Alibaba announced today that AliExpress, the company’s global-facing ecommerce site, has localized for better service in Indonesia. While id.aliexpress.com has been active for some time (Tech in Asia spotted it back in October), today marks its official coming out party in the eyes of the company.
Indonesians who browse the localized version of AliExpress will see categories and product listings translated into Indonesian (though curiously, prices appear in US$) and curated for domestic tastes. Shoppers can complete purchases using Doku, an Indonesian payment gateway that processed US$ 520 million in transactions last year, or by making epayments at Alfa Group convenience stores (Alfamart, Alfamidi, and Alfa Express). Consumers can also call a help line where customer service representatives will respond to inquiries
In order to bolster delivery, Alibaba says that China Smart Logistics, a logistics “consortium” it owns a 48 percent stake in, will partner with SingPost and its partner Indo Post to guarantee delivery within two weeks – halving the time Indonesians once had to wait for goods they bought on AliExpress. Last August, Alibaba invested US$ 250 million in SingPost – the reasons for which should now be more than apparent
Alibaba adds that while the majority of the site’s product listings are sourced from China, in the future, it hopes to add more goods from Indonesian merchants into the mix.
Indonesia is expected to generate US$3.56 billion in business-to-consumer ecommerce sales this year, up from an expected US$2.6 billion in 2014, according to data from GoGlobe. That makes it the fourth largest ecommerce market in Asia for business-to-consumer sales. AliExpress’s competitor in Indonesia will likely be Tokopedia, a massively popular consumer-to-consumer listings site. Like Taobao, Alibaba’s flagship Chinese ecommerce site, Tokopedia monetizes through value - added services for merchants.
The site recently raised US$ 100 million from Softbank and Sequioa Capital. Ironically, the former firm is one of Alibaba’s frequent collaborators in venture capital investments, dating back to the Yahoo days.
AliExpress has seen strong traction in emerging markets, particularly Brazil and Russia.
Editing by Leighton Cosseboom, top image by basibanget
Josh Hormitz - February 11, 2015