Chris Telley of Kapten & Son talks opportunities in Southeast Asia
In this podcast, Internet Retailing editor Heather McIlvaine speaks with Chris Telley, managing director of Kapten & Son in Australia and Asia.
Kapten & Son is a Germany-based watch company, with offices in Australia and the US. The online retailer also operates a distribution centre in Singapore, which serves as a launching pad into Asia.
Telley explains why Kapten & Son sees Southeast Asia as a huge opportunity, despite the cross-border difficulties of operating in emerging markets.
“The demand in Asia has been really surprising from our end in a really good way. We actually set up an office in Singapore a couple months ago, so we’ve now got a presence there, which is great,” he said.
“An emerging market doesn’t have much comp[etition] and has loads of potential. Indonesia is a country – yeah it’s got a lot of barriers to enter the market – but if we can be there now, and when that middle class actually starts to become a lot bigger and they have disposable income to pay for things they want, you want to be there then and there.”
He also talks about moving from a direct-to-consumers model to a wholesale model, and why this makes sense for online retailers.
“The whole market, especially in the watch market, is becoming so flooded. Your cost-per-conversions are going up, the cost-per-click…everything is going up because every person and their dog are trying to make a watch company. But we’re focused a lot more on wholesale – both online an offline with the The Iconic and Zalora in Asia,” he said.
“We’re looking at getting major retail players on board this year to help grow the brand. Online will still do what we want it to do, but for us, wholesale is a bigger market because the other competitors aren’t playing in that market as such.”
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