As the ecommerce trend continues in Southeast Asia, a wave of the new generation of moms is joining the party. These moms are relying more and more on online to help them embrace their role as a parent.
Millennial moms expressed their dependency on online for their shopping journey, especially for the Mom & Baby category, during an ecommerceIQ panel session in Jakarta earlier this month.
ecommerceIQ surveyed 1,144 Indonesian moms with results showing that 66% have attempted to purchase Mom & Baby products online. Shopee was voted as the most popular e-marketplace for this category, followed by Lazada and Tokopedia.
Indonesian actress and Miss Universe 2007 finalist Agni Pratishta was one of the panelists at the event. She agreed with the findings and also mentioned that most women visit numerous websites to find the best deals.
“I have a group chat with other moms where we exchange information regarding which e-marketplace is having a sale right now,” admitted Agni.
Agni was joined in the panel session with the Head of Marketing Baby Care from Softex Indonesia, Wenny Damayanti, and aCommerce Group CMO Sheji Ho to shed light on the current landscape comprising Mom & Baby online shoppers in Indonesia.
What else did we discover from the event?
Indonesian moms shop cautiously online
When Indonesian moms were asked about their favorite online shopping platforms, brand websites did not feature much in their answers, with only Mothercare Indonesia appearing on the radar at a score of 4%.
Digging deeper, the result is most likely related to the type of products they are more likely to buy online in this category. Following general ecommerce trends in the country, Baby Clothing (49%) ranked as the most popular product purchased online in this category, followed by Baby Gear (23%) and Toys (18%).
Meanwhile, perishable goods like Baby Personal Care and Baby Food are less popular and the cause of it is rooted in the main reasons why Indonesian moms don’t shop for this category online.
More conviction is necessary for consumers to purchase perishable goods online; moms require full assurance of product quality, and one way to avoid buying counterfeit products in the e-marketplace is to purchase only from brands’ official online flagship stores.
The top three consumer-favorite platforms all benefit from their official brand-dedicated portal inside their platform.
The importance of word-of-mouth in the digital world
Brands should always take cues from its consumers to adjust and hone their retail strategy. These include instilling customer confidence to overcome the reservations mentioned above. Wenny revealed that internet habits of millennial mothers provided the driving force for Sweety’s shift to digital.
“These moms are constantly searching for information online. TV commercials alone are no longer sufficient. Modern day moms use the internet to talk to their friends, surf for product information and read customer reviews before deciding which products to buy. Sweety took these cues onboard and redefined its online strategy,” explained Wenny.
Product reviews are a key aspect for Indonesian moms to overcome the wariness of doing their shopping online, as seconded by Agni
“Reviews are the make or break point for me when I shop online. When I see a product in e-marketplace with no review, even if the price is right, I wouldn’t risk buying it most of the time.”
Unfortunately, leaving a product review is not a habit mastered by Southeast Asian consumers yet, especially compared to consumers in developed ecommerce market like the US. And most of the time, Southeast Asians are prone to leave only bad reviews as a way to express their dissatisfaction and to caution other consumers.
Brands must concentrate on encouraging satisfied consumers to be more proactive and do the same. Some brands have utilized user-generated content platforms like ReviewIQ to help with the problem. Nivea, for example, achieved an increase in the number of positive reviews with the help of ReviewIQ from real consumers for its flagship store on Lazada Thailand.
“At this stage, brands still need to incentivize satisfied consumers to help generate good, organic reviews,” says Sheji.
How should Mom & Baby brands go about online?
Sheji stresses the importance of brands understanding the nature of their products and their primary objective to determine the optimal online strategy.
“If your products fall into the luxury category, you might as well sell it on your brand website to retain the full control of your channel. However, this strategy requires you to invest extensively in bringing in traffic,” advised Sheji.
But having a website also means owning a proprietary media channel that can be used for marketing and educational purposes. Brands like Sweety and Frisian Flag, for example, use their sites to connect offline promotion with the online audience as well as equip consumers with detailed product information.
For most brands, however, if the objective is to diversify sales channels, then opening an official flagship store on an e-marketplace like Shopee or Lazada is sufficient and also easier to maintain, while providing access to a broader online consumer base.
Drawing on her extensive experience in promoting Sweety to e-marketplaces, Wenny opined that prioritizing e-marketplace sales avenues is paramount for success. Especially in Indonesia where consumers are presented with many options, and competition between e-marketplaces is high, brands often feel the needs to have ubiquitous footprints.
Wenny summed up, “Choosing the right e-marketplace is an important step in the online expansion. Selection must consider the available audience, while also ensuring that the e-marketplace’s infrastructure is compatible with the business.”