Unlocking the potential of cross-border e-commerce to adapt to the new normal

17:26 | 24/06/2020
The pandemic outbreak around the world has affected us in many different ways, and Vietnam is not outside of the foray of these events. Bernard Tay, head of Amazon Global Selling Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and country leader of e-commerce giant Amazon.sg Seller Services shares some observations on the industry and suggests ways to better capture the opportunities of post-COVID recovery.
unlocking the potential of cross border e commerce to adapt to the new normal
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, AGS has launched a series of measures and services to help e-commerce sellers overcome difficulties

We are towards the middle of 2020. The pandemic outbreak around the world has affected us in many different ways, and Vietnam is not outside of the foray of these events. As the situation is recovering gradually and our lives shift towards a "new normal", I would like to share some observations on the industry and let us get prepared for the new normal.

Globalisation here to stay as industry offers further cross-border opportunities

The pandemic brought some uncertainties in earlier days. However, the relationships built through decades of globalisation also led to the timely exchange of solutions, healthcare supplies, and donations to tackle common challenges we faced amid the pandemic.

Being customer-obsessed, we deeply felt the responsibility as one of the many international companies that played an essential role during the pandemic, leveraging our global network and resources to actively take part in the fighting against the global crisis and serve the customer needs by providing the essentials.

We are glad to see that many sellers have joined hands with us, leveraging their production capability and supply chain advantages to take part in the fighting against the crisis. Many sellers across the Asia-Pacific have also actively fulfilled their social responsibility as citizens of the world through donations.

The global crisis let us believe that we need to work together more closely and rethink the importance of taking a long-term view in realising the advantages of globalisation. Leveraging existing global infrastructure from companies like Amazon, we hope to empower sellers around the world to better capture the opportunities of post-COVID recovery.

New trends in consumption and global businesses

During the pandemic, online shopping has been one of the safest ways to get essential goods in the crisis. I believe the transformation from offline to online will be long-term. In the US, online shopping frequency has increased by up to 14 per cent in every category, according to a report by McKinsey & Company. Moreover, in a number of surveys recently conducted in major markets such as the US, Europe, Japan, and Singapore, a large proportion of consumers expressed their likelihood to continue purchasing online even after the pandemic has passed.

In a number of surveys recently conducted in major markets such as the US, Europe, Japan and Singapore, a large proportion of consumers expressed their likelihood to continue purchasing online even after the pandemic has passed.

Meanwhile, businesses are shifting towards digital services and channels to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and enhance business resilience. The need for digital transformation is particularly imminent for traditional foreign trade companies. This has led us to think more about how to empower them to accelerate the digital transformation to adapt to the new normal.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have launched a series of measures and services to help sellers overcome difficulties. These initiatives include providing timely policy updates and guidance to sellers, such as waiving part of FBA storage fees, MFN seller guidance updates and more, all of which are available to sellers globally, including sellers in Vietnam.

We also hold regular online consulting and training sessions, focusing on sharing information on Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) services, account registration, advertising, and brand development in Vietnam. In addition, we are working closely with local government to empower sellers with information and knowledge to enable them to expand opportunities further and continue to develop their e-commerce capabilities.

Cross-border e-commerce still shows development potential

A recent report issued by the World Trade Organization (WTO) stated that, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that e-commerce is not only an important tool and solution for consumers in times of crisis, but also an economic driver for both domestic growth and international trade, and can help to support SMEs.”

Many countries also initiate relative policy to support industry development. Vietnam’s Prime Minister recently issued Decision No.431/QD-TTG which is beneficial to transaction controls and will help accelerate custom clearance. The EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), ratified by Vietnam’s National Assembly on June 8 and going to take effect in August 2020, is expected to further drive the recovery of the domestic economy, with 99 per cent of customs tax relieved and trade barriers lowered between Vietnam and the EU. These measures will inject further confidence in future development.

Plan towards 2025, skill up talent for the long run

We have seen many sellers survive this pandemic with spirit and courage to explore and practice but to pursue a long-term success, sellers need a global mindset and pay attention to product innovations and quality to earn global customers’ trust.

We’ll keep innovating and enabling sellers to build business on Amazon and help sellers speed into middle- to high-end global value chains and promote prosperity for the industry.

Crisis comes from opportunities. We believe that when we get through this together, the cross-border e-commerce industry will usher in a new round of growth opportunities. I hope that we will always walk side-by-side and create a better future together.

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional

Latest News ⁄ Corporate ⁄ CEO Talk

Based on MasterCMS Ultimate Edition Ver 2.9 2020