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Jakarta Post

Online shopping fair promotes local food producers, eyes Rp 8t in transactions

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, December 10, 2019   /   12:45 pm
Online shopping fair promotes local food producers, eyes Rp 8t in transactions Illustration of e-commerce (Shutterstock.com/one photo)

Indonesia’s biggest annual online shopping fair, held from Dec. 11 to 12, will promote marketplaces that offer customers direct access to local farmers and fishermen for groceries shopping. The festival is expected to rake in Rp 8 trillion (US$570 million) in transactions.

This year's national online shopping festival (Harbolnas) would involve Sayurbox, TaniHub, and Brambang.com for the first time as online marketplaces for agricultural products, Trade Minister Agus Suparmanto said on Monday at Indonesia E-Commerce Forum 2019 to launch this year’s Harbolnas.

“On the 11th [of December], all merchants will only promote local products. The whole day. It is expected to boost local products, not only in the domestic market but also in the global market,” Trade Ministry Domestic Trade Director General Suhanto said at the same event.

Last year, Harbolnas recorded Rp 3.1 trillion in sales of local products, amounting to nearly 50 percent of the total transaction volume of Rp 6.8 trillion. This year’s target of Rp 8 trillion in total transactions marks a 14-percent increase from last year's total, according to Suhanto.

Indonesian E-commerce Association (idEA) chairman Ignatius Untung told reporters that the shopping festival gave more prominence to agricultural start-ups than other participants providing marketplaces for products like electronics and fashion.

Harbolnas, the two-day 12.12 shopping festival offering discounts of up to 90 percent, has been known since 2012 for its special deals on electronics.

The involvement of agricultural start-ups providing a marketplace for food and vegetable products seeks to encourage people to shift from offline stores to online marketplaces for grocery shopping, according to Untung.

"We would like to see people buy a fish at an online marketplace," he said.

Indonesia is expected to continue to see burgeoning e-commerce transactions, having grown from US$1.7 billion gross merchandise value in 2015 to $21 billion today, and the market is expected to reach $82 billion in 2025, according to the e-Conomy SEA 2019 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.

Marketplace start-ups connecting local farmers and fishermen to buyers have been booming, with the likes of Sayurbox, TaniHub and Brambang.com leading the way.

Sayurbox offers a so-called farm-to-table concept, which delivers the products to the consumer's doorstep straight from their partners of 14 local farmer communities, selling fruits, vegetables and food products, according to its website.

Meanwhile, TaniHub seeks to empower local farmers and connect them with both individual consumers and small and medium enterprises. Brambang.com also provides an online marketplace for vegetable and other food products, delivering them across Greater Jakarta.

However, not all agricultural start-ups take part in the upcoming Harbolas because of their incapacity to make large-scale deliveries during the shopping festival, said Untung.

"A lot of start-ups have yet to be ready for 30 deliveries a day necessary for participation in Harbolnas, as they usually make only three to four deliveries a day," he added.

Agricultural start-ups taking part in Harbolnas face challenges not only from the large delivery capacity as a requirement but also from the lack of knowledge among consumers about the existence of online marketplaces for food products.

Untung said consumers mainly knew online marketplace to buy electronics, fashion and beauty products.

"Agricultural start-ups need to introduce to the consumers that people can buy fish straight from the fisherman or buy rice directly from the farmer via online marketplaces," he added.

TaniHub Group vice president of marketing Aria Nurfikry said Harbolnas was expected to increase the start-up’s transactions by as much as 40 to 50 percent as it provided special offers during the festival.

"We want to show that people can buy agricultural products online. We want to show that Harbolnas is not only about electronics or fashion," Nurfikry told The Jakarta Post on Monday in an e-mail correspondence. TaniHub also participated in last year’s Harbolnas. (dfr)