I was rather intrigued by Singpost business, creating an Eco-system to feed into logistic. Singpost aim to be an e-commerce logistic player, many forgot the "logistic" behind the equation. But here goes, what I didn't know, or cannot confirmed till now. I was very intrigued reading the annual reports of Amazon, and EBay, and Internet rocket, the owner of Lazada which Alibaba bought a stake in.
1)B2B, C2C, B2B4C? = SMS?
In E-commerce there is B2B, C2C concept etc. Alibaba's Taobao is kinda of C2C, consumer to consumer. But I guess the Giants like EBay, Amazon are all BC2BC all rolled into one (my own understanding). Isn't alibaba too? Consumer and Business, the line is not that clear if u ask me.
Singpost claim it is B2B4C, it makes me think which company doesn't provide the logistic support, either through in-house capabilities or through 3-party, so the 4C is hardly important, in my sense.
2) e-commerce and marketplace
I didn't know there is a difference. Ecommerce, you owned the inventories and if successful, u have a higher margin of return, marketplace u just get everyone in as the middleman, so you need volume (much more than e-commerce) to bring in the tilt. Singpost, Taobao is defintely more/ all marketplace
3) e-commerce start-up keep burning cash for a long time
I read that Taobao was cash burning for a long time, not sure if it has already turn the table. But Internet-rocket has a stable of online companies, almost all are unprofitable in the 3-5 years in operation. Lazada, food panda, and all its subsidiaries etc, while market leaders, are all unprofitable.
My own understanding is this:
Ecommerce is the bait, the many money spinners are actually something else. Alipay for Alibaba, Logistic for Singpost, Venture capitalists for Internet rocket.
5) Beside scale, products and consumers' experince count
Amazon annual reports are really good read. I always think of scale as a crucial factor in ecommerce.
They talk about speed of delivery, in-house products differentiation (shows), etc.
It also talk about Coporate culture, which is really enlightening, taking risk etc. The "consumer experince" part is not something I keep hearing when I read about Singpost. It seem they are more focus on scale and variety of products.
6) omni channel marketing
Jagged peak omni channel marketing technology is touted as one of the reason why it was acquired by Singpost. I just realize it means merging of online-offline retail experince through multiple e-platforms.
It's an important piece if the SP mall at paya lebar is to be successful.
I am writing to summarize what I read so that I can crystallize my thoughts. If my info is inaccurate, I stand to be corrected.
I mean I now see Singpost through more facets other than "Alibaba's Magic", which is the much touted info by analysts after its corporate governance issue.
I also have more opinions on the reports by analysts instead of taking them wholesale. For one, I do not think Alibaba will give up Quantium Solutions through Lazada. I think "consolidation" is going to be theme of big players, the smaller players will hope to cash in by being "absorbed"
I am not saying that Alibaba's investment will go through, but I don't think the main determining factor is the competition of Lazada
The acquisitions of 2 small US e-commerce companies also made more sense now. US is one the biggest e-commerce market in terms of product offerings, it cannot be a missing link in Singpost's offering regardless of how stiff the competition is.
But I think the acting CEO is stretching it when he said it allowed Asia pacific customers access to US and vice versa. I don't really think US consumers need anyone else beside EBay, Amazon to get anything from the rest of the world. (With the exception of China perhaps)