I stumbled upon this fascinating article by The New York Times reporting on 7-Eleven’s explosive growth in Jakarta, Indonesia. 7-Eleven has a total of 69 stores in Indonesia so far. And while I haven’t seen too many 7-Eleven outlets myself here, the article does give a lot of kudos to the quickest growing convenience store in town. I do see more of the Indomaret and Alfamart chains however, both of which are local competitors to 7-Eleven.
7-Eleven has everything the young Indonesian population wants: free-to-use internet, cheap food, and 24-hour non-stop operation which allows youngsters to hang out late. Some stores even have local live bands playing at night, making it more hip and connected with the younger generation. Henri Honoris, the president director of Modern Putra, 7-Eleven’s Indonesian franchisee, remarked in the article that his chain of convenience stores has given Indonesians “an alternative — A warung with better quality.” Warung means small traditional stores in Bahasa Indonesia.
Some readers might recall my article about Taiwan’s 7-Eleven where the convenience stores have become one of the more popular spots for making payments for any online purchases. For a better idea of how that works, I encourage you to check out that post.
As much as I’m fascinated by how e-payment, or rather, COD works in Taiwan, it made me wonder if a similar COD system could work in Indonesia. Perhaps it could. Reading this article by NYT does give me some hope. Indonesia’s chain of 7-Eleven stores could repeat such a ‘Taiwan-style’ payment system, one that allows customers to collect and pay for things they buy online through a nearby convenience store.
That would help e-commerce players a fair bit in Indonesia, taking over the logistic and payment role within the tiresome e-commerce chain. While bringing more foot traffic to 7-Eleven would help boost sales too. I’m also not ruling out the possibility for Indomaret or Alfamart to pull off this concept too (I wonder do they read our blog?) as they are currently the national leaders in the convenience store race.