E-commerce in Southeast Asia and in Vietnam has shown tremendous growth in the past couple of years, especially at the height of the pandemic. As a result, brands are stepping up in their strategies online, striving to attract the millions of people who are scrolling on their phones every second.
In this episode of Vietnam Innovators, Hao Tran met with Emmanuelle Gounot, CEO of Intrepid Vietnam, a company providing business support services in e-commerce.
Originally from France, Emmanuelle graduated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard University. Prior to joining Intrepid Group Asia, she has held senior roles in big global tech corporations such as Uber, Lazada and Amazon.
Helping brands with everything digital
Founded in 2017, Intrepid Group is dedicated to becoming the region’s leading e-commerce services platform. And their objective is clear — to pave the way for brands and sellers to redefine their e-commerce strategy throughout Southeast Asia.
To Emmanuelle, “Intrepid is your one-stop-shop and partner” that helps brands with everything digital.
Powered by technology and digital tools, they focus on three main areas: omnichannel store management, fully integrated digital marketing agency, and data and insight (which provides reporting tools for brands). Intrepid’s clients are global brands from all categories including electronics, FMCG, health and beauty, and fashion — all wanting to empower and improve their digital presence.
When Hao asked how exactly do brands use Intrepid in their day-to-day operations, Emmanuelle shared a few success stories of brands with different kinds of maturity.
For instance, early in August, they launched a new partnership with a new brand that’s already a leader in their category offline, but they’re totally new to e-commerce.
“So what they do is they work with b2b distributors offline, they have resellers that sell their products on the platforms but they’ve never gone direct to consumers.”
That’s when they come in, they start by talking about which platforms the client wants to prioritize, as well as their timeline. “Then went to what their shopping shop would look like, throwing ideas for the look and feel, brand identity, banners and all the creative needs that would suit their category well.”
They then proceed to create the assortment, putting emphasis on content, making sure it’s highly searchable for SEO optimization and ensuring all platform tools are maximized. After all that, according to Emmanuelle, “it’s really about creating a differentiated strategy on their two chosen platforms and seeing how we align with their offline merchandising calendar and just working on that drumbeat of campaigns.”
When it comes to daily responsibilities, it involves strategizing and executing promotional mechanics, managing stocks, maintaining the design of the store and taking care of everything related to customer service.
On the flip side, Emmanuelle and her team also work with big and established companies like Panasonic. She shared that companies like Panasonic have their own e-commerce team in-house so they mainly generate all the strategies and plans within their own team. As for Intrepid, they not only “support the strategy and execution but also the structure and the rigor to take things further.”
“For instance, they have joined business plans with the platform and we support them to achieve those plans and to see how they could bring a new assortment that’s been quite successful offline to their online stores.”
Intrepid is basically a partner for digital transformation for these brands. And as their CEO added, “we have been delivering a very close marriage between the commercial strategy and the marketing strategy… from anything related to on-platform, off-platform, additional branding, and community opportunities.”