eBay just announced that it has appointed Edelman as its Asia Pacific PR agency to deal with cross border trade in the region as it represents 20 percent of the company’s sales in Q4 2010. The appointment follows the relationship between the two companies in the US. The PR agency is expected to “raise awareness of the opportunities to traders and entrepreneurs in Asia.”
Edelman will also provide counsel and guidance regarding strategic communications and approach to the online shopping site as it aims to learn more about the region and improve its adoption in Asia Pacific.
While regional operations will be centered in Hong Kong, Edelman’s offices across the region will be actively engaging and studying the market on behalf of eBay. It was only back in May that eBay selected Edelman Australia as its agency for the country.
eBay hasn’t had too much of a success in Indonesia as Tokobagus and Kaskus take the majority mindshare as well as value of online trading in the country. Its insistence on using PayPal is also a hindrance among many would-be buyers since most Indonesians are not entrenched in the banking system and PayPal’s customer service is infamously difficult to deal with.
According to DailySocial’s own research into Indonesian ecommerce, the most preferred method of payment is still bank transfer and eBay places fourth among ecommerce sites in the country behind Kaskus, Tokobagus, and Facebook. Amazon is fifth. There is also a set of challenges that online traders face when dealing with ecommerce in Indonesia.
Regardless, eBay recorded a 17 percent year on year growth in terms of exports from Indonesia and sees this as an encouraging sign to its expansion in Southeast Asia according to its latest release.
It also noted that most Indonesians use eBay’s US, Australia, and UK sites instead of Indonesia’s own. This is clearly one area that eBay needs to clarify to its Indonesian members that eBay does have a local website. Perhaps it needs to better convey the advantages of using the local site, if there is any, over using websites meant for other regions.
As Indonesia becomes one of the largest manufacturing hubs –particularly for fashion– the clothing and accessories category topped the list for Indonesian exports on eBay followed by jewelry, gems and watches, computers, sporting goods, and cell phones and accessories, as per eBay’s Asian Exporters’ Index.
It’s also worth remembering that Plasa.com is still a partner of eBay and encourages its merchants to leverage eBay as its international sales channel.