Posts

Since its launch in December last year, Facebook Live has presented everyone an opportunity to share a live moment in real time, and this feature has become an important addition to the world’s largest social network. As with other products, Facebook has been pushing people to use Facebook Live, either by inspiring to launch an out-of-home awareness campaign or more directly adding a live button on the app’s homepage. The social network also ranks live videos higher than other types of posts to encourage users to interact and ‘be in the moment’.

Facebook Live – Be in the moment

Despite all the effort, brands and publishers in Southeast Asia seem to take a wait-and-see approach as for now they don’t produce many live videos as can be seen on the Live video map. Lack of ideas and expertise in creating this new type of content which differs from traditional promotional videos are the main factors that have hampered adoption of Facebook Live in the region.

On the other hand, Southeast Asia’s Facebook merchants who use the social network to showcase and advertise their products are in the forefront. They’re taking advantage of live videos to engage with customers and sell products in new ways.

How to capture the shifting consumer attention?

As 50% of consumers feel increasingly overwhelmed by brand marketing messages on social media, consumer attention and engagement is scarce. According to Facebook, people spend three times more time watching a video when it is live compared to when it is not broadcasted in real time.

With this change in mind, brands should capitalize on campaigns in the format of a high quality live video. Here are three ways Facebook merchants in Thailand are capitalizing on Facebook Live:

1. Host an auction in real time

One prevalent example how the live video feature is being used is to host in real time an auction of new or second hand fashion products such as bags, dresses, or even items like electronics.

The way it works is similar to a typical auction, just when the auction is hosted on Facebook Live, the bids are submitted as comments. When the broadcast ends, the merchant and the winner arrange the details of the payment and delivery.

2.  Showcase products and answer questions in real time

A number of merchants also use Facebook Live to demonstrate their products. Customers in the comments section can ask questions about the price or details of the product for the seller to answer.

Similar to hosting a live auction, broadcast viewers who want to purchase products can send a Facebook message directly to the merchant to arrange payment and delivery.

3. Attract viewers with games, prizes, Q&A sessions

Hosting interactive games or quizzes and giving away prizes for sharing a Facebook Live video with friends is also a tactic used in Thailand to attract more viewers and followers.

The owner of cosmetics brand B’Secret Chonnipa Wisedsuranun is a live broadcaster who has successfully leveraged this strategy. One of her Facebook Live videos generated over a million views and almost as many comments.

She uses live video to engage with her customers and build a fanbase by asking viewers to share her live video during which her cosmetic brand is mentioned throughout. To incentivize customers to share the video she gives away prizes like iPhones, cash, gold, and more. This technique allows her to garner a huge amount of viewers and fans in a short period of time.

By doing so, she also creates awareness of her products without paying a dime to Facebook for advertising.

Chonnipa also often uses Q&A games where viewers who answer correctly in the comments section to a question she asks win a cash prize.

Facebook Live provides brands and retailers an alternative way to grow their followers, engage with a wider target audience, and drive sales without directly paying money to Facebook for ads. Businesses that still rely primarily on Facebook ads will eventually experience growing advertising costs due to the nature of auction-based advertising that makes bidding more expensive when there are more advertisers.

In contrary, businesses that can effectively leverage this interactive video format are likely to capture the  attention of consumers at a lower cost.

BY KORAVUT PAVITPOK, ACOMMERCE INTERNET MARKETING MANAGER

 

Have you tried to use Facebook Live for marketing?
Tell us how it went:
Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

For online shoppers, 11.11 has become a shopping phenomenon. The biggest online sales event of the year in China is co-opted by ecommerce giant Alibaba, where discounts from participating sellers range from 25% – 70% off, and a record $5 billion of products were sold in under 90 minutes last year.  

The company, which owns online marketplaces Tmall and Taobao sold $14.3 billion worth of goods during the sales period last year, targeting 386 million annual active buyers – a number greater than the US’s general population.

According to Fortune, the campaign is quite accurately labelled “Black Friday on steroids”.

The combined earnings of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, North America’s famous sales period, amounted to $7.54 billion last year, and while impressive, only amounts to half of Alibaba’s earnings in the same sales period.

11.11 southeast asia

11.11 Cultural Backstory

Singles’ Day originated in Nanjing University in 1993 where groups of young single friends would get together and celebrate their unattached status by shopping. In 2009, Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group, saw an untapped opportunity and created an online shopping event around young peoples’ behavior, framing it as a day of personal indulgence.

‘Singles’ day’ was made famous and monetized by Alibaba, turning the obscure day into an online shopping extravaganza on its online marketplaces and boosting business during China’s slack period between October’s Golden Week and Lunar New Year in January to February. It was also introduced around the time ecommerce exploded in China, leading to a 5,740% growth in Alibaba’s “Double 11” sales event between 2009 and 2013.

11.11 southeast asia

The company has since trademarked the term in December 2012, meaning that it can take legal action against media outlets that accept advertising from competitors who specifically use this term.

11.11 sales also reach hundreds of millions of Chinese shoppers beyond large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, who rely on Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall because they are without big shopping malls in their towns.

The event’s offline marketing impact also contributes to 11.11 success thanks to appearances from global celebrities such as Daniel Craig and Kevin Spacey for the launch event, which has been the company’s way of turning the shopping extravaganza into a sort of event to be celebrated.

For the first time since the launch of 11.11 campaign, Alibaba Group has announced that this year’s campaign will last for 24 days instead of 24 hours. It will also mark the first introduction of Alibaba’s virtual reality technology, Buy+ , which promises to transport shoppers to retail stores overseas through a VR headset. This year will also see the expansion of 11.11 to Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Alibaba’s 11.11 success means it comes as no surprise that Southeast Asia has followed in the footsteps of China. Despite it not being a day to celebrate single-hood, large online marketplaces have each adopted their own customized versions of Alibaba’s 11.11 campaign such as Lazada and Moxy (now known as Orami).

11.11 southeast asia

Online players are under pressure to perform and participate during this period as bigger brands and retailers begin offering better sales and greater discounts thanks to deeper pockets and larger number of merchants.

In Southeast Asia, marketplaces are using their big 11.11 spin-offs as a litmus test of how well they’re performing against competitors in local markets.

How Southeast Asia makes 11.11 their own

From hiring more manpower to ensuring that shoppers are well aware of the sales event, marketplaces push out social media strategies months before the actual sales event and calculate stock predictions to ensure the region’s largest sales event is a success. Here are how Southeast Asia’s biggest players successfully take advantage of the 11.11 buzz: 

Marketing blitz: Social personalization is key

As the largest ecommerce marketplace in the region, Lazada has adapted 11.11 by extending it with their very own 12.12 event on December 12th and coining it ‘The Online Revolution’, which started in 2012.

Lazada Thailand has seen a rise in their gross merchandise value (GMV), chalking up $40 million during 10th-12th of December 2015 and reflecting a gradual increase in participation from consumers.

Lazada Thailand saw a 300% increase in orders when compared to 2014.

“In Thailand, we notice that successful marketing channels are very social,” says Baptiste Le Gal, CMO at Lazada Thailand. “Customer relations management is the key channel to reach out to customers with personalized offers that match their interests.”

The consumer trend has shifted slightly in Thailand. Baptiste noted that electronic goods used to reign as the top selling category, but now more lifestyle centric segments such as health&beauty and home&living are moving faster on the platform.

Thailand’s high mobile adoption is also contributing to how consumers shop on Lazada.

“Mobile transactions accounted for 70% of the 400,000 items ordered during Lazada’s online festival last year,” commented Baptiste.

The mobile first market means that Lazada is focusing on the mobile aspects of its channels, and ensuring that Lazada’s mobile app is optimized for the best customer experience during the campaign period. The marketplace has also launched an advert, ‘make your dreams come true‘ in Singapore, gearing shoppers up for the big event.

Zalora, Rocket Internet’s fashion portal, also follows the Rocket formula by offering sales up to 80% off for both 11.11 and 12.12. Zalora Indonesia’s marketing strategy promotes online campaigns from October until the grand finale of 12.12, starting with Zalora Great Sale currently ongoing now, which shoppers can treat as a warm up to the main event.

“In 2015, overall sales for 12.12 increased by 30 times more than an average day, with participating brands seeing a drastic increase in sales even after the campaign was over,” says Priyanto Lim, Head of Marketplace at Zalora Indonesia.

11.11 southeast asia

But slapping big discounts on jeans and jackets isn’t enough. Zalora Indonesia also holds online competitions, provides extra giveaways and uses celebrity endorsements on social media as part of the big push to generate buzz around the sales event. Essentially, every customer facing channel is jam-packed with purchase incentives and triggers to drive sales.

It appears that speculations of brands feeling pressured to participate and make deliberate cost cuts to compete with other merchants don’t hinder the impact of the campaigns.

“Contrary to what articles suggest, brands are very willing to partner with us as they benefit from the extra traffic,” Priyanto adds.

Female centric marketplace Orami is focusing on curating original ‘Singles’ Day’ themed content and community to drive traffic to the site and engage shoppers rather than launch a big promotional campaign.

“To drive social media engagement, Orami will also use Facebook as a tool to create engagement with users through online games related to Singles Day,” says Shannon Kalayanamitr, co-founder and CMO of Orami.

Targeting a mobile centric region

Shopee, Garena’s mobile shopping platform, released its own version of the mega sale for the first time this year, coining it 9.9 on September 9th. Benefiting from a fast accelerating mobile market in the region, the platform targeted Thailand’s mobile first shoppers by progressively releasing specially marked down products throughout the day to keep shoppers anxiously clutching their mobile phones.

Shopee’s website even publishes a discount schedule ahead of time so shoppers can set up an alarm for the product they’re eyeing, creating a ‘ready-set-go’ mentality for shoppers to encourage competitiveness and in turn, more shopping.

11.11 southeast asia

Niche service providers jumping on the bandwagon

11.11 has also inspired online service providers in Southeast Asia to cash in on the online flurry.

Groceries on demand service provider, HappyFresh Indonesia, offered up to 30% off its most popular products in its marketing campaign last year.

11.11 southeast asia

And a recent addition to the online grocery scene in Thailand, honestbee, is currently working with popular Thai supermarket chain Villa Market to tap into the ‘necessary goods’ sector that includes everyday items such as water, fresh food and meat. These items will all be a part of the delivery service’s big sale campaign.

When groceries go on sale, shoppers tend to ‘stock up‘, especially when purchasing online as the selection is wider.

“We look at the purchase patterns of our customers to see what kinds of items are popular among shoppers. For example, customers in residential areas often order large volumes of mineral water and fresh fruit so we have to anticipate that these orders may spike during our 11.11 campaign,” said Piyawat Laiphithak, Marketing Manager at honestbee, Thailand.

honestbee is also playing directly on China’s ‘Singles Day’ gimmick as they plan to give away snacks such as gummy bears and popcorn for shoppers.

11.11 Logistics: What happens behind the scenes?

The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” is fitting here, if we swap the child for a large scale online campaign. How do ecommerce companies ensure optimal functioning during this hectic time?

For ecommerce solutions provider aCommerce, the company plans approximately two months ahead to accommodate the spike in orders for clients that participate in the sales event.

“We increase our manpower by three times through temporary contracts and run 24-hour operations during spike times such as 11.11 to ensure customer demands are tended to,” says Phensiri Sathianvongnusar, COO at aCommerce Thailand.

The temporary staff are hired through an agency and receive 2-3 days of training for their specific tasks prior to the sales event.

During the spike period, aCommerce also uses its multi-shipping platform to tap into over 20 courier networks to ensure that deliveries are made on time, for the best rate and no order gets dropped, as time and speed are the most crucial things during the campaign period.

11.11 southeast asia

“Inventory planning is crucial to campaigns such as 11.11 and 12.12, so we use historical data from previous years’ events to determine what types of products tend to be popular during big sales and avoid stock shortage,” adds Phensiri.

For brands that are not participating in the 11.11 campaign, they are part of the express line which ensures that their products still remain a priority during the campaign period.

A league of our own

Using China’s 11.11 as a backdrop, Southeast Asia’s online marketplaces are carving out their own versions of the mega-sale but they cannot simply replicate Alibaba to find success.

Southeast Asia can potentially leapfrog China with the region’s explosive mobile growth and gaining middle-class. Big campaigns such as 11.11 can only grow in success every year as more consumers move online. Mobile first platforms such as Shopee are already moving fast and capturing the surging mobile market in Southeast Asia, mirroring the rise of mobile shopping in China, where 72% of purchases during last year’s 11.11 came from mobile.

The positive reception and the duration of the campaigns is a testament to the region’s growing appetite for ecommerce, perhaps an indication that we are positively inching away from China’s shadow.

By Anutra Chatikavanij

The rapid growth and heavy usage habits of Indonesia’s smartphone users have made the market one of the most closely-watched in the world.

A July 2016 study by Asian research firm DI Marketing into the habits of smartphone users by age helps illustrate some of the distinctions when it comes to the country’s device ownership and usage habits.

Indonesian Smartphone Habits by Age

Source: eMarketer

Best takeaways from DI Marketing report

  • Consumers between the ages of 26 and 30 tended to prefer more expensive Korean-made devices, with 31% of respondents in the age group mentioning they owned a Samsung smartphone.

Those under 25 preferred handsets from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi. 

  • Nearly 20% of smartphone owners in Indonesia have two or three smartphones.
  • Many from the study’s older age groups own multiple smartphones, with 26% of those between 26 and 30 and 30% of those over 30 owning two or three devices.
  • Younger users tended to prefer activities like playing games, listening to music and watching videos, while those 26 or older tended to like smartphone activities like taking photos and checking email.

The report gives insight in regards to what the coming generation is interested in and how to best connect with them. Mobile commerce has become an area of emphasis for many online companies, especially after witnessing the Pokémon Go craze.

A version of this appeared in eMarketer on July 19. Find the full version here

According to L2, social media has evolved into a dynamic ecosystem where brands can use a multitude of tactics to interact with consumers. Updates to algorithms have increasingly limited organic reach and will continue to do so, but brands can re-position their social media strategies to complement marketing goals by fully utilizing the toolkits available through each social platform.

Over The Counter (OTC) brands face unique challenges driving engagement on social channels as the nature of the products don’t lend themselves to visually appealing content as easily as categories like fashion or beauty. However, creative campaigns catalyzed by well-timed promotional spend can generate organic reach through social sharing while retargeting warm leads with coupons and ecommerce links can nudge shoppers closer to purchase.

Advertising a loyalty program to fans post purchase can increase engagement and spur a network of social brand evangelists.

OTC Brands must use Facebook

Source: info.voodooviral.com

While many brands capitalize on driving awareness with social media, very few maximize the post-purchase opportunity. Only six brands used either the word “reward” or “loyalty” in a Facebook post in the past 180 days, with Systane and Zyrtec accounting for a combined 48% of related post-purchase content. A look at how brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index: OTC Health Care use social media suggests more could integrate purchase and post-purchase goals in their strategies.

Systane provides an example of how brands can deploy these tactics. The brand prioritized Facebook as a CRM tool in 2016, uploading a promoted post roughly once per week. This strategy helped the page earn over 405,000 interactions in the past 180 days. The top post for this period directed fans to register at Systane.com/Rewards in exchange for a three-dollar-off coupon. This link redirects to EyeFile.com, the destination for parent company Alcon’s eye care loyalty program.

Both Systane.com and EyeFile.com experienced 60% increase in traffic since November 2015, demonstrating that social media can be highly effective in engaging shoppers in post-purchase mode.

By targeting a neglected subset of OTC Health Care shoppers, Systane drove fans into its rewards program, creating a direct line of communication with opt-in consumers. Through its Facebook investment, the brand will now be able to collect explicit data and more effectively target leads with personalized content in future campaigns. Furthermore, the majority of millennials identify brand engagement on social media as a key tool for securing their loyalty.

A version of this appeared in L2 on July 8. Read the full article here.

Orami-Echelon

Source: e27

Ecommerce will be dominated by female consumer and it’s crucial for companies to fine-tune their marketing strategies if they wish to remain relevant and profitable says Melissa Senduk, Group Creative Director of female-centric ecommerce portal Orami.

In Southeast Asia, women contribute to 80% of all household purchases, out shop men by 20%, and spend 40% more time on online retailers presenting an untapped market of $2.4 trillion US.

“Today, it is the woman in the household who makes a lot of purchase decisions, and this goes beyond traditional categories such as groceries and personal care, and extends to cars, financial services, insurance services and bank products,” said Senduk.

How do you reach her?

Senduk advises ecommerce players not to think about the woman as just an individual, but also the people in her social and family circle as women leverage one another for advice when making purchasing decisions.

Brands also need to focus on the visuals and the UX. Increased smartphone and mobile ecommerce penetration have made it imperative for brands to design the user experience to be mobile-first, as opposed to desktop.

Research finding shows that 80% of women put their trust in blogs and 60% actually purchased the products after reading reviews.

Brands committed to social responsibility, or seek to inspire consumers, would be more appealing to her.

Female consumers are expecting more today

A one-size-fits-all approach no longer works for them. You need to carefully craft your branding and social media message; find out the language female consumers are using and what trends appeal to them.

While all millennial consumers generally are more demanding, the major difference that separates the male and female is women consumers see shopping as a form of entertainment, while men a necessity.

Women consumers are the gatekeepers of the households of today, so it is important for brands to inspire and share the values of women.

A version of this appeared in e27 on June 21. Read the full article here.

aCommerce & Google bring together the region’s performance marketing experts in our first-ever ecommerce masterclass. This half-day, exclusive training session has six modules and will lay out the foundational principles and frameworks for brands, retailers and e-tailers to set up their performance marketing units and drive sales. The modules will be led by aCommerce in-house practitioners and Google experts and will feature a special Business Case Study by MatahariMall.com. The course will conclude with an interactive case study for participants to apply their learnings.

This exclusive half-day course is limited to 80 people and will start promptly at 13:00pm. Request a spot by RSVP-ing before Thursday, May 19th, 17:00pm.

When: May 26th, 2016
Time: 11:30am-17:00pm (Lunch & Masterclass); 17.00pm – 19.00pm Cocktails
Where: The Ritz-Carlton Mega Kuningan, Jakarta
Who: 80 industry leaders from top enterprise & SME level brands, retailers, etailers
What: 6 modules led by performance marketing practitioners focused on each essential elements of ecommerce marketing
Format: Interactive, educational roundtable
Special Guest Lecture: Tim Martin, Head of Online Marketing, MatahariMall.com

ecommerceIQ

For a spot in the Marketing Masterclass, register here.