Technology backs Challenger online foray

Electronics retailer Challenger has teamed up with IT management company Datapipe in a bid to grab a slice of the US$4.13 billion Singapore eCommerce market.

Revenues from eCommerce in Singapore are pegged to grow to $6.42 billion by 2020, up from $4.13 billion this year, according to research firm Statista.

Datapipe will integrate the Challenger online and instore shopping experiences. The retail giant, with nearly 50 stores across Singapore, is looking to online retail to complement its onground outlets.

“Consumer shopping patterns are fast-changing, and retail itself has evolved,” says Challenger CEO Loo Leong Thye. “Customer experiences and interaction with our brand is not just in the store, but also on their smartphone or personal computer. Our goal is to be with them every step of that journey.”

With Datapipe’s expertise, Challenger has shifted its IT structure, including point of sales, enterprise resource planning and online marketplaces, on to the cloud, using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) environment. This has helped Challenger cut its lead time for IT infrastructure when building new stores to a matter of days rather than six to eight weeks.

Datapipe CEO Robb Allen says the US company has a history of deploying and managing AWS environments for global customers, and has lately added a growing number of Asian customers into this portfolio.

Datapipe has offices in Hong Kong and Singapore, and has five data centres in Asia – two in Hong Kong, two in Shanghai and one in Singapore.

As well as its store, Challenger Technologies owns Challenge Ventures to support investments in digital platforms. Incorporated in 1984, the company has more than half a million ValueClub members.

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