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Written by Ananda Perwira
Digital marketing is not only about:
• Building partnership / back links with third-party publishers.
• Publishing online ads in Facebook or other social medias.
GREATER THAN THAT, DIGITAL MARKETING IS ABOUT:
• Selling benefits not products
• Winning the zero moment of truth
• Building personalized content
• Buyer personas
• Working on big data
• Integrated marketing
• User experience
• Retargeting and remarketing
• Understand buying phases
• Visual and message clarity
• KAI ZEN aka. Continuous improvement
WHAT WE CAN DO TO GROW TOKOPEDIA AS A LEADER?
I will not speak about tools or technical stuff in digital marketing as we can try many tools
and strategies and see which work for us and which don't (A/B). More important, I would
like to tell the big pictures of how Tokopedia can improve.
1. STOP SELLING PRODUCTS, SELL SOLUTION
This is what I see when visiting Tokopedia homepage (few days ago I even saw women
products like Corset / bra on Hot List). And my questions as a visitor:
• Why do you show female products to male visitors like me? If a kid visits, do you
also offer the same product?
• Why don't you show products that are very relevant to me on the Hot List?
• Why don't you ask me what I'm interested in to help me find what I need?
• If I want to sell, not to buy, why don't you welcome me with a guide to help me open
We need to collect information of visitors as much as possible to provide most relevant
products / helps for their problems. It means that we offer solution not a product.
There is a big online store in US which sells a wide range of baby products. Instead of
showing all products and categories above the fold, they brilliantly put interactive form
asking the age and gender of a baby, when mom tells this information, it's easy for the
website to show recommended products for her baby.
2. STOP WASTING MONEY, BUILD REAL BUSINESS
If I have USD 100 millions, I prefer to build storage and delivery solution for 100,000
merchants instead of building Googleplex-like office for 100 employees. Why? Tokopedia is
not just an ordinary marketplace. We need to bring the service to the next level where other
marketplaces can't do.
Think about it:
Do you ever order small stuff from China on eBay, Tabao or Alibaba? I did. I ordered mini
MP3 4GB for only $4 and it's free shipping. What made me happy, they really sent it to my
home. I asked myself how come they can sell such cheap product and deliver it to other
Why we care about delivery solution?
You probably ask this question because you think companies like JNE, Tiki and other delivery
services do the job. Yes, but our merchants needs Tokopedia to organize their product
Let's see why they need our help
Many merchants are micro and small businesses which sell small stuff such as: hot
chocolate, pancake durian, homemade necklaces, etc which cost Rp 5,000 to Rp 100,000.
Example: Seller in Medan sells Pancake Durian on Tokopedia for Rp 50,000 / box. Then
someone in Jakarta orders 4 box after see it on Tokopedia. What is the best offer seller can
give to the buyer? Here are the current possibilities:
• The seller uses airplane cargo which costs Rp 100,000 (because of 10 kg minimum
weight). It's delivered on the same day but buyer needs to take it at the airport (no
home delivery). Considering the total cost of Rp 300,000 + time and energy to go to
the airport, the buyer prefer to buy pancake from reseller on the street around
• The seller offers express delivery using Tiki JNE (the food can only last for 1-2 day). It
means that the buyer need to pay shipping cost for also Rp 100,000 and it's
Why don't we organize delivery of all merchant products by having hub
stores in the cities?
Example: We can build hub store in Medan, collect all merchant products (sort it based on
destinations and types of products), send them collectively by using cargo, then hub store
e.g. in Jakarta will take it from airport to the store. Then buyers in Jakarta will be notified by
Tokopedia application that their orders has arrived at Tokopedia Jakarta hub store.
It's win for sellers
Let's do simple math. If a seller sells homemade necklace with a weight of 100 gr from
Medan to Jakarta, it's possible for us to charge shipping cost of Rp 2,000 since we send it
collectively. For sellers, it's possible to offer free shipping to buyers and include shipping
cost to the price.
Tokopedia can be a game changer
Make an offer to popular expedition companies or other related third parties to join. When
we managed to build this system, there is no reason for them but to be in the same boat.
3. STOP GUESSING, DO A/B TESTING
Take a look at Tokopedia homepage:
Can you answers these questions?
• Why do we put 4 sliders on homepage, do they convert better or make distraction
(banner blindness)? Or can we take them down?
• Why do we show products categories above the fold? Why do we show 18
categories, why don't we show less categories? Why don't we have category search?
• Why do we put women sweater, corset, and chocolate on hot list product? Are those
what visitors want?
Stop guessing, the best digital marketing is to test everything on the website.
4. STOP JARGON OR FANCY STUFF, SPEAK AS YOU SPEAK WITH
Short story 1:
I told my mother that I will have an interview with Tokopedia with nice salary offer. I asked
her if she ever heard of Tokopedia. She said yes as it's seen on TV every day. Then she asked
me about what Tokopedia does and what is it about? Walah, my mother failed to
understand what Tokopedia does from the TV ad.
Short story 2:
Then I also saw huge physical banner on crossroad somewhere in Jogja. It has green
background, Tokopedia logo, and big text: "Ciptakan peluangmu." (or "Masa depan ada di
tanganmu." if I'm not wrong). For me this is a jargon of motivator and we do not need it.
Why don't we say something strong but clear that even ice cream sellers on the street know
it. For such big budget advertisement, I prefer to put clear message e.g. "Laris manis online
dengan Tokopedia". it's very clear, right?
5. BE USER-CENTRIC, NOT EGO-CENTRIC
Every marketplace wants to show that they have everything: rice cooker, bike, ice cream,
scissors and even duck tape. Yes, you can say the names of your products from 1 to
1,000,000 and tell people how great you are. Please stop. We need to tell and offer
something that they want to see. To be user-centric, we need to build personalized content
on our website, email, ads, everywhere.
Think about it:
If you go to a shop and the seller welcomes you by offering dozens of products they have, is
it comfortable? Not for me. Like everyone else, I expect that the seller will ask me what I'm
looking for, analyze what I need, and then come back with 3 or 4 recommended products
based on my preferences in few minutes.
6. OFFER BENEFITS , NOT PRODUCTS
Nowadays, people really care about the detail of products they are looking for. Our
question, can Tokopedia helps them to find and recommend products based on their
• Chocolate cake with preservative-free
• Baby products with organic material
• Leather jacket with free shipping, etc.
7. DON'T BE A PRODUCT DISPLAY, BUILD SMART SHOP ENGINE
Don't you remember?
Remember when YellowPage book was the only business directory? Then, IndoTrading
came to offer an online business directory with a quick search feature. It gained much
success that day. But now, it seems to be stuck as spammy online business display
(considering the bounce rate of 71.87%).
What to do for future citizens?
Build a marketplace which offer products comparison, insight about trends, what products
need to buy, what products need to sell, localized seller listing, etc. Tokopedia can become a
smart shopper advisor by working on big data.
8. BUILD STRONG RELATIONSHIP WITH MICRO - SMALL BUSINESSES
I would like to focus on building strong relationship with micro and small businesses instead
of doing fancy advertisement with several artists. Why? It's a long-life relationship. They are
our partners and they will make our business bigger and bigger in the future.
P.S. We can support all UKM communities on the internet, work with them and be their
9. BE PROACTIVE, DO REMARKETING
I tried to register on Tokopedia 2 weeks ago to see how the system communicates with me.
What I've got?
• There is no single email from Tokopedia asking whether I want to sell or buy after 1
• There is no personalized email asking why I'm not login for so long after registration.
• There is no email which encourage me to take action immediately.
• There is no email offering free ebook or online material to give me insights and help
• There is no email offering products which I'm interested in. E.g. If a user searches a
certain product but doesn't do transaction. Why don't you send email to him later
informing some recommended sellers which sell the product (the recommendation
could be based on seller rating, price, or nearest location to the buyer).
Come on! Why does Tokopedia leave email marketing? It's still powerful. Make weekly
newsletter, auto responders, and newsletter segmentation based on user preferences.
We should give applause to BukaLapak
BukaLapak did a good start. They sent me personalized newsletter (with the name and
signature of their real staff) that encouraged me to contact the staff if I have any question.
They also reminded me that I didn't login for more than 14 days and asking why.
We should avoid what Qoo10 ID did
They do email remarketing where I receive 3 - 5 emails a day about special sale of various
products. Unfortunately, all offered products are irrelevant to me which is only spamming
my email inbox.
9. WORK ON BIG DATA
We need to track every process to collect insights. What people search, what pages they
visit, their personal information (cookies), how many transactions made, how many
payment made, how many sellers available (active and inactive), how many buyers
available, transaction average, how and when people leave, why people do not continue
order process, etc. Collecting big data is the only way to understand what buyers and sellers
need and where we can improve.
10. KAI ZEN (CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT)
Why Indonesian tech companies failed? They focus on short term improvements and feel
satisfied with their current level. There are many things to improve, even the smallest
things. When you work on big data, you can see many things to test and improve every day.
Ultimately, it will bring a huge improvement. It's what we call magic math of continuous
Think about it:
Based on SimilarWeb, Tokopedia has about 10M visits / day. Let’s say there are about
500,000 visitors / day. How many transactions are made on Tokopedia / day? Do we reach
avg. 25,000 daily transactions (if we expect conversion rate of 5%)? If the number of
conversions is much lower than our expectation, then we have big task to improve.
TOKOPEDIA FOR EVERYONE'S DREAM
I believe Tokopedia can be a game changer to rise SMBs and people economy in Indonesia.
Focus on solutions, work on big data, do continuous improvement, help people and always
ask God for directions is the way to realize our dream.