ASCEND COMMERCE, Ascend Group’s e-commerce arm comprising iTrueMart and WeLoveShopping, has reported exceptional growth in the final quarter of last year.
The announcement late last week came as Ascend Commerce seeks to leverage its winning strategy in Thailand for expansion into new markets.
Ascend Commerce reported an increase of 65 per cent in the average number of orders per day, and efforts to attract new customers through partnerships with leading brands.
The company reported an average of 14,000 orders per day in the period, with a peak of 30,000
in a single day. It also reported repeat sales in the same month among as many as 50 per cent of its customer base.
“This is a step forward in our mission to bring high-quality products at great prices to online shoppers in key markets within Southeast Asia,” said PunnamasVichitkulwongsa, chief executive officer of Ascend Group.
“With our category-by-category approach proven in Thailand, we are now expanding throughout Southeast Asia. Based on the strength of the customer response so far, we are confident that we will be able to provide access to the same shopping experience that people in urban areas enjoy to improve the standard of living for the millions who live in rural areas in Southeast Asia,” he added.
iTrueMart is a business-to-|consumer retailer, while WeLoveShopping is an online market place for small business, entrepreneurs and consumers to sell their goods.
Both businesses originally launched in Thailand, but iTrueMart is now building customer bases in other Asean markets – and launched in the Philippines late last year.
Last year, Ascend Commerce invested in its own fulfilment centres as a way to retain control over the whole process, from purchase to delivery at customers’ doorsteps, Punnamas said, citing this investment as key to giving customers an excellent experience and resulting in repeat purchases.
iTrueMart.com has also been successful in terms of speedy delivery, with 98 per cent of orders seeing next-day delivery in Bangkok and delivery in two days for upcountry addresses.
WeLoveShopping’s orders grew nearly 300 per cent in the final quarter, while the number of new sellers rose by 1,300 during the period.
WeLoveShopping.com also signed agreements with new brands, which helped to drive new purchases among existing and new buyers in the quarter.
“In the first days of 2015, we launched with just a few hundred orders per day, and we have grown 700 per cent to achieve great results by the end of the year,” said Seubsakol Sakolsatayadorn, general manager of Ascend Commerce.
“Ascend Commerce will continue with our strategy of winning on a category-by-category basis. We will introduce a new category only when we are sure of the strength of the product offering. It’s working in Thailand, it’s working in the Philippines and it will work elsewhere,” he explained.
“Although launched late last year, iTrueMart Philippines has already seen achievements that exceeded initial goals and is considered a key market for Ascend Commerce,” said Dean Krstevski, regional chief operating officer for e-commerce at Ascend Group. “Ascend Commerce remains optimistic about growth of iTrueMart.ph and will focus efforts there on expanding the product range and delivery,” he added.