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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.

Mom & Baby Indonesia Online Shoppers

aCommerce Group CMO Sheji Ho on stage presenting the findings from ecommerceIQ’s report: Digital Profile Mom & Baby Shoppers in Indonesia.

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?

Panel session during ecommerceIQ event in Jakarta with Agni Pratistha (middle) and Wenny Damayanti (right).

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%).

Mom & Baby Indonesia Online Shoppers

Top products purchased online in Mom & Baby category in Indonesia; ecommerceIQ Mom & Baby Customer Survey in Indonesia (2018)

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.

Mom & Baby Indonesia Online Shoppers

Top reasons for consumers to not shop for Mom & Baby products online; ecommerceIQ Mom & Baby Customer Survey in Indonesia (2018)

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.

Mom & Baby Indonesia Online Shoppers

Tokopedia’s dedicated page for brands’ official store; Tokopedia

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.

Sweety’s official flagship store is offering online exclusive offer on ShopeeMall Indonesia.

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.”

Get the full report of Digital Mom & Baby Shoppers Profile here.

We conducted an online survey (“Mom & Baby Shopper Survey”) in February 2018 to understand the shopping behavior of Indonesian females (N=1,144), specifically mothers, when buying items in the Mom & Baby product category i.e. diapers, milk formula, toys, etc.

The results revealed whether these women preferred to buy baby products online or offline, how much they spent on average per order, what item they purchased on a frequent basis, their age, the family household income and what would convince them to increase shopping frequently.

The survey sheds light on the following topics:

  • What factors are causing consumers in the Mom & Baby category to continue to buy offline rather than online?
  • What aspects of ecommerce marketplaces are most important to Indonesian female shoppers and which marketplaces are most popular?
  • What items do Indonesian female consumers prefer to shop for online in the Mom & Baby category?
  • How do Mom & Baby category consumers start their online purchasing journey?
  • What is the shopper profile and annual spend of Mom & Baby shopper in Indonesia?

Chapter 1: The Online Potential for Mom & Baby Brands in Indonesia

The birth of a baby is a life changing event for a household in regards to its finances, hours of sleep received per night, and especially, the ongoing adjustment to becoming parents.

For every minute that passes, approximately 250 babies are born into the world.

Indonesia is a country with a population of more than 260 million and on average, 2.44 births per woman in 2015/2016 – the fourth highest among all Southeast Asian nations. It is approximated there are 1.6 million births per year in the country.

Figure 1: The average number of live births per woman in Southeast Asian nations. Source: Statista

To care for each new life, parents need to invest heavily in categories like diapers, milk formula, toys, clothing, education and especially, time. Over the next eight or ten years as the child grows older, starts school and requires different products and nutrition, certain shopping habits in the parents have already cemented.

This includes what brands they trust, what products they will recommend to friends and family and which channels to buy them from.
As the median age of new mothers in Indonesia at first birth is 22.8 years of age, younger than found in Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines, she is commonly already digitally savvy.

Indonesia is predicted to have the fourth largest middle-class consumption on a global scale by 2030.

ecommerceIQ

Figure 2: Middle class consumption around the world. Source: The Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries, Brookings Institution

Considering the country’s middle-class household count is also expected to rise to 23.9 million in the next 12 years from 19.6 million in 2016, retailers are looking to capture common characteristics of middle class consumers – more spend on travel, holidays and family.

The purchasing power of Indonesians will also rise for the next two years as the country’s gross domestic product is expected to reach US$1.7 trillion by 2020 (Figure 2).

ecommerceIQ

Figure 3: Forecasted GDP of Indonesia is expected to reach US$1.7 trillion in 2020. Source: The Economist, World Bank, Badan Pusat Statistik Indonesia.

This is why companies are allocating massive budgets to build credibility with customers early in the journey of motherhood and more importantly, influence the behavior of future generations.

Not only does Indonesia house 132.7 million internet users, 1 out of 4 of the internet users in the country is a mother (Google & Kantar WorldPanel Indonesia). The number is expected to rise over the next three to five years as the majority of the population are females aged 10 to 19 years of age (Figure 3), meaning Indonesia can also expect a rise in new mothers.

ecommerceIQ

Figure 4: Indonesia’s demographic by age and gender. Source: Central Intelligence Agency

All of this makes the Mom & Baby category a highly attractive and rampant industry in Indonesia in the coming years.

How can companies capture new mothers and help them adapt to parenthood?

Sign up here to receive the full report of Digital Mom & Baby Shoppers Profile in Indonesia.

*Introducing the eIQ BrandData series that shares insights to different brand strategies online and how they’re performing on marketplaces across Southeast Asia in collaboration with data tool BrandIQ.

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A peek into Thai customers’ sentiment for BabyLove

Using data tool BrandIQ, a total of 4,958 product reviews from customers that purchased BabyLove products on Lazada Thailand were analyzed. The sentiments of the reviews were divided into two: Positive and Negative, based on keywords like ใช้งานดี (good quality), รอนานมาก (slow delivery), ถูก (cheap), identified in the review.

For BabyLove products, out of 175 keywords picked from reviews, 136 or 77.71% of them are positive.

BabyLove review

Overall sentiment for BabyLove products on Lazada is positive

The keyword “ส่งเร็ว” (meaning fast delivery) appeared the most in the reviews with a positive sentiment, appearing 1,528 times in 1,522 BabyLove product reviews.

The second top keyword “ถูก” (meaning cheap) had 776 appearances. The third positive keyword “ใช้งานดี” (meaning good quality) appeared 430 times.

Below is an example of a BabyLove product review with positive sentiments:

BabyLove review

A consumer review with high rating for delivery and product quality. [Translation: The delivery was fast and the product quality is good. As a mom, I’m very happy.]

Meanwhile, keywords with bad sentiments made up 22.29% of total keywords. Some of the keywords are ห่วยมาก (bad), แย่มาก (sucks), and รอนานมาก (slow delivery). Overall, customers using these keywords are talking about the pain points of ordering the products on Lazada rather than the quality of the product.

One example of a review with bad sentiment is:

BabyLove review

A consumer review with low rating caused by stock discrepancy.
[Translation: I’ve ordered it from Lazada 4 days ago, turned out it’s out of stock? How can something that I’ve already ordered (when it’s available) went out of stock? This sucks. And the delivery is also slow. It’s very bad.]

Controlling customer sentiments

The top two factors that greatly affect the sentiments felt by the BabyLove’s customers when they make a purchase on Lazada are delivery time and price. They are things that a brand can control by having an official presence on the marketplace.

On its official store, BabyLove offers an average discount of 26% and drowns out grey market sellers on the marketplace.

Its products are also fulfilled and delivered by Lazada, which typically means faster delivery times.

BabyLove review

BabyLove’s products on its official store on Lazada Thailand are fulfilled by Lazada

Download the full infographic here.


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

In light of Mother’s Day on May 14th, marketing agency Mindshare (Thailand) released a study on mothers in Thailand and their everyday consumption habits, both offline and online. The survey focused solely on mothers who reside outside of Bangkok in second tier cities in hopes to help marketers better understand what mothers require for everyday products such as groceries and FMCG goods.

The women surveyed reside in Naan, Choomporn and Buriram provinces in Thailand and come from low income households, earning approximately $300 – $1,400 per month. 65% of Thailand’s population resides in second tier cities, making them a large potential target group for marketers and brands.

The qualitative research looked at three groups:

  1. Mothers with infants from 0-3 years old
  2. Mothers with children from 3-6 years old
  3. Mothers with children 6-12 years old

And these were the results:

A rise of internet savvy mothers

  • Modern mothers are receptive to the internet and are willing to browse different websites to get advice on child rearing
  • Modern mothers often browse on Facebook and engage in online discussions about child rearing
  • Modern mothers are turning to ecommerce in second tier cities
  • Money and finances are at the heart of their purchasing decisions. Mothers in second tier cities often sacrifice their own needs to spend more on their children and treasure moments such as celebratory dinners outside the home
  • To access the internet, most mothers activate Wifi hotspot from their mobile phones, as this makes it easier to monitor internet usage and budget finances

The role of technology in everyday life

  • The internet is a new mother’s best friend, especially during the adjustment period where her life and schedule are changing. Brands can target mothers through Facebook groups, especially as there is a vast network of Thai mothers that are often exchanging tips and looking for a support system online.

Although they are open to purchasing online, mothers still believe in the importance of touching products before buying. For young mothers, reading the product label, smelling and even tasting products is not uncommon.

Communities play a key role in decision making

  • Mothers in second tier cities often look to other mothers in their community, not celebrities, as they are more relatable. This is another interesting marketing tactic for brands because targeting community mothers requires a lighter marketing budget than celebrity endorsements.
  • Brand loyalty can be achieved through seeing other mothers in the community use a particular product. This is especially true for mothers with young infants.

Brands use a steady flow of insightful, interactive content to strengthen the mother’s connection with the brand and build brand loyalty and trust.

A good example is Nestlé, that often publish family centric content on its multiple Facebook pages to connect with its primary consumer – mothers.

Source: Nestlé Baby Thailand Facebook page

Source: Nestlé Baby Thailand Facebook page

Discounts and promotions incentivize spending

  • Most mothers would choose quality over price for their children
  • Flyers, discount advertising and promotions are important in the decision process.

Ecommerce in second tier cities is still in its infancy, but its adoption is showing promise. Mothers often go online to find products that aren’t available in their province, or for when they want to ‘show off’ by having their child use something that other community mothers do not have.

Although ecommerce is not yet widely popular among mothers in second tier cities across Thailand, it is slowly becoming a part of everyday life. Thai mothers are reliant on social media channels such as Facebook and LINE to find products unavailable in their towns, and online shopping seems to be the next natural step.

Find more insights published on MarketingOops. Read the original version in Thai here.