Charles Debonneuil is the Group CEO of Intrepid Group Asia. Intrepid Group Asia is a 3-year-old company that manages the eCommerce presence of international brands on major eCommerce platforms like Lazada/Shopee across South East Asia.
Prior to this, Charles is also the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Lazada Group, which he had been with since its early inception days as co-founder of Lazada Vietnam, Charles eventually took on the Chief Marketing Officer role of Lazada Group – and is taking care of marketing activities across South East Asia until August 2018.
Listen to the full discussion here:
Connect with the Guest:
Charles Debonneuil: Linkedin
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- Marketplace profitability and customer acquisition strategy
- How are big brands coping and moving to e-commerce platforms
- The shift on consumer behavior
- How the COVID-19 crisis affected the e-commerce industry
- [00:57] Tell us a little about yourself and your company Intrepid Group Asia.
- [03:11] Many professionals and investors had shared the same concerns on the profitabilities and customer acquisition strategy for the marketplaces. As a senior leader within the marketplace space since its’ early days, could you share some insights on this topic?
- [04:44] E-commerce platforms is a scale game. They need to spend money to attract users and prove their service but once they acquire the scale, there’s a clear path to profitability given the examples from China and the US.
- [05:02] Alibaba’s advertising arm, Alimama accounts for the (quite a large number) of Alibaba’s total revenue. Do you think this is possible for South East Asia’s platform as well, given that the demographic is so different from China?
- [06:33] What are the key trends that you’re seeing in the industry and what can be expected in the near future?
- [09:23] Since last year and even more this year, we start to have more and more premium brands that are coming on board e-commerce platforms, showing the brand adoption rate on e-commerce is increasing rapidly.
- [12:57] There’s always been a debate of brand.com vs. marketplace channel for brand owners. What do you think of this topic? What advice do you have to brands that are still in the process?
- [13:27] When you look at consumer behavior in Southeast Asia, probably 90% of the transaction happens on mobile devices. And consumers would usually have 4-5 shopping apps on their phone, it may be Lazada, it may be Shopee, but definitely not 100 individual brand apps.
- [16:25] As a marketing expert yourself, what advice can you give to all of our listeners?
- [18:44] Could you share with us what impacts of this COVID-19 crisis have you noticed so far in the industry?
- [20:15] One of the big and costly challenges for the e-commerce platforms is to get more and more users to not only come on their platform but keep buying and form a habit.
- [21:31] Can you share what some brands are doing in these crazy COVID times to cushion the impact?
- [22:46] What advice can you give us during this time of crisis?
- [23:07] For those that have been impacted by the crisis and have a lower business at the moment, focus on your core and on improving the quality of your products and services. I think it’s a rare opportunity in a way to take the time to work on the things that we never have time to work on.