Asendia’s Victor Poon talks to the founder of Hong Kong-based technology supplier Geeko
also known as IZIBUY App about how a strategic approach to cross-border delivery is helping him to accelerate business growth.
For Asian e-commerce companies intent on growth, looking beyond the domestic market is vital to scaling up the business. The ability to deliver goods internationally quickly and reliably can help suppliers to access new customers in countries where there is a greater demand for products, compared with the often saturated local market. Despite the valuable opportunities that it offers, cross-border delivery comes with its own risks, such as misplaced parcels or a lack of transparency concerning the status of an order, and necessitates dealing with complex customs processes, which often differ from country to country. The most common dilemma is how to fulfill transit time requirements, which are usually between seven and 14 days. To navigate this challenge and maintain customer satisfaction, I always advise companies in Asia and elsewhere to use a fully tracked service that keeps clients accurately updated and helps maintain brand integrity.
One company that has taken this approach successfully is Geeko, a Hong Kong-based e-commerce brand that exports tech products to international clients, primarily on a business-to-business basis. To find out more about its story, I spoke with Geeko’s co-founder Max Craipeau about why choosing the right delivery service has been crucial to the company’s continued growth.
Victor Poon: Can you explain Geeko’s business model to me?
Max Craipeau: We have a factory in China making tech accessories at low cost – Bluetooth speakers, mobile phone cases, smart watches and so on – that we deliver to our clients overseas, mostly to the French market.
VP: Before you came into contact with Asendia, how were you shipping parcels internationally?
MC: We were delivering packets in bulk overseas using La Poste, the French postal service, which means we had to handle all customs clearance and tracking ourselves.
VP: What made you decide to work with Asendia?
MC: Asendia is a joint venture between La Poste and Swiss Post, which was ideal for us, as we’re a French-speaking company shipping to France. Its Tracked Goods service is perfect for our needs, as it offers a door-to-door delivery process from retailer to consumer and cuts out many of the trickier stages.
VP: What specific benefits does the service bring you?
MC: Asendia has good relationships with local customs officials, so it can help solve problems and deliver orders safely. It provides accurate updates on the status of each parcel, which means that customer trust levels are high. Finally, it offers a fulfilment service, monitoring the quality of the packaging, adding shipping labels, checking for damages and repackaging products where necessary.
VP: How have you managed to offset the cost of international delivery against the benefits in terms of the growth of your business?
MC: The advantage of using the e-packet channel is that parcels do not require a signature, which is cheaper and easier. This is a low-cost way of shipping to France and the price is not expected to rise substantially in the coming years.
VP: Do you have any plans to expand further overseas?
MC: At the moment we are focusing on France, but in the longer term we hope to target other countries, such as Israel.
VP: What other strategies are you using to grow the e-commerce business?
MC: Up until now we have been relying on third-party platforms, such as eBay, to sell our products, but this year our volumes have increased significantly. We are therefore excited to be launching our own application, EZEBuy/IZIBuy, on both iOS and Android, that will enable us to supply products directly to clients. The Asendia e-packet service will be built into the app, giving customers greater visibility of their orders and a more integrated experience.
VP: Is there any advice you would give to other e-commerce companies at a similar stage of growth?
MC: You have to be aware that there are always some challenges when delivering parcels overseas, such as lost orders or certain packages taking longer to arrive because of reliance on the local post, but in general you can succeed by choosing a fully tracked service at a competitive price. We’ve decided to work with Asendia more and more since the company launched its e-packet service because we believe building it into our app will help us to meet growing customer demand.
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