My own eCommerce experiences in Singapore

We see a lot written about eCommerce and what all the startups or vendors say. However let’s talk about my experience.

I basically swear by Amazon Prime when it comes to customer experience. I won’t argue for selection since that is personal preference anyway but all the basics I want are there and they get shipped to me 2 hours after ordering. The app shows the entirety of the process from start to finish. Bravo.

I also like how I can order stuff from the USA with no shipping costs. Plus I get Amazon Prime Video.

Every once in a while I use Lazada and it works but I think the UX sucks and I only order from official stores.

Shopee is the same for me but the website is better IMHO but stupid they don’t have an app in all the app stores so I can’t use the iOS app. I ordered from an official store recently and the item was in my hand 2 days later but the site and/or email gave me no updates at all. This is why I like Prime – I see all the steps.

Recently I was looking for a particular small appliance and it turns out the best price was at Courts and Best Denki but on my Sunday excursion I did not find the appliance it any of the stores. When I came home I ordered it online from Courts.

The website is okay but you just know that eCommerce is not their focus. My payment information was not there from the last purchase and there are too many steps to checkout. What’s silly is I get an email saying order is being processed. No information on date or delivery time. Today I get an email letting me know it is being processed – I guess they think I didn’t know. I replied asking for the date and time but was told that they have to process it first.

This is why Amazon usually wins. They use tech and they service the customer. Upon completing my order I know when the item will arrive. With Courts I don’t know until – they call me! Yes. I order online specifically so that I don’t need any human intevention to receive an item at my house apart from maybe saying hi the delivery driver.

This post was interrupted by the customer care call from Courts for me to pick my time slot. Wouldn’t have been easier to message me and allow me to click and pick my delivery slot. You did message by SMS and email to confirm my slot – why so hard to use the same tech to allow me to pick the slot? Better yet – why can’t I pick the slot during the order process?

Just to give you a sense at how bad the Courts online tech is:

Screen Shot 2019 07 29 at 10 51 29 AM

The first item is over 2 years old and yes it was delivered – one would think it would show that in the UX.

The 2nd item is the latest one which when I click on that doesn’t even show me my confirmed time slot or even options to let me adjust it.

Not sure what the purpose of the online ordering is since after you order they mostly conduct the TX over the phone which kind of defeats the purpose.

Courts – call me if you need some help. 🙂

Tech is coming folks – even for Courts.


Sea is raising up to $1.5B for its Shopee e-commerce business in Southeast Asia | TechCrunch

Well this is a battle to watch.

Since Amazon Prime showed up that’s pretty much where I get my stuff – apart from going to the store or the wet market. Yes – that’s still a thing in Asia and I love it.

I get the other stuff I need from iHerb which has great prices and ships for free to Singapore. Can’t beat it.

I still very rarely wonder in the untamed marketplace that is Lazada or Shopee. I have tried them both for some weird stuff I couldn’t get elsewhere but generally are disappointed with the quality of it. For sure though the marketplace model of each holds very little interest from me so I am always amazed at the numbers for these products but of course not a lot of profit yet.

Then add in the while Carousell and Facebook stuff for lots of other P2P transactions which our family has used way more than Shopee or Lazada but both could be done so much better. I actually there is some opportunity in the P2P space being done right but maybe Carousell and FB are just too big now.

Anyways – welcome to SEAsia! Its gonna be a crazy next 10 years!

Sea is raising up to $1.5B for its Shopee e-commerce business in Southeast Asia | TechCrunch

Indonesia binges on e-commerce – Island shopping

PITY THE Indonesian courier. Delivering a package on the archipelago can be a daunting task. The country’s 13,466 islands stretch across almost 3,000km and to reach a distant atoll might mean waiting weeks for a boat. Many people in remote areas lack a formal address; their roads are nameless and their houses often without number.
— Read on

Sea’s E-Commerce Success Will Depend on a Juggling Act – Bloomberg

Great to see some writing that actually digs into the numbers and teases the truth apart. Versus a – SEA increased revenue post.

I am rooting for these guys – we need to take some pride in a homegrown player going all the way.

Trimming marketing costs while stoking revenue growth won’t come easy.

— Read on

What it Takes to Win the Southeast Asian E-commerce Market in 2018 – Amit Anand of Jungle Ventures

Some nice quotes from Amit of Jungle:

Amit Anand, co-founder and managing partner at Jungle Ventures, predicts 2018 is when “online-to-offline (O2O) will go mainstream in Southeast Asia. Many Internet businesses will realize that they can scale more efficiently and quickly and also provide better consumer experiences by creating hybrid, omni-channel models.”

Take Pomelo Fashion, an online fast fashion brand and one of Jungle Ventures’ portfolio investments, which recently launched an offline presence. “In the span of a couple of months, it has already experienced huge growth, both in terms of conversion and also an uptick in average order values of purchases made by customers,” shares Anand.


According to Anand, one of the critical factors for success in the digital world is the ability to collect, track, and use data.

“Digital interactions and transactions leave a trail of insights, but data cannot be effectively utilized if it is not captured comprehensive. This is an area where I always encourage our teams to start early and get a head start over their competition,” he says, adding that there are tools and frameworks now in place to help start-ups implement this more effectively and economically.

To be sure, e-commerce is still in its nascent stages in Southeast Asia. “In this regard, we can continue to expect more investments to come from companies and government bodies to improve and innovate on everything from discovery to last mile delivery,” says Anand.

What it Takes to Win the Southeast Asian E-commerce Market in 2018 –