On June 6-8, 2023, eTail Asia is taking place. This event gave us the opportunity to meet and exchange with E-commerce solutions from all over the world.
In this context, I had the opportunity to exchange with Inderpreet Singh, Director of E-commerce, Asia Pacific at Bata:
Can you tell us about your background and how you came to be the Director of E-commerce for Bata Asia Pacific?
I am an omnichannel professional with over 17 years’ experience in Retail, Merchandising, Supply Chain and Ecommerce at country (India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka) and regional (APAC) levels. Currently I am leading the digital business in Asia Pacific for global footwear brand Bata integrating its offline retail stores to Online business providing a seamless omnichannel experience to our customers across Asia Pacific.
Digital Business is a big focus for the 2025 Business strategy for Bata and hence I am entrusted with delivering profitable growth in this channel in Bata for Asia Pacific.
What are some of the unique challenges that come with managing an e-commerce platform in the Asia Pacific region?
Managing E- Commerce Platform in Asia Pac region presents several unique challenges due to diverse cultures, languages, and several marketplaces in the region. We localise our websites / official stores at marketplaces/ customer service and digital marketing strategy in all countries to suit the local tastes and preferences.
Logistics in Asia Pacific is of significant challenge, and we use several logistic partners for timely and smooth delivery of our products to our customers at an efficient cost per order.
Payment preferences and legal and regulatory compliances also vary widely across different countries in Asia Pacific adding to the challenges.
How has Bata Asia Pacific adapted to the changing e-commerce landscape in recent years?
Bata, one of the world’s leading shoe manufacturer and retailer, has made several adaptations to the changing e-commerce landscape in recent years. Even before the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, Bata has been increasing its investment in terms of E Commerce. Bata has been investing in Omnichannel strategies which allows its customers to have a seamless experience across the Online and Offline channels. Bata Invested in a tech stack which has enabled enhanced and easy to navigate UX/UI design for its website, adopted to an OMS which has enabled real time inventory available across different Marketplaces. It also keep investing in digital Marketing and personalisation to reach out to Bata’s customers in an more efficient manner giving them the best possible offers best suited for them.
What are some of the key trends that you’re seeing in the e-commerce industry in the region?
Key trends in e-commerce in Asia Pacific are:
- Mobile Commerce: More and more consumers are using their smartphones to not only shop online but also discover for products/ collections/ campaigns and retail stores online and we are responding by optimizing our websites for mobile devices.
- Social commerce: In 2022, social media penetration stands at an all-time high of more than 80% in APAC countries, according to estimates from We Are Social. Driven by pandemic shopping behaviors, social commerce has emerged as a force in ecommerce.
- Cross Border E Commerce: Cross Border E Commerce is on a rise with consumers looking for new and innovative products from other countries.
- AI and machine learning: AI and machine learning are being used to enhance the e-commerce experience for consumers in Asia Pacific. These technologies are being used to personalize the shopping experience, recommend products, and optimize supply chain and logistics processes.
How has Bata Asia Pacific leveraged customer data to improve the online shopping experience?
Customer data can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs. By analyzing our loyal Bata Club customer data, we are able to better understand them and tailor their online shopping experience to meet their needs.
Analyzing historic shopping data helps us personalize the shopping experience for each customer by offering them product recommendations and targeted promotions and marketing communications for them.
Customer data from our In Store Solution helps us understand which products are most popular and in-demand and also missing in sizes and hence enabling us to optimize our inventory at retail stores and hence ensuring that the products are made available to all customers at all touch points.
What is Bata Asia Pacific doing to improve the mobile shopping experience for customers?
Bata offers to its customers an omnichannel shopping experience allowing them to shop seamlessly between their Mobile Phones, Desktop, or tablets. We use the latest Sales Force Commerce Cloud to present to its customers bata.com which has a simplified User Experience faster load times and uses Einstein recommendation engine for personalised recommendations based on purchase and browsing history.
How has Bata Asia Pacific been using social media to drive sales and engagement?
Social Media is core medium to reaching out today’s customers. Bata uses social media as an effective medium using digital content like product and lifestyle shots, digital Videos showcasing lifestyle and latest collection. We also have been partnering with social media influencers and celebrities to promote our products. By doing so, Bata is able to tap into the influencers’ existing audiences and leverage their credibility to drive sales and engagement. Bata is also running social media campaigns to promote its products and drive sales. These campaigns include contests, giveaways, and discounts exclusive to social media followers. We also leverage social commerce features on platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Tiktok to allow customers to review and purchase products directly from their social media pages. This helps us drive sales while increasing engagement with our customers.
What role does technology play in Bata Asia Pacific’s e-commerce strategy?
Bata Asia Pacific’s e-commerce strategy relies heavily on technology to create a seamless omnichannel shopping experience for its customers.
Bata in Asia Pacific uses Vinculum OMS and WMS and Sales Force Commerce Cloud based front end e-Commerce Platform to manage its online sales operations, inventory Management, orders and Payment Processing in most of the countries. The platform are integrated with Bata’s Warehouse and Retail stores to provide an endless aisle to its customers. Bata Asia Pacific uses technology to manage its logistics and delivery operations, including tracking shipments, optimizing routes, and providing customers with real-time updates on their orders.
Can you speak to any exciting new developments or initiatives that Bata Asia Pacific has in the works?
Bata has invested last few years in terms of developing a strong tech stack which has enabled now bata to offer endless aisle ( Inventory from WH and Retail stores ) to not only online consumers but also offline consumers in the retail stores which sometimes face challenges of missing sizes and designs at their favourite Retail stores Customers have a choice of ordering online or offline and getting the shoes delivered to their Homes or the nearest bata Retail store for them to try and buy. This had enabled the company to have a never say no attitude to our customers and given us incremental revenue growth.
What are some of the key topics which you are keen to listen to during the eTail Asia?
For the upcoming eTail Asia it would be good to hear from industry leaders how they are responding and scaling up social commerce and planning to use AI for scaling up their business.
What are 2 key things you find most valuable being a part of eTail Asia?
It’s always good to be at eTail where you get to hear from Industry leaders on the new developments in Ecommerce field and how each company is using technology to face and solve new challenges emerging in their business. There is so much to learn from success and learnings from these leaders.
Also at the same time you get to network and meet several new partners who are trying to solve everyday business problem and bringing value to different companies.