With Global Giant Amazon Operating in PH, Retail Chains Must Up Their Game

As Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce retailer, operates in the Philippines, the country’s retail chains must up their game to retain their competitive edge.

On May 8, the online marketplace based in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., opened its first customer service office in the country, choosing the Queen City of the South, Cebu City, Cebu, for its operational base in the Visayas.

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Amazon’s arrival in the Philippines was part of the topics discussed in the media briefing at the JDA Day 2018 event in Pasay City.

JDA Software, Inc., said to be “the leading supply chain provider powering today’s digital transformation (DX), organized the event during which the firm and its partners met with leaders of the country’s retail industry.

JDA Day 2018 was designed to showcase ways to accelerate digital supply chain transformations. It assembled retail, manufacturing and logistics professionals and gave them opportunities to network and share best practices.

In an interview with Amit Bagga, president JDA Asia Pacific, reminded the retail supply chains in the country about the entry of Amazon.

“We have seen Amazon come into other countries, and we have seen the impact of that,” he pointed out.

The impact is that consumers, the new consumer is looking for convenience, is looking at ease (of shopping), and is looking at full experience,” said Bagga.

“One simple thing,” he emphasized in his opening spiel, “customer first, that is the core of customer experience.”

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He said it is what the giant e-commerce platform exactly provides, like easy access to information and ability to buy effortlessly in transactions. “Amazon guarantees the delivery as well.”

With information easily available to customers their access to product becomes very easy, he said. “What happens is that every retailer knows one bad consumer experience the tendency is you lose your customer.”

So how do Amazon and Alibaba do this, what sets them apart from the rest?

Bagga said the two online retail giants have hundreds of data scientists who study and analyze customer data and leverage them for better operation.

Vishal Dhawan, JDA vice president for Sales, Growth Markets, underlined the event’s context, specifically on his company in what he described its cognitive, connected, end-to-end supply chain platform can help Philippine businesses to drive their profitability.

“The paradigm shift in supply chain and its impact on the bottom line has pushed it to becoming a boardroom agenda in Philippine market. We see a significant increase in the interest from retailers, manufacturers, and distributors who are keen with engaging with JDA as we are the only one-stop, best-of-breed solution for all their supply chain planning and execution needs,” Dhawan boasted.

Meanwhile, Lee Gil, group vice president of Global Retail Industry Strategy provided “insights on how the advancement of disruptive technologies, generational shifts among shoppers and a wave of formidable competition along with hyper-personalization are shifting consumers’ expectations causing a disruption in the marketplace.”

Lee Gil of JDA Software, Inc. explains to media the importance of getting into a journey of digital transformation for retail and other industries.

He also cited the importance of getting ready and addressing artificial intelligence (AI), saying “AI will disrupt everything, not just retail.”

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Gil pointed to four reasons for disruption of industries, aside from retail, include technology advancement, generational and societal shifts in customers, formidable and expansive competition, and voice commerce.

“So, innovate before your customers demand it, invest ahead,” he added, saying industries should appoint agents of change, such as chief digital transformation officer and chief customer officer as they re-think the value of technology.

JDA Day 2018 revolved around the theme “Digital Supply Chain Strategies: Revamp, Revitalize, and Refine Your Planning and Execution.


EDD K. Usman: 1st winner of “Best Science Feature Story” of 2018 UP Science Journalism Award on February 17; winner in June 2014 for Print Media in Kabalikat Award Media Category of PCIEERD-DOST Science Journalism Award; alumnus of United States’ East-West Center 2008 Senior Journalists Seminar; participant of South Korea 2000 Executive Seminar for Information Technology Journalists; senior journalist at Manila Bulletin until April 15, 2016; stringer/contributor at present for Rappler, Newsbytes.ph, Claire Delfin Online Magazine, Malaya Business Insight, Agriculture Magazine (of Manila Bulletin), and U.S.-based Philippine News. Traveled on assignment abroad more than 30 times. Reports about SciTech, IT, ICT, Current Events, and many other subjects under Heaven.

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