All posts by Chris Teoh

You can’t ignore Indonesia’s mobile app market

Source: Tech In Asia

NOTE: This is an excerpt from a community post by Lily Portuguez at Tech In Asia.

The Indonesia mobile app market cannot be ignored, especially with a population of 250 million people.

According to Steve Anderson, a tech writer, a large percentage of Indonesia’s population still do not have smartphones. However, all wireless networks are expected to be upgraded to 4G by the year 2017, while over 35 million smartphones are expected to be produced across the country starting in 2017.

Source: You can’t ignore Indonesia’s mobile app market | Tech In Asia

Modern grocery and the emerging-market consumer: A complicated courtship

Source: Philips Lighting
Source: Philips Lighting

In a latest report published by McKinsey & Company, global grocery chains or hypermarkets are seen struggling to grow profitably in emerging markets.

The primary reason for this lies in the context of the local environment these hypermarkets operate in; where good road networks, high car ownership rates and larger living space in suburban and rural areas exist in Western Europe and the US, this is not necessarily the case in emerging markets. In the latter, consumers are generally less affluent, have lower car ownership rates, and live in major metropolitan cities where space is limited. As a result, the premise that allow hypermarkets to compete effectively in the western world does not translate to success in emerging markets.

In order to grow profitably in emerging markets, McKinsey lists seven elements for success:

  1. Prioritize proximity to consumers
  2. Keep prices low and make sure the consumers know
  3. Keep close watch over productivity
  4. Make the business case to manufacturers
  5. Educate policy makers
  6. Consider partnering with traditional trade (e.g. mom and pop stores)
  7. Adopt a city-based strategy where the majority of consumers are located

Source: Modern grocery and the emerging-market consumer: A complicated courtship | McKinsey & Company

Rakuten Launches Express Delivery Service Rakubin

Source: Rakuten
Source: Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc., today announced the full-scale launch of Rakubin, an express delivery service that can deliver ordered goods in as little as 20 minutes.

Rakubin has employed a fleet of delivery vehicles constantly on the move within a specific area, and deliver goods to the requested delivery locations as soon as the orders come in.

Through Rakubin, users will be able to order more than 400 different items, including convenience store items and popular products featured on Rakuten Ichiba.

Source: Rakuten Launches Express Delivery Service Rakubin | Media Room

China’s Alibaba thinks outside the box, and inside the minibus

Source: SCMP

E-commerce giant Alibaba is rolling out a new initiative to promote its Taobao marketplace this weekend by inviting the public to try on stylish wardrobes in minibuses provided by Uber that serve as “mobile dressing rooms”.

The minibuses can be summoned via Uber’s app and will operate in Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hangzhou this weekend. The objective is to see how customers interact through this new experience, before rolling out the program to other cities in the future.

Source: China’s Alibaba thinks outside the box, and inside the minibus, as Uber tie-up gives online shoppers ‘mobile dressing rooms’ | South China Morning Post

How Western Fashion Brands Are Using Social Media in China

Source: Fashionista

Next March, Otte, a small boutique chain in New York City, will open up a store in Shanghai — its first outside of the East Coast of the U.S. The reason? Over 50 percent of Otte’s online customers are Chinese, residing in either the U.S. or in China.

The success of Otte with its Chinese customers speaks to the importance of social media for fashion brands. Since starting their Weibo account from 4 years ago, Otte’s following is now comparable to other bigger ecommerce sites, such as, Shopbop and Revolve.

Source: How Western Fashion Brands Are Using Social Media in China – Fashionista

3 teams shopping for Tesco’s South Korean business

Source: The Straits Times

Private equity firms have formed three separate teams to bid for Tesco’s South Korean business, Homeplus, valued at about US$6 billion. Homeplus brought in revenues of around 7 trillion won in 2014 and consists of more than 400 stores and 500 franchise stores in South Korea.

Source: ‘3 teams shopping for Tesco’s S. Korean business’, Companies & Markets News & Top Stories – The Straits Times

Wal-Mart buys out China e-commerce firm Yihaodian in online push

Source: Reuters

Wal-Mart Stores Inc has taken full ownership of Chinese e-commerce firm,, by buying out the remaining 49 percent stake that it did not already own.

The investment is intended to help Wal-Mart target China’s fast-growing online market at a time when largely brick and mortar retailers are feeling the pinch of competition from online rivals and a slowing of the world’s second-largest economy.

Source: Wal-Mart buys out China e-commerce firm Yihaodian in online push | Reuters

In China, Fast-Food Fight Turns to Delivery

Source: WSJ

China’s rapidly diversifying Internet giants are taking on Western food chains at their own game—door-to-door delivery—and finding a huge appetite among urban consumers.

Startup companies and Meituan Waimai, which operate via mobile applications and are backed respectively by Tencent and Alibaba, are getting economy of scale by teaming up with tens of thousands of food outlets across China.

The services are attracting investment and following similar moves by Internet companies to dominate the market for everything from cinema tickets to taxi rides. Food sales running through the startups reached 97.5 billion yuan ($15.7 billion) last year, up 54% from 2013, according to research firm iResearch.

Source: In China, Fast-Food Fight Turns to Delivery – WSJ

China’s iConsumer 2015: A Growing Appetite for Change

Source: McKinsey

McKinsey’s iConsumer China 2015 survey tapped into the behaviors and desires of China’s 630 million Internet users, across different city tiers and throughout rural areas. The research shows robust growth in social commerce, a trend toward transforming physical retailers into mere ‘showrooms’, and mounting consumer enthusiasm for more online-to-offline (O2O) services.

Here are a few interesting statistics:

  • 30 percent of consumer perform online mobile research while shopping in stores, of which, 16 percent bought products from that store while 45 percent bought the same products from other online stores
  • 72 percent of respondents expressed interest in purchasing online and being able to return offline
  • Consumers were eager to see more O2O offerings in entertainment, healthcare and housing/car services
  • The most frequently purchased category online was packaged food, with an average of 34 purchases made per year

Read more at: McKinsey Greater China – China’s iConsumer 2015: A Growing Appetite for Change

Japanese men embrace inner cheapskate in booming discount retailers


From red wine in plastic bottles and lunchtime sushi to trendy manbags and adjustable wrenches, Japanese males appear mesmerized by the price tag of 100yen offered on an array of goods at booming discount retailers.

In recent years, an increasing number of 100yen shops have been set up in the Tokyo business district, catering primarily to corporate working professionals. According to Kazuya Kido, president of CanDo, one of Japan’s largest 100yen stores, women account for 70 percent of customers. However, many products sold at CanDo’s stores are now aimed at men, as the stigma of visiting a 100yen shop has subsided over the years.

Source: Japanese men embrace inner cheapskate in booming discount retailers –