How to Start an eCommerce Business In Southeast Asia

So let’s talk about why e-commerce is a brilliant way to start making money online in the ASEAN, and some of the most important things you need to know when Starting An eCommerce Business From Scratch.

First off, in the ASEAN Region, eCommerce is only going to get stronger when it comes to e-commerce and mobile transaction growth.

asean ecommerce growth 2019 498x1024 1

With all of this growth, there lies huge opportunity for SMEs and entrepreneurs in the ASEAN.

I like to think eCommerce is a good solution to many people’s household worries and a pretty straight forward way to earn a side income, or fulltime one, by getting results for you and moving forward.

Starting A Successful Ecommerce Business

There are a few things that you need to get right when thinking of starting your ASEAN eCommerce Empire, but probably the most important are:

  1. Choosing great products that give a good return on investment.
  2. Creating great product videos for your eCommerce store. (It’s good to outsource this part of you aren’t a video creator, use a service like to find great video creators)
  3. Driving good quality traffic to your store.
  4. And engaging with people who have already shown interest in what you offer.
facebook video ad example

Almost 80% of people say product videos give them more confidence when purchasing a product

A simple ad and video like that shown above has the ability to generate a lot of sales for your e-commerce business.

So now you have a small understanding of what you will be doing to turn your start-up e-commerce business into a success, and…

This will hopefully help you minimize the amount of risk that you actually take to get started within this business.

So, let’s make expand on the 4 points we briefly talked about above…

How To Set Up An ASEAN eCommerce Business – Smartly

  1. Purchase zero inventory upfront (This means we don’t have to make a large investment into something that might not have the ability to sell)
  2. Sell products that are pretty much guaranteed to sell (we find this out through good quality research)
  3. Target customers who are pretty much guaranteed to be interested in what you offer
  4. Add a good mark up to the product (at least 50-75%)

So, that list above is very important when it comes to starting an eCommerce business from scratch.

But what is MOST important when it comes to starting your ASEAN eCommerce Business?


It is important you know “education is key“, but there are certain things that are critical to success…

eCommerce Education For Startups

Street smarts education… (Not Degrees)

You heard the old expression “you don’t sell ice to Eskimos“, just as “you don’t sell steak to vegetarians“…

When we create our eCommerce stores, with whatever products that we choose, we must make sure that:

  1. Our advertisements are relevant to the people that see them (we do this through different forms of targeting)
  2. When they come to visit our store, the visitors get exactly what they are looking for (so if we are selling camping chairs, we must make sure that we are selling to people who are interested in camping or outdoor living)
  3. We must make sure that our product and messages are relevant to people we target and also the web pages that they visit.
  4. We must also engage with our audience not only on our site but on our Facebook pages, and Instagram pages, YouTube, etc.
  5. Do they like and share it or comment?
  6. Do they click the links or share it with their friends?
  7. What about our ads, do they engage with them?
  8. Do they share them or click on them?

The more we can get our target audience to engage with our content the more we will get love from Facebook and Google.


They know that we are showing the people the best kind of content for them…


The search engines are doing a good job of showing our relevant content to our potential customers, so FB and Google are they are doing their business right. A strange and easy way of understanding our relationship with search engines and platforms.

Learning The eCommerce Numbers

The profits you make are in your understanding of your numbers:

Things that you need to know for eCommerce success include:

  1. I want you to know how much EACH of my customers are worth.
  2. Are they a onetime buyer or will they buy from you again and again?
  3. Do they tell their friends about you, do they like and share your products?

All of these things are important!

And it’s equally as important to have people like us as it is to stop them from not liking us

Because if we do something that they don’t like, or that a potential customer doesn’t like…

People are more likely to share a negative comment than a positive comment, sadly.

How To Get More Visitors To eCommerce Stores

So next up, we are going to look at:

Where do we get our website traffic from?

When I say traffic I mean visitors; is it only Facebook, or Google?

No, when it comes to growing your ASEAN e-commerce business, we have to think longer-term traffic driving.

We have to think about email (this is one of the main traffic multipliers that we can use in building our ASEAN eCom Enterprose)…

The beauty of email is that:

  • We are able to mail people information about our products again and again.
  • We are able to build an email list of many people, so we get permission from the visitors to email them, magic.

You know one of the main drivers behind e-commerce is what we call the eCommerce Quadrant:

What is the eCommerce Quadrant?

This eCommerce Quadrant is all about using the power of traffic and automation to make:

  • Sales consistently for our stores
  • Lower cost of marketing as time goes on

So first off the idea is to get a lot of traffic to our e-commerce store (which isn’t always the easiest thing to do).

We obviously do this so we can make more sales…

And hence make more money.

The next part we want to do is cut the cost of that traffic.

The less we have to pay for the traffic the more we can make from sales, this is so important.

How do we get website traffic for the cheapest price possible?

The way we get this really cheap traffic is not with our initial traffic driving campaigns…


It’s what we do with the traffic that we bring back to our website – those that have already visited us before.

You may have heard of retargeting before, or maybe you haven’t, but if you don’t have the slightest idea what retargeting is basically what we talking is…

What actually is retargeting, and how can I use it?

It is sort of a creepy technology that uses a simple JavaScript code to anonymously follow your audience all over the web.

Sounds cool, huh?

We create this by setting up a thing called a Pixel – it’s a small hidden piece of code that you place on your website, and every time the visitor comes to your site the code drops onto your visitor’s browser (enabling you to market to them).

I know it sounds illegal, but its not!

Then later on when the same visitors are browsing the net or on Facebook the cookie will let us advertise to that person who had previously visited our site before.

The retargeting of past visitors like this is so effective because that person is already familiar with your brand and has recently demonstrated interest.

increasing visitor value with the eCommerce Quadrant

The next part of the eCommerce Quadrant is to make more money per visitor.

So how do you make more money for visitor?

We offer more products, basically we up sell products, and we cross sell products to every customer.

We think about how to make each and every customer Journey more profitable for us.

And that is how the eCommerce Quadrant works.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.