Leading e-commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) company, Anchanto, has officially marked its entry into the Australian market with a leadership lunch event in partnership with Australia’s leading retail business network, NORA.

The recent ‘Raising the Bar for National E-commerce’ event in Sydney was host to over 70 C-suites within the retail industry to discuss the current economic climate and its impact on the Australian retail industry, as well as opportunities for retailers to grow and expand.

Anchanto highlighted how businesses can benefit from cross-border e-commerce and as a complete SaaS platform that offers order management, content, warehousing, fulfilment and more, Anchanto can help retailers, manufacturers and logistics companies transition from traditional business models to a new age, digital approach

Anchanto founder and CEO, Vaibhav Dabhade said retail has evolved significantly over the past few decades with direct to consumer selling now starting to reach maturity and online marketplaces completely changing the dynamic of the industry.

“It is not just about selling location and price, but also purpose,“ he said. “Australia is largely a brand-focused market with its department store and high-street brand e-commerce operations. At the same time, there are also sellers building products within specific verticals, which offer more value, convenience, privacy and purpose to new consumers.”

Anchanto is a Singapore-based company and locally, footfall has declined significantly as going to a shopping centre is no longer a novelty. More broadly, in the Southeast Asian market, marketplaces saw revenue increase by 450% from 2015 to 2018 and is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025.

“Small businesses are now turning to marketplaces because it guarantees them sales with access to millions of shoppers. Even larger Fortune 500 companies are making the transition to selling direct via marketplace as it allows them to collect data and better understand their customer – what they are buying and how they are buying,” Dabhade said.

“Marketplaces also enable cross-border e-commerce for businesses to leverage similar customer demographics in different regions. For example, certain marketplaces offer language translation and currency conversion to allow companies to play in markets they have never reached before and all they need to do is ship their product.”

Dabhade has also observed a significant rise in social selling via Instagram and other social media platforms as retailers aim to maximise their customer touch points.

Anchanto co-founder, chief operating officer and country head for Australia and New Zealand, Abhimanyu Kashikar noted that as more Australian businesses adopt marketplace e-commerce business models, they face three crucial factors that can impact their success: fragmented market, multiple distribution channels and implementation complexities.

“From working with retailers listing on different marketplaces in different countries, we are able to bring our learnings and lessons to the Australian market as having a presence on different marketplaces such as Kogan and eBay is becoming critical to sellers,” he said.

“Brands are also seeing under the marketplace economy, they are not getting enough information from different distributors. It also brings implementation problems for sellers – different integrated tools for logistics, accounting, warehouse management and so on. These are the three common challenges we have seen that sellers in multi-channel ecommerce have to face.

“Anchanto understands the need to be visible across different marketplaces, but more importantly from the backend, the need to have visibility to all things happening to your products both online and offline. There is also CRM and other analytic data to help sellers decide how much to invest in different marketplaces. Anchanto applies an engineering approach to software development, and that is how we grow from packing and managing cross-border parcels in a warehouse to now managing channels for customers,” Kashikar said.