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Seeing as the sun is always shining in Southeast Asia, sunglasses are a popular item that never go out of style, especially in the Philippines. The market is lauded as the fastest growing market in the region for luxury sunglasses brand Oakley as said by Andrew McMahon, former retail manager for Oakley Southeast Asia.

To feed consumer demand, the brand utilizes online channels, in particular, an official store on Lazada to sell to the growing middle class, who is also increasingly tech-savvy. Analytics platform BrandIQ takes a look at the sentiments surrounding Oakley’s products.

Oakley Lazada Philippines

Oakley official store on Lazada Philippines.

Launched almost a year ago, Oakley shop-in-shop (SiS) on Lazada Philippines leaves a good impression for the Filipino customers as witnessed by a 83% positive seller rating provided by customers.

Oakley got a good review rated by the customers on Lazada Philippines

Taking a look at all Oakley sunglasses/products across Lazada Philippines, BrandIQ found that they generate 70% of positive sentiments from the Filipino customers on Lazada Philippines, with ‘authentic’ and ‘fast delivery’ being the keywords that most often appeared in product reviews.

Simultaneously, ‘fake’ is the most common keyword that appeared most often in reviews with negative sentiments as grey sellers are abundant on the marketplace.

Oakley Lazada Philippines

The sentiments show that for customers shopping for higher-end brands, authenticity is more important than a low price — giving brands an advantage competing with grey sellers when they open online.

Discount season generated more reviews

During the build-up to the 11.11 last month, the average discount for Oakley sunglasses on Lazada Philippines increased by 35% on November 9, compared to the week before, and stayed the same until the end of the campaign.

Oakley Lazada Philippines

Sellers for Oakley (Philippines) starts the Online Revolution discounts on November 9. Source: BrandIQ

Although the discounts during this period only increased slightly by approximately 7%, the hype and ergo, traffic, to the website resulted in double the product reviews for Oakley sunglasses post campaign.

For brands attempting to boost ranks in search results on a marketplace, offering special incentives such as high discounts will encourage customers to leave product reviews and increase relevancy of the product.

Oakley Lazada Philippines

HOW IS YOUR BRAND PERFORMING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA’S TOP MARKETPLACES?

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Google is slapped with $2.7 billion antitrust fine by EU 

The European Commission – the European Union’s top administrative body and antitrust regulator – has fined Google US$2.73 billion for anti-competitive business practices.

The Commission found that the US company’s web search function gave undue prominence to its own price comparison service in search results.

The Commission has demanded that Google end this conduct within 90 days, or face additional penalty payments of up to 5 percent of the average daily global turnover of its parent company Alphabet.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Indonesian ecommerce site Alfacart drops third-party sellers

Alfacart, the ecommerce endeavor of major Indonesian mini market and convenience store chain Alfamart, is changing its business model. As a result, Alfacart’s entire C-level management will resign.

What’s certain is that Alfacart will no longer operate as a marketplace after the change. It will only sell products already available in Alfamart’s own product assortment. That’s mainly groceries and everyday household items.

Mini markets work well in Indonesia. Growth of such retail locations is outpacing that of larger stores, according to rating agency Fitch.

Indonesia Stock Exchange-listed Alfamart operates more than 12,000 stores (link in Indonesian) across Indonesia and the Philippines.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. Online accounted for over 17% of China’s total retail sales Jan-May 2017

China’s total retail sales of consumer goods reached 2,945.9 $430.8 billion in May, up by 10.7% YoY. Online retail accounted for over 17% of total retail sales from January to May.

The retail sales of consumer goods in China’s urban areas was 2,536.0 billion yuan in May 2017, up by 10.4% YoY while that in rural areas was 409.9 billion yuan, up by 12.7% YoY.

 Of the online retail sales of physical goods, food, clothing and other commodities went up by 21.5%, 20.6%, and 29.2% respectively.

This puts China’s ecommerce market and potential at a much more developed landscape than other Asian countries, namely Southeast Asia’s developing markets. Brands in China have potential to capture a nationwide audience of both urban and rural shoppers who are discovering brands on WeChat and Tmall, whilst also being very receptive to online payment platforms.It seems that ecommerce in China can only get bigger in size and value.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

Here’s what you should know today.

1. Grab wants to offer more consumer services

Grab wants to be the number one provider of online-to-offline (O2O) services, said founder Anthony Tan. O2O is a term to describe services that bridge the digital and offline worlds. Grab has been trialing food and parcel delivery in some of its markets. But so far, it hasn’t diversified as much as Go-Jek when it comes to types of services it offers.

“There are many O2O consumer services waiting to be disrupted,” Tan said but didn’t specify if Grab plans to launch any that are similar to Go-Jek’s.

However, he emphasized the importance of first- and last-mile services, which include deliveries and transportation, and mentioned the potential of retail, hospitality, and lifestyle sectors. Tan said that Grab wants to “win payments in Southeast Asia.” He pointed to the example of PayPal and how it leveraged eBay’s massive reach to cement its position as a payment platform, saying that Grab’s installed base can be the groundwork for its payments services.

While payments and commerce is an important new frontier for Grab, its transportation features are still evolving.

In Jakarta, Grab plans to test GrabNow, a feature which lets riders book a GrabBike rider they just flagged down, without having to wait for the app to run through its match-making algorithm.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. LINE starts to attract luxury brands in Japan

There are signs that the luxury industry is taking more interest in the platform in 2017, as several major fashion labels have flocked to the app this year. LVMH brands Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Dior launched official LINE accounts at the beginning of the year, and were joined by Prada in February.

As these new brands launch on the platform, they’re forcing early adopters including Coach, Michael Kors, and Burberry to step up their game to keep up with luxury marketing innovations. In the months since its January launch, Louis Vuitton has surged ahead of competitors, generating 237% more interactions per post in April than the Index Luxury brand average, despite a lower follower base.

Fendi is also investing in LINE with a strategy that understands the role of LINE as a closed one-to-one communication tool, where users expect brands to behave more like their friends and less like advertisers.

The brand used chatbots to reveal exclusive celebrity content when users message a designated keyword, and utilized gamification for a virtual slot machine that offered the chance to win an original Fendi USB flash memory stick. The collaborations with luxury brands may be a good move for Line,

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. Amazon’s pivot to lower tier consumers

On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it will slash the price of membership to its Prime program by almost 50 percent for low-income shoppers on federal welfare.

It’s a direct challenge to Walmart, the reigning king of American retail, which relies heavily on low-income shoppers and receives nearly one of every five dollars of its revenue through SNAP, or food stamps, each year.

Prime, which includes fast premium shipping and access to movies, games, and exclusive Amazon television shows, typically costs $99 upfront or $10.99 a month. Households that can show they’re receiving public assistance, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), will be able to subscribe to Amazon Prime for just $5.99 a month.

With today’s announcement, Amazon is trying to become Walmart faster than Walmart can become Amazon.

Read the rest of the story here.

Flip through this month’s issue of American Vogue – chances are you won’t find any actual editorial content until halfway through. But that’s not surprising anymore as fashion ad dollars is the mainstay of most magazines.

Despite painting an attractive photo op, most of these beloved brands – majorly owned by LVMH and Kering – are struggling.

The world’s most powerful luxury brands are owned by six companies.

Under the pressure to digitize, luxury brands are choosing to sell online while others fear the risk of having their products appear too mass. However, it’s impossible to deny that the onset of digital platforms has changed how luxury brands market to consumers across the world.

Earlier this year, Deloitte surveyed over 1,300 luxury consumers across 11 countries to find out how consumers digest luxury goods.

 Key highlights from the report:

The consulting company found growth in the sector is driven by consumers in ‘emerging’ markets such as China and UAE, whose spending has increased by 70% in 12 months compared to 53% in ‘mature’ markets such as the US and EU.

The majority of shoppers ranging from baby boomers to even millennials are still buying their luxury handbags and shoes from a physical store.

When asked how they see the luxury sector developing in their respective countries, 48% said that ecommerce and mobile commerce will become more widespread, while over 37% said that luxury products and technology will become more closely linked.

But a significant roadblock for luxury brands going digital is to preserve the same quality and heritage online as offline. Some brands are already tackling this challenge like Louis Vuitton  brand.com for example.

Louis Vuitton home page of official webstore

The brand has created a strong narrative through web design and content on its ecommerce site to highlight its long history, and quality craftsmanship.

LVMH, the multinational luxury goods conglomerate, recently launched its very own online luxury marketplace called 24Sevres.com to feature 150 labels that include rival brands Gucci and Prada. The website also serves as a hub for videos and innovative visual merchandising in addition to the typical editorial content.

This way, the e-marketplace doesn’t become another platform to buy from, but also drive traffic from those looking for inspiration and discovery.

The emergence of omni-channel distribution

 Deloitte finds that multi-brand e-stores for luxury goods account for 78% of online purchases but mono-brand stores dominate in the physical retail environment.

How can brands ensure a ‘luxurious’ omni-channel experience – the same quality of customer service excellence, store ambience, packaging, and personalization through a website? How do brands exchange the in-store champagne for a digital equivalent?

There are actually a number of ways:

  1. Quick and attentive customer service through chat functions on the site and/or an option to receive a call from an experienced salesperson
  2. Standardized packaging in the warehouse for delivery or offer pick up in-store
  3. Allow registration as a premium user to personalize all emails, send birthday gifts, etc.

As the report states, digital channels are creating a demand for large scale quality personalized content – 45% of consumers surveyed are asking for more personalized products and services.

This has led to some luxury brands opening up dialogue with consumers and having them involved in the marketing process.

Luxury brand Burberry became the first brand partnered with Pinterest to let users create customized make-up boards to promote its new ‘Cat Lashes Mascara’ product. The campaign gave more ownership of the product to the customer – making them feel important.

Product packaging is also an extremely important part of the ecommerce experience that brands often overlook. The box that lands on the doorstep of a shopper, especially one that has spent over $5,000 on a purse, should emulate the same in-store packaging.

A curated box from The Trunk Club, Nordstrom personal stylist website

A significant portion of respondents are also seeking extra perks.

44% are asking for rewards for loyalty in the form of small gifts.

However, loyalty rewards for luxury consumers is different from say, loyalty rewards given at Starbucks or Wal-Mart. Brands cannot give coupons or offer a buy-one-get-one-free deal.

But expedited checkouts, personal concierge services, free beauty consultations, and other micro-services can create a more lasting impression than 10% off the next visit. Department stores  in the US such as Neiman Marcus offer loyal shoppers with invitations to events, fashion shows from their hotel partners.

These services are typically less costly to the retailer in the long run and at the end of the day, all shoppers, want to feel valued.

Luxury’s future

Back in 2013, Céline’s creative director Phoebe Philo was quoted saying, “The chicest thing is when you don’t exist on Google.”

Fast forward to 2017, and the company has its own online catalogue.

Not only do customers want to be able to find your brand on Google, they want to click buy and have it arrive at their front doorstep (39% of Deloitte’s respondents ask for home delivery).

McKinsey’s assessment of ecommerce in luxury retail also argues that once online sales hit around 20% of overall revenues, there will be a plateau. Ecommerce won’t overtake offline because in-store retail remains an essential component of the luxury business but online will make up a big chunk that’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore. Luxury omni-channel ftw.

 

Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Amazon blows past earnings expectations

The company shattered earnings expectations, reporting $1.48 per share, when Wall Street was expecting $1.12. Net income stood at $724 million.

Shares quickly soared 5% in initial after-hours trading.

India is a big part of the success, it seems as CEO Jeff Bezos spoke about their optimism in India, a large market opportunity for growth.

“Our India team is moving fast and delivering for customers and sellers. The team has increased Prime selection by 75% since launching the program nine months ago, increased fulfillment capacity for sellers by 26% already this year and announced 18 Indian Original TV series.”

AWS, the cloud service platform, saw substantial growth, accounting for $3.7 billion for the quarter. This compares to $2.6 billion in the same period last year, or up 43%. Growth is slowing, however. The same category saw 64% growth the year before.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Why luxury remains far out of reach for Amazon and Walmart

Although many brands and retailers worry about the continued rise of Amazon and Walmart — which are currently the two largest ecommerce platforms in the U.S. — those within the luxury space believe their sector, at least, is safe.

“Nothing about the way they do business and nothing about the way their business is set up is appropriate for a luxury brand,” said Charlie Cole, vice president at Tumi.

“When you think about their completely egalitarian and no-barriers-to-entry model for their marketplaces — which is what’s served them so well as far, as expansion goes — it’s remarkably anathema to a luxury business.”

What do you think?

Read the rest of the story here.

 

3. As Facebook grows, brands say it’s gotten more complicated to work with

With 5 million advertisers, Facebook is as important to advertisers as ever. But as the platform’s grown, so have brands’ complaints about it — and demands for more control.

 A major marketer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Facebook is still very involved with it, sending reps to provide creative help. It the same time, the platform has become more confusing to work with as it has expanded, and often pushes its own agenda.

It’s a common theme across marketers of all sizes, and it echoes the concerns among publishers, who worry that Facebook has gotten too much control over the distribution of news. Marketers, too, seem to finally be waking up to the outsized control it wields in the ad industry.

Almost every company says it’s the most important platform out there. But they’re also demanding more control.

Read the rest of the story here.

Here’s what you need to know this morning.

1. Rakuten leads $1.25M funding round for ShopChat

US-based chat-commerce solutions ShopChat debuted today with a $1.25 million funding led by Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten.

ShopChat is a “mobile shopping keyboard” that allows users to shop in ecommerce platforms while engaging in conversations inside a messenger app. ShopChat allows users to share the products that they are about to purchase with the people they are having conversation with, and shop directly without having to open a mobile app.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

2. Malaysia’s ecommerce adoption rate among SMEs to grow to 50% by 2020

Ecommerce adoption among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is expected to grow to 50% by 2020 from 32% in 2016, driven by the sector’s increasing interest in online business.

The industry is poised to grow 11% per annum by 2020, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product

Read the rest of the story here

 

3. Recommended Reading: Mobile advertising in APAC still dependent on banners

Across APAC, the mobile advertising inventory is shared almost equally between mobile apps (51%) and the mobile web (49%).

In Indonesia, 91% of all ads were over mobile apps

Advertisers desperately need returns from their advertising investments in order for the ecosystem to sustain. That can only happen if advertisers shift to alternate channels of advertising.

Asia Pacific is expected to see an 8% annual growth in mobile internet users over the next several years.

Read the rest of the story here.

 

4. Recommended Reading: How beauty brands are leveraging from WeChat in China?

The evolving role of WeChat from a content-heavy platform to one that is more dynamic is not restricted to beauty brands, but also evident among luxury brands.

For example, digital research firm L2 cites how Chanel saw a successful launch of its new version of its signature N°5 scent last year by turning WeChat into a social commerce site.

In 2017, if beauty and luxury brands hope to continue to benefit from WeChat, it is time for them to recognize that the app is not a mass communication platform, but instead ideal for one-on-one communication, but ideal for commerce.

Read the rest of the story here.