Bukalapak, Indonesia’s leading e-commerce marketplace, is growing fast outside the capital Jakarta thanks to a focus on digital literacy and financial inclusion, according to its co-founder.

Compared to other parts of Asia, e-commerce in Indonesia is “just barely starting” and accounts for less than 4% of the total retail market, Fajrin Rasyid, co-founder and president, told the recent FUTR Asia Summit in Singapore.

One reason is that few people so far have bought online, but Rasyid is finding innovative ways to change that, through financial inclusion and developing Indonesia’s micro-economy. (For more, read WARC’s report: How e-commerce player Bukalapak is connecting offline consumers in Indonesia.)

For example, the company can preapprove loans for merchants based on their sales history (“We know exactly how much each merchant is making”) on the platform. Likewise, with consumer financing, the purchasing transaction history can be used to preapprove loans for users.

A recent innovation taps into the micro-economy and the ubiquitous warung – small mom-and-pop convenience stores – as a new ‘O2O2O’ model. This sees Bukalapak partnering with 300,000 such stores to advance the offline part of its business which contributes 20% of revenues.

Through the Mitra Bukalapak initiative, the company helps warungs to find a new source of profits through demand-led ordering on a partner app.

Non-digitally savvy customers can obtain digital services from the warung, including bill payments and placing orders for phone credit or physical goods; customers pay the warung in cash, and the warung receives a commission for facilitating the order.

“The store owners essentially are agents to their existing communities,” Raysid explained. “A lot of the customers are not online savvy, but with the store owners, it’s like CRM inside the warung.”

An additional benefit is increased distribution efficiency. Warungs are able to replenish stocks in a more direct manner and receive their orders on the same day – a lean distribution system has resulted in three times growth in warung orders.

Sourced from WARC