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05 December 2016

Shopping glee anticipated despite RI slowdown

Hundreds of online stores have joined Indonesia’s National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas) expecting to attract thousands of shoppers and book quadrupled transactions during the country’s biggest online shopping season.

The three-day event, scheduled from Dec. 12 to Dec. 14, has driven 205 online stores to confirm their participation out of 237 stores that previously expressed interest. Several online giants are among them, such as Lazada, Zalora, Traveloka, ShopBack and Elevenia.

It translates to a 46.43 percent year-on-year increase as compared to the 140 online stores last year. It quadrupled compared to Harbolnas’ debut in 2012 where only seven e-commerce players joined the event. In 2013, 22 online stores participated and the number surged to 78 in 2014.

Harbolnas committee head Ratna Miranda Suwanto said high discounts, special offers and interesting promotions would entice online shoppers. To handle such a massive number of customers rushing to use the commerce platform, she urged the online stores to prepare their servers, logistics and gateway payment systems.

“We conducted a gathering with the participants last week to warn them not to create fake prices or try to start off Harbolnas early,” Miranda said at a Harbolnas media workshop on Tuesday.

Muhammad Fahrian, Thailand-based e-commerce logistics provider aCommerce head of account management, has predicted online stores would see sales grow and at least double during the national online shopping event.

“The best case is for a store to see its sales grow astronomically,” said Muhammad, who had joined the Thailand-based e-commerce logistics provider in May 2014. He predicted the economic slowdown would not hinder the event due to its vast market.

He expected online stores to prepare their logistics and servers to welcome massive numbers of customers who will flock to their web sites for the discounts and special products. Several online stores, he claims, had begun to anticipate the event four months in advance.

Indonesian e-commerce players, Muhammad explained, have become more prepared in terms of stocks. However, medium online stores should consider using better servers, which can be rented daily, to prevent web crashes.

Conducted annually since 2012, Harbolnas has become one way to introduce and boost the e-commerce industry. The concept is similar to America’s Cyber Monday, which falls on the first Monday after Thanksgiving, where retailers offer exclusive promotions online.

China also has a similar event, which is known as Singles Day, a twist on the Valentine’ Day celebration for single people. It was created back in the 1990’s but has snowballed into the world’s biggest online shopping day, which takes place in China on Nov. 11 every year.


Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/11/30/shopping-glee-anticipated-despite-ri-slowdown.html