
A fashionable approach
Another important point that Lamuda stressed is that fashion e-commerce is completely different from general retail e-commerce.
“If you are going to a supermarket, every supermarket is basically selling the same product. But fashion is different … It is more diverse,” he explained.
He also noted that people shop for fashion products for a different reason than shopping for groceries.
“Fashion and shopping is all about feeling happy, which is we ship our products in luxurious packaging,” he added.
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