Resolving The Problem Of Cross-Border Commerce With Ha Phuong Anh, CRO Of OpenCommerce (S2E2) | Vietcetera
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Resolving The Problem Of Cross-Border Commerce With Ha Phuong Anh, CRO Of OpenCommerce (S2E2)

Between human resources and entering the market, what are the key issues of cross-border trading enterprises?

Resolving The Problem Of Cross-Border Commerce With Ha Phuong Anh, CRO Of OpenCommerce (S2E2)

Source: Ha Phuong Anh

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Every e-commerce business has a technology ecosystem, including many platforms for different functions in the online buying and selling process. Therefore, managing effectiveness and benefits from these platforms are key for the business to thrive. At OpenCommerce, Ha Phuong Anh is responsible for leading the exact kind of advancements.

Phuong Anh is the CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) and Co-Founder of OpenCommerce Group — connecting and creating a launching pad for e-commerce businesses as well as domestic and foreign brands. OpenCommerce has built a technology ecosystem that integrates the entire online shopping journey, especially cross-border shopping.

Starting her career as a marketing staff, Phuong Anh realized the nine-to-five job is not for her and so she decided to go to Europe as an exchange student and a traveler. In 2013, she returned to Vietnam and joined OpenCommerce, which was a drag-and-drop online shopping website then, and started from scratch.

Since then, the group has expanded their operations and right now, they’re running the ShopBase platform, where customers and businesses can choose among many shipping methods within the OpenCommerce ecosystem. This method is the key to unlocking the potential of cross-border trade.

Looking for a market with outstanding logistics capacity

The technology ecosystem of OpenCommerce serves two purposes — first is to provide platforms and tools for the shopping experience of customers and partners, from websites for brands, payment gateways, to customer service channels. And second is to share strategies and courses to help businesses achieve desired growth on e-commerce platforms.

Despite owning a borderless market, OpenCommerce still constantly faces challenges in the supply chain. The source of supply and transportation are two issues of cross-border trading enterprises and to overcome this weakness, OpenCommerce has penetrated the market with the strongest logistics capacity in the world — China.

As shared by Phuong Anh, the domestic market in China is saturated as the number of users shopping online shows signs of slowing down. Therefore, cooperating with the Chinese in cross-border trade is a win-win situation for both sides. In addition to that, China’s shipping capacity is a factor for OpenCommerce to maintain business operations.

Motivating factors for the growth of global trade

Four months after the launch, Beeketing — OpenCommerce’s first e-commerce platform — has attracted 900,000 partners. However, no business has agreed to pay fees for this platform. To Phuong Anh, the problem here is that the market needs a complete ecosystem for a borderless and online shopping experience. That is also the goal that ShopBase is aiming at.

Since “people are the most important factor startups need to invest in,” recruitment at OpenCommerce has also gone through many developments. Phuong Anh shared that she used to implement the recruitment process based on the available traditional questions, without outlining the necessary criteria, including compatibility with the company culture.

Hiring the wrong person “is like putting a drop of colored water into a glass of fresh water.” For a startup like OpenCommerce, transparency and enthusiasm are two important components in building a strong and resilient team.

In terms of failure and experience, the most recent failure Phuong Anh learned was when entering the US market. Even though the product was not suitable, her team has carried out the same marketing campaign as applied before, in other markets.

But it is thanks to that mistake, as well as many experiences gained throughout the journey of building OpenCommerce, Phuong Anh always has a way to “turn defeat into victory.” And the lesson she draws from her own mistake is the foundation for building the next projects of OpenCommerce Group.

The program “Initiative for Startup Ecosystem in Vietnam until 2025” (also known as National Program 844) was approved by the Prime Minister on May 18, 2016 and assigned to the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam in charge of implementation. The program aims to create a favorable environment to promote and support the formation and development of fast-growing businesses based on exploitation of intellectual property, technology, and new business models.

Adapted by Thao Van