Opportunities and challenges of e-commerce platform

By Guest Blogger Rumi Takama (Founder, Jalak Bali)

Originally from Japan I have spent half of my life overseas and have always been inspired by people, culture, traditions and food in different regions of the world and what nature has to offer to us. I currently live in Bali, Indonesia and have launched Jalak Bali, a line of accessories and home decor products. Jalak Bali 4The name, Jalak Bali, is the name of an indigenous bird restricted to Bali and is the island’s only endemic vertebrate species. For me the bird and the name represents freedom, strength and uniqueness and these qualities are reflected in the products and artisans who make them.

I recently started producing simple tote and clutch bags using genuine leather and ikat designed fabric – a traditional form of Indonesian handwoven fabric. In addition to these items,  Jalak Bali 1I also produce and purchase other locally made craft and accessories items here in Bali, Indonesia and currently sell them in Japan as the orders come through.

Though there are so many similar products in the market, each of our products are handmade and each has its own story, especially the ikat designed products. Through Jalak Bali, I would like to share these stories to appreciate and celebrate our differences, similarities, uniqueness and beauty.

As I reflected on the Artesan Gateways recent post, 7 E-commerce Trends to think about ,I recognized that there are many great advantages for us to use an e-commerce platform. Not only is it an advantage as we currently sell our products to a Japanese market, but an online platform is available for 7 days a week and 24 hours a day. I do not have to be there physically and work within retail hours.

Jalak Bali 2To differentiate our brand from the many other brands (at least the ones in Japan), storytelling plays an important role. Combining social media and storytelling on an e-commerce platform, we can give a sense of the behind the scenes and work in progress of the products. As we don’t have physical store in Japan, the challenge is providing detailed information and photos of the products online as the buyers cannot touch or feel the actual products before paying.

Also, the price competition is very high on an on-line platforms. Buyers can easily compare many similar products quickly by a simple search online. However, keeping my brand concept in mind – celebrating our differences, uniqueness and beauty – IJalak Bali 5 try using different social media and marketing tools to tell the stories. The Artesan Gateway has provided useful information and tips for start ups like me! We will be launching additional bags and product lines in the near future and look forward to sharing our news with you soon.

RumiRumi Takama is based in Bali, Indonesia and has recently launched an accessories and home decor line called Jalak Bali . For more information about Jalak Bali and their products visit: https://www.facebook.com/JALAK-BALI-673576466081784/

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