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IR ASEAN: Formulating the Footprint

In compiling the InternetRetailing ASEAN (IR ASEAN) Top500, we have set out to create a definitive list of the most significant ecommerce and multichannel retailers operating in Southeast Asia. In doing this, we’ve taken an algorithmic approach to blending and ranking the four components of a retailer’s Footprint: its amount of web traffic, retail revenue, ecommerce revenue, and the company’s total number of physical locations.

Market complexity

Millions of Southeast Asian consumers buy from thousands of companies that range from niche and locality retailers to giants of global ecommerce. Companies operating in the region face the challenges of retail across borders, languages, and cultures. That’s why this Performance Index, which identifies and compares how the bloc’s largest retailers respond to the same difficulties and opportunities, is so relevant. We started by identifying the biggest, most significant retailers. We also asked ourselves two more questions: how can we measure Footprint in the most meaningful way? Plus, which metrics are most effective in measuring the achievements of thousands of candidate companies? It’s an approach InternetRetailing and have taken to analysing the UK, the European Single Market, and Australia, and all metrics we measure in ASEAN will be directly comparable to markets abroad.

What is ‘big’?

The IR ASEAN Footprint Index measures ‘size’ across online and offline channels, as well as taking into account turnover from retail sales. Not every company that sells online is a retailer and we focussed on those companies that meet our definition of a retailer. First, with the assistance of KnowledgePartner SimilarWeb [IRDX VSWB], we tracked ecommerce web traffic from Southeast Asian countries, recording destination and interaction over a one-year period. This is initial data is already interesting but we’ll broaden it and make it more accurate by blending in other web traffic metrics, counting the number of stores retailers operate within the ten member states and recording revenue. We’ll source figures from corporate websites, media outlets and published results. Finally, we’ll use an algorithm to weight and summarise the results.

Our approach is not to assume that ‘big is best’ but size remains significant. In later reports, we’ll answer the question of which retailers are best but for now, we’re identifying which companies are ASEAN’s biggest players.

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