Editorial: 8 Years of Helping Brands Sell Online and Grow Infinitely

July 28, 2021

This July 2021, a tech startup that was initiated by three purposeful people blew the candles for its 8th year of pursuing the mission to help brands sell online. Standing its ground in the face of adversity and adapted to the wheels of change, the mission is granted extended meanings today, reflected on the company’s innovations and actions throughout the years. The company has also witnessed that notion grow from a written pledge we put on paper into a driving force behind its team members’ myriad achievements. Nonetheless, that is not the only evidence of growth SIRCLO has witnessed and realised how far it has come, yet how wide open the windows of opportunities in the future are. 

As we approached our 8th year mark, we took the time to look at the number 8, attempting to connect the dots between the infinity symbolism it typically represents and our growth within Indonesia’s e-commerce industry. Our journey has taken us down a road of assisting hundreds of thousands of brands in entering the e-commerce market. As an enabler, we work behind the curtains to serve brands while at the same time, we get front row seats to watch their growth come into view.

Reflecting on that, the growth SIRCLO as a company has undergone is everything about the growth that is experienced by the brands we serve. Keeping brands front and center in heart of everything the company does, we celebrate the growth we’ve reached in this 8th year and the growth ahead with a theme which unifies it all; ‘Grow Infinitely’. 

Transcending Physical Boundaries

While SIRCLO has been focusing on what the company can contribute to the playing field, the grass just gets greener in the playing field itself. It is evident the e-commerce industry serves a critical purpose for what the nation needs today, demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Cited from SIRCLO’s 2020 e-commerce report with Ravenry, the e-commerce industry is highly driven by the middle-affluent class (MAC), specifically those located in the metro areas (i.e. Greater Jakarta Area).

Despite that, non-metro areas contribute to 46% of activities, according to Google and Temasek’s 2019 report. It’s very likely that the pandemic has accelerated the growth, especially with the efforts of homegrown e-commerce players in accessing rural areas. By the second half of July 2021, SIRCLO’s internal data indicate that the number of orders coming in from areas beyond the Java region has exceeded the total in 2020. 

As a fellow homegrown player in the industry, serving the Indonesian market more equally is a responsibility we seek to fulfill over time. Our solutions are geared towards letting brands penetrate the pillars of Indonesia’s e-commerce; brand.com, marketplaces, and social commerce (including chat commerce) as they work their way towards implementing an omnichannel business presence. With over 100,000 brands entrusting our solutions in their e-commerce journey, we support their endeavours to draw closer to customers and even attract markets beyond the local region.

In order to bring long-term impact and not make our growth short-lived, tackling the hurdles within Indonesia’s e-commerce industry is also of importance; one of it being fragmentation. In terms of channels, we see the need for a centralised access to the fragmented selling channels so brands can manage the back-end aspects more efficiently. Hence, SIRCLO Store now offers just that as it continues to face advancements with time.

Indonesia as an archipelago is fragmented to many islands, so the need for improved access between both consumers and merchants wherever they are becomes vital as well. Working with strategic warehouse management, logistics and tech partners, our fulfillment services are on its way to cover more touch points across the country to deliver accuracy and timeliness in every e-commerce experience—especially now that consumers continue to demand higher speed and quality. In more concrete steps, the omnichannel strategy we offer through ICUBE by SIRCLO allows brands to optimise their disseminated inventory touch points to discharge orders towards consumers within its close range, making delivery time much more efficient. 

Facing Changes, Fulfilling Necessities

Since the pandemic struck in March 2020, consumers went through multiple phases of behavior changes following the development of the situation. The initial reaction among consumers was to stock up as many health or sanitization products as possible and instantly too. Meanwhile, many offline outlets were forced to temporarily close to minimise human contact. Therefore, there was undeniably a massive pent up demand just waiting to be fulfilled and e-commerce appeared to be the most effective band-aid solution at the time. In the phases that followed after, e-commerce became even more than just a quick solution, it started to become a necessity.

Playing our part as an e-commerce enabler, we worked with our clients across varying sector and marketplace partners to distribute those in-demand products effectively, such as hundreds of thousands of sanitizers to name one. As consumers become even more acquainted with transacting online, brands also gradually arrived at a realisation that they need to start selling online, if they hadn’t already, and leverage any efficient channel that can support their business survival. This realisation hit businesses across the SME scale up to the enterprise level.

That is when we started to dive deeper into our mission through the question we ask ourselves, “What does it mean to help brands sell online, in the gravity of the current situation?”

The answer we formulate for that question is derived from our initiatives aimed at giving brands a better understanding of the e-commerce industry, cross-event collaborations to extend mentorship to aspiring entrepreneurs, and stronger collaboration within our ecosystem partners to allow SMEs to sell online for free. The financial challenges that SMEs are facing amidst the pandemic are not something to turn a blind eye to since SMEs are the backbone of our nation’s economy after all (Read more here).

It has always been within SIRCLO’s brand essence to inspire entrepreneurs into realising their unique business ideas with the right tools. This was the origin story of SIRCLO after all; our founders were driven for the sole purpose of helping entrepreneurs create their own brand.com webstore and enter the e-commerce market easily. Entering our 9th year, we are now holding the responsibility of supporting entrepreneurs in kick starting their online business and also assisting enterprise brands for a complete digital transformation.

Unlocking the Potentials Ahead

As a step forward in that, we perceive that consumers also have the potential to be entrepreneurs, a role that when executed with the right skillset, is able to elevate their individual financial power and eventually revive the nation’s economy. Taking from the social commerce model nurtured by Orami over the years, it’s evident that consumers can be empowered to be skilled entrepreneurs. Starting with Orami’s program called IbuSibuk to be rolled out in our 9th year, we will be empowering mothers, as super consumers, to become entrepreneurs as well as micro-influencers through professional training with experts.

For enterprise brands, we aim to support them in establishing a more integrated ecosystem within their business operations with the omnichannel strategy. As projecting the end of this COVID-19 pandemic would require more actualised progress, enterprise brands need a long-term solution that will not cannibalise their offline operations. Harmonising their online and offline operations can instead help them survive amid the pandemic and beyond, by making the most of their existing resources and providing a seamless customer journey. 

What we cherish from our business dynamic is that everything comes in full circle. By offering e-commerce solutions that are helpful to brands, we in turn have been greatly inspired by our clients’ accomplishments in their online selling journey. These success stories are amongst our greatest sources of inspiration that we will continue to recount to aspiring entrepreneurs and retail businesses.

To every contributive player in this evolving industry, let us continue to build stronger synergy and flourish.

Let’s Grow Infinitely!