The Future of E-commerce with Charles Debonneuil Group CEO of Intrepid Group Asia

The Future of E-commerce with Charles Debonneuil Group CEO of Intrepid Group Asia Featured Image

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:

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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

Show notes:

  • [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 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.

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Optimizing Retail With Johanna Småros Co-Founder Of Relex Solutions

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Chief Executive Officer, Greensill​

Lex is the co-founder and CEO of Greensill, and a Senior Advisor and Crown Representative to Her Majesty’s Government on Supply Chain Finance. He was awarded the CBE for Services to the British Economy in Queen Elizabeth II’s 2017 Birthday Honours.

Lex previously established the global SCF business at Morgan Stanley, and led the EMEA SCF business at Citi.

Lex holds an MBA from Manchester Business School, and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Courts of England and Wales, and Queensland.