Platforms Featured ANZ

iStock launches new products to simplify video creation for SMBs

Sydney, Australia – iStock, the e-commerce platform that provides premium visual content to SMBs, SMEs, creatives, and students, has just announced the launch of its two new products that aim to make professional-quality video creation more simple and affordable for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The first product, iStock Video Editor, is a video maker that does not require any previous design or editing experience, helping customers quickly go from start to finish of the video-creation process. Combined with the depth and breadth of iStock’s videos, photographs, and illustrations, the tool allows businesses to use customizable templates, music, colors, fonts, and layouts to produce high-impact videos. To use the Video Editor, users simply need to click ‘Create’ at the top of the iStock homepage.

Meanwhile, the iStock’s new subscription plan, Premium Plus Video, seeks to give subscribers on-demand access to millions of video clips, images, and illustrations all in a single easy and affordable subscription. 

Moreover, it is available in monthly or annual plans in which image and video downloads count the same, allowing customers to license video for as low as a few dollars per asset. Subscribers will also be able to roll over unused downloads and enjoy the same rich royalty-free rights included with all iStock content. 

Grant Farhall, iStock’s chief product officer, shared that video has become the preferred way for companies to reach and communicate with their audiences in compelling ways, however, their customers have told them that while they want to create more video it is a difficult and time-consuming task that requires complicated tools and large budgets.

“We listened to our customers and the launch of Premium Plus Video subscription and the iStock Video Editor will make professional video creation fast and easy for small businesses and entrepreneurs, no previous experience needed,” said Farhall.

The new iStock Video Editor and Premium Plus Video aims to remove the barriers to video creation and give businesses, both large and small, the opportunity to optimize their visual strategy to create higher engagement and improve ROI’s. 

Platforms Featured Global

Emplifi’s latest platform to offer industry-first social commerce capabilities for marketers

Singapore – Customer experience platform Emplifi has announced the launch of their latest platform Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud, which offers a multitude of marketers social commerce capabilities who are often charged with driving high conversion rates and increased revenue across social platforms.

The platform delivers a full suite of solutions to enable the social shopping experience by synchronizing social commerce activities across platforms, providing automated and live assistance during the shopping experience, and giving brands a single, holistic view of their social commerce efforts, along with advanced analytics.

One of those tools is Shop Sync™, which enables e-commerce teams to provide an omni-shop synchronization across social platforms without relying on heavy IT involvement. The API integration with Facebook Shops and Instagram Shops eliminates any long and laborious tech efforts, helping brands rapidly scale online shopping experiences. The tool also tracks inventory across all social shops so that e-commerce and product managers gain a full view of product availability and performance across all platforms. 

In addition, Emplifi’s AI-powered Shop Clerk™ bot tool delivers a personalized shopping experience through sophisticated conversational commerce capabilities, guiding shoppers from discovery to purchase. The bot can answer product questions, complete transactions, offer in-store pick-up information, recommend additional product add-ons, seamlessly hand over to care agents and deliver quick surveys via Emplifi’s Natural Language Processing and proprietary Intent Engine abilities that go far beyond the standard, limited Bot FAQ offerings.

Other tools included are the ‘360 Shop Dashboard™’ which was designed to offer the industry’s most comprehensive view of product performance and inventory status across all social media shops, and Emplfi’s Social Care, the consumer engagement tool that brings together marketing and operations to help service customers, while measuring the success of their entire customer journey.

“Social commerce is the next frontier for cutting-edge B2C brands that wish to connect, convert and monetize today’s shoppers. Social media shops are rapidly becoming the new shopping malls. We’re excited to release Emplifi Social Commerce to the market to enable our customers to revolutionize the shopping experience, win unprecedented conversion rates and drive revenue gains,” said Mark Zablan, CEO at Emplifi.

Emplifi Social Commerce Cloud is the first major platform announcement from Emplifi since the company’s rebranding earlier this year. With the goal of unifying marketing, commerce, and customer care through AI-powered CX solutions, Emplifi was born from the combined technology of the customer experience platform Astute Inc. and the social media marketing platform Socialbakers.

Marketing Featured East Asia

TBWA\Hong Kong’s new commerce offering to help elevate brands on HKTVMall

Hong Kong – TBWA\Hong Kong has launched its commerce offering TBWA\Commerce, in partnership with sister agency The Integer Group, the commerce agency headquartered in the U.S. and a key member of Omnicom Commerce Group.

Integer is a leading commerce agency focused on driving business growth results and opportunities through retail marketing, e-commerce & social commerce, connected commerce media, and brand communications & activation, as well as retail experience design, and technology & innovation. The agency’s clients include world-leading brands like AT&T, FedEx, Frito-Lay, Michelin, Nestlé, P&G, PepsiCo, and Starbucks.

TBWA\Commerce will leverage Integer’s e-commerce expertise to center its offering around e-retail, specifically on HKTVMall, Hong Kong’s online shopping platform. 

Jan Cho, TBWA\Hong Kong’s managing director, commented that surprisingly, the e-commerce landscape in Hong Kong is less advanced than most developed countries because of its prolific and highly concentrated retail presence, which previously provided the unchallenged shopping convenience.

“But Covid upended the landscape and gave rise to a late, yet rapid e-comm boom from direct to consumer (DTC), social commerce to marketplace,” Cho said.

According to the agency, HKTVMall is one platform that has benefited significantly with the marketplace’s Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) more than doubling to HK$5.95b or almost US$800m in just a year and which is still climbing.

The agency said that despite the speed in development, marketplace commerce remains an unfamiliar territory for many Hong Kong brands, and like most e-commerce platforms, HKTVMall has its own layers and set of rules that feel foreign to most marketers, which can initially be intimidating.

Anne Chan, the agency’s head of digital and commerce, said, “HKTVMall is a fantastic platform for brands. Its volume of traffic, diversity of customers, promotion support, and online-to-offline (O2O) presence are second to none in the region.”

Chan shares that they’ve spent a great deal of R&D time to understand the inner workings, hidden codes, and rules of the platform. Chan said they believed they’ve cracked the ‘codes’ with the help of Integer’s expertise and the suite of tools from HKTVMall.

Cho added, “We’ve tried and tested [the] methodologies we’ve developed with actual businesses on HKTVMall, which have proven to be very effective. We’re confident we can advise any marketers to boost conversion, and the impact would usually be seen in a matter of months.”

TBWA\Commerce sits alongside other specialized offerings to provide full-funnel support to brands, namely, Disruption\Consulting which is catered to data-led business planning, DxD or which stands for design & experience planning, and BOLT, the agency’s in-house film production. 

The commerce offering will pioneer in Hong Kong but planning for expansion across other APAC markets is already underway.

Terence Ling, head of strategy at TBWA\Hong Kong, commented, “We have made heavy investment of resources to develop this proprietary capability. Brands can take advantage of our unique experience and know-how leapfrogging the competition.”

Ling said that while the immediate focus is on HKTVMall, brands can access the agency’s ‘ePlaces’ offering to map their growth strategy across the digital ecosystem.

Technology Featured APAC

Innity’s latest shoppable ads feature allows users to ‘add to cart’ directly from ads

Singapore – Digital advertising solutions company Innity has made its latest feature, Shoppable QuickBuy, available on their enhanced Innity Shoppable Solutions service, allowing online shoppers to now add items directly to their online cart from the ads they see online.

With Innity’s Shoppable QuickBuy tech, users are able to browse and add products to the retailers’ cart all from within the ad format, retailers’ landing pages, blog posts, or apps. Once shoppers click on the ‘Buy Now’ button, they will be led straight to the ‘Add to Cart’ page or checkout page on the retailers’ site. 

Innity’s in-house creative team custom designs each creative experience so that it is unique to each brand.

“Innity Shoppable Ads solution was designed to effectively shorten and streamline the traditional consumer purchase journey, allowing users to go from discovery to purchase in an instantaneous and engaging experience, leading to greater profits for brands,” the company said in a press statement.

The shoppable platform is also equipped with advanced data feed management to allow retailers to synchronize product feed across multiple sales and marketing channels to monitor, enrich and update product info or pricing simultaneously.

In addition, retailers can also create custom segments from their product catalogs to run dynamic ads that can highlight personalized products to shoppers who have already shown interest in the brand.

Speaking about the feature launch, Phang Chee Leong, co-founder and CEO at Innity, said, “We’re thrilled to be rolling out Shoppable QuickBuy to help more brands adopt and maximize the power of discovery commerce; to turn interests into purchases, and content into conversions more seamlessly. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behavior towards online shopping has shifted for good, and we believe this change will continue beyond the pandemic.”

He added, “We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve and expand our Innity Shoppable Media platform, with the goal to make the online shopping experience more interactive, personalized, and instantaneous for everyone.”

Marketing Featured ANZ

Shopify AU’s OOH campaign encourages businesses to meet brands’ reimagining retail

Sydney, Australia – Global commerce company Shopify in Australia aims to encourage businesses and consumers to view the brands that have reimagined retail in their own business operations through Shopify’s latest out-of-home (OOH) advertising, made in partnership with creative content agency Chello and media agency iPROSPECT.

Titled ‘Reimagine Retail’, the OOH campaign is best considered as a celebration of Australian brands that have disrupted retail with innovative products and cutting-edge e-commerce strategies – while doing it all on Shopify.

The campaign comes to life when users scan an inbuilt QR code functionality on all assets, giving users an opportunity to ‘meet’ Australian brands who have reimagined retail, and then shop their stores — from anywhere on any device.

“We wanted a campaign which celebrates and showcases local, independent businesses, who are the backbone of Australia’s entrepreneurial economy,” says Robin Marchant, head of marketing for APAC at Shopify.

Initially intended for a pre-lockdowned Australia, Shopify was keen to proceed as a show of support for its more than 100,000 merchants in Australia. Some of Shopify’s customers featured in the visual assets of the campaign include Go-To Skin Care, frank green, MAAP, and Who Gives a Crap.

“At Shopify, we power more than 100,000 Australian retail businesses to launch, run and grow by making it possible to sell to anyone, anywhere. Every day, we’re inspired by our merchants as they reimagine the possibilities of retail, and we can’t wait to see what the next generation of budding entrepreneurs will do with the exciting, evolving retail space,” Marchant added.

Speaking about the campaign, Tristan Velasco, creative director and co-founder at brand and content agency Chello, shared, “Working with Shopify made two things clear to us. One, that they’re merchant obsessed, and two, they help a long list of innovative, Australian brands redefine retail. It was a no-brainer that these brands would be the heart of our campaign.”

He added, “With so many businesses being hit hard by these latest lockdowns, it’s an exciting time to demonstrate the resilience and willpower of Australian brands on Shopify that have truly reimagined retail.”

Meanwhile, Sam Cousins, chief strategy officer at iPROSPECT, commented, “We recognize more and more in our business that every media touchpoint is a commerce opportunity. It’s great to have Shopify on board with us to help drive this forward through our partnership with Chello.”

Said campaign will run out of home, digital out of home, programmatic and digital as well.

Marketing Featured East Asia

BMW China’s new ‘The Convenience Store’ seeks to make buying car as easy as buying sneakers

Shanghai, China – Automotive manufacturer BMW in China has launched ‘The Convenience Store’ on its flagship store in e-commerce TMall, in order to deliver a completely new brand and product experience for a younger generation of car enthusiasts. 

The concept, which was created in collaboration with creative agency TBWA’s Juice Beijing, has been designed to remove traditional barriers associated with purchasing a car, making the experience as seamless as buying the latest pair of sneakers. 

Moreover, ‘The Convenience Store’ integrates popular culture, technology, and service with a brand-led approach, which includes door-to-door delivery, online bidding, car customization, and lifestyle collectibles.

Through door-to-door delivery, customers can now view a model and reserve a test drive with door-to-door delivery without ever stepping into any physical store, while the online bidding is for limited edition cars, where customers can bid to get hyper limited-edition models immediately, avoiding a long waiting list. 

Furthermore, the car customization will enable customers to customize exterior color, wheels, and interior materials for key models enabled by BMW Visualizer tech. And lastly, the lifestyle collectibles will allow customers to purchase a full set of limited edition designed collectibles.

In addition, the initiative includes the BMW pop-up ‘The Convenience Store’ in Huaihai TX, which is the latest street culture landmark in Shanghai. The real-world pop-up provided a complementary sensory experience including Yee’s crafted miniature art cars and collectibles on display, and different art installations to represent the different service experiences in an avant-garde style, mirroring the virtual store.

BMW China has appointed Chinese singer Jackson Yee as its new-generation ambassador to introduce ‘The Convenience Store’ across phygital channels Yee’s creative process in crafting unique miniature BMW art cars, T-shirts, and paintings became the highlight of the lifestyle collectibles.

For customers to gain access to the pop-up, they will simply register at BMW TMall Store to become members.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee launches campaign as Indonesian fashion brand Erigo forays to NY Fashion Week

Jakarta, Indonesia – Erigo, the Indonesian fashion retail that has been a staple in Shopee Mall, is set to grace the renowned New York Fashion Week (NYFW) 2022, and it has partnered with e-commerce to launch a campaign that will see both celebrating the said milestone with Indonesian consumers.

According to Shopee, Erigo has been a partner since 2017 and has seen significant growth in sales and brand innovation. The streetwear brand has won the hearts of users, making them one of the top favorite brands at major annual Shopee campaigns. In 2020, Erigo participated in the Shopee Export Program, Kreasi Nusantara: From Local To Global, where the well-loved Indonesian brand entered other markets like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

Called, ‘Erigo x Shopee NYFW’, the campaign will include different engagements and launches. For a start, Erigo’s appearance at the NYFW will be livestreamed on Shopee Live, which is exclusively available in Indonesia on 9 September at 8:00 pm. 

In addition to this, the Erigo NYFW runway collection will be available at the Erigo official store on Shopee Mall. Users will be able to purchase exclusive collections brought straight from the Erigo pop-up store in New York, and also enjoy up to 90% discount for various Erigo products. Lastly, shoppers will be able to purchase a ‘Mystery Box’ of Erigo products for only under Rp100,000. The campaign will run from 9 until 11 September 2021,

Handhika Jahja, Shopee’s director for Indonesia, commented that they are proud to witness the extraordinary progress of Erigo so far and to finally be able to deliver ‘Made in Indonesia’ products to an international stage. Jahja shared that Erigo is one of the 180,000 local MSMEs fostered by Shopee that have successfully penetrated the global market through the Shopee Export Program. 

“We hope that this collaboration can create pride and love for local products among Indonesians. It can also spark enthusiasm and create a good track record for more local MSMEs to follow,” said Jahja.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Sadad, the CEO of Erigo, said that the brand’s ability to penetrate into the global market certainly cannot be separated from the support and assistance they got from Shopee and the various programs held by Shopee have greatly helped the development of the business and realized their dream of bringing Erigo products to consumers in other countries. 

“We are very encouraged by the love and enthusiasm from Shopee users in Indonesia and around the region, empowering us to continue innovating the brand until we finally had an opportunity to represent Indonesia at the biggest fashion show in New York. To commemorate 10 years of work, Erigo will be debuting the new Erigo X collection exclusively at New York Fashion Week 2022, where users can watch through Shopee Live,” said Sadad.

Shopee said that it would like to reaffirm its commitment and passion in supporting the development and potential of local businesses that are an important part of the Shopee ecosystem through the Erigo X Shopee NYFW 2022. The recent collaboration is part of Shopee’s effort to strengthen the reach of homegrown brands in their own country and showcase the good quality of locally-made products.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Bigo Live’s latest initiative aimed to drive Malaysian social commerce growth

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Live streaming platform Bigo Live in Malaysia has announced the official launch of ‘Bigo Marketplace’, a new e-commerce initiative by the platform to aid local micro-enterprises and small and midsize businesses (SMBs) leverage the platform’s growing user base to increase brand exposure and facilitate sales conversions.

With Bigo Marketplace, Bigo Live has launched a new feature called ‘Shop’ on the Bigo Live app which users and broadcasters alike can access for an easier and convenient shopping experience. Said feature is currently available to vendors who have already signed on to the Bigo Marketplace program and enables them to direct Bigo Live users to their brand or product’s website during their live streaming sessions. 

As the feature is currently in its Beta stage, it is currently available to registered users, broadcasters, and vendors.

“Here at Bigo Live, we are committed to providing our users with engaging and meaningful content that not only entertains but also gives back to the community through curated content that helps Malaysian businesses through this difficult period. With Bigo Marketplace, we not only want to look after our growing ecosystem of content creators but also provide business owners with an additional platform to generate income and exposure for their businesses,” a Bigo Live spokesperson said.

The ‘Bigo Marketplace’ launch follows the success of Bigo Live’s first e-commerce online marketplace event, ‘Bigo Pasar Malam’, where Bigo Live users were able to participate in live stream sales sessions simulating the Malaysian night market experience. Held last 30 July and 6 August 2021, the event saw over 100 Bigo Live broadcasters offering products for sale from their own businesses. These products ranged from clothing, snacks, gadgets, accessories, homeware, as well as cosmetic and skincare products.

“Malaysia is among the top e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Following the success of ‘Bigo Pasar Malam’, where the event drew in between around 150,000 to 200,000 views for our vendors during each session, and observing certain vendors who managed to sell more than 100 items within 2 hours, we decided to launch Bigo Marketplace as we recognized the potential of live streaming as a key contributor to Malaysia’s e-commerce industry,” the spokesperson added.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Hyun Bin is Lazada’s first LazMall regional brand ambassador

Singapore – Singapore-headquartered e-commerce for Southeast Asia, Lazada, is taking its marketing to new heights as it announces its very first regional ambassador for in-app mall, LazMall; and it’s none other than top K-drama leading man, Hyun Bin. 

Last October 2020, Lazada has also unveiled a massive first for the brand that similarly involved the K-pop craze – signing on top K-pop actor Lee Min Ho as the first regional-wide ambassador of the brand. Prior to launching regional ambassadors, Lazada’s marketing strategy has always relied heavily on local endorsers, partnering market-specific stars to bring in the engagement with consumers.

Hyun Bin has been a prominent actor among Hallyu, or the term coined for the ‘Korean wave’. He is one of South Korea’s top celebrities and known for K-dramas and movies Secret Garden, Memories of the Alhambra, and The Negotiation. Most recently, his popularity surged even more when he starred as the leading man of the Netflix-produced romantic comedy K-drama, Crash Landing on You. The series gained global craze and afforded both Hyun Bin and the show’s leading lady Son Ye-Jin numerous brand partnerships following the success of the series. 

Hyun Bin_Lazada_LazMall
The first LazMall ad featuring Hyun Bin with an action-filled narrative

On the new ambassador, Lazada Group’s CMO Mary Zhou, commented, “Lazada was the first to bring the virtual ‘mall’ concept to Southeast Asia and we are delighted to welcome renowned superstar Hyun Bin as LazMall’s first regional brand ambassador. With his expansive portfolio of critically-acclaimed films and television dramas, Hyun Bin is a familiar personality respected for his genuine personality and extraordinary dedication to his craft by fans all over the globe. This highly resonates with LazMall’s brand promise of authenticity, quality, and a trusted online destination for consumers to enjoy a convenient shopping experience.”

The announcement comes as Lazada celebrates the third anniversary of LazMall as well as 9.9, the first of the year-end mega campaigns. For starters, Hyun Bin headlines an action-inspired ad. Also known as a great action celebrity, the short ad aims to capture the imagination of fans that is reminiscent of Hyun Bin’s popular action sequences. 

In the TVC, Hyun Bin stars as an agent on a covert mission commanding a crew of operatives. In a fun and celebratory twist, his character targets the mission of releasing thousands of LazMall care packages to the public.

On his LazMall ambassadorship, Hyun Bin said, “I’m very happy to be joining the Lazada family and connecting with fans in Southeast Asia as LazMall’s first regional brand ambassador. I look forward to creating lots of fun times together, starting with the 9.9 shopping festival. I wish everyone good health and hope you stay safe until we can meet again in person.”

He added, “Shooting the short film for the campaign was incredibly fun, especially when we got creative in demonstrating the efficiency, reliability, and variety of products that LazMall offers to shoppers through a secret agent mission storyline.”

LazMall is Lazada’s in-app mall that features flagship stores from both established and starting merchants. This differs from independent sellers in the app. Earlier in August, LazMall introduced a new personalized portal, LazMall Prestige, featuring an extensive portfolio of eight categories with over 50 premium brands such as Bacha Coffee, Bang & Olufsen, Elemis, and Longines, as well as Polo Ralph Lauren, and Salvatore Ferragamo. 

In addition to popular features like Brand Mega offers and an improved returns policy across the region, consumers will gain access to brands through an intimate, visual storytelling experience. This includes an enhanced discovery spotlight via ‘The Prestige Edit’, which features content-rich thematic editorial sections.

In line with the special online launches, Lazada’s mascot Lazzie will also make his idol trainee debut via Lazada’s newest addition on LazGames – Lazzie Star. 

Marketing Featured South Asia

India’s e-commerce platform Apnaklub drives visibility on digital platforms via Social Beat tie-up

Mumbai, India – The B2B wholesale e-commerce platform in India, Apnaklub, has partnered with Social Beat, the independent digital marketing agency, to further drive the app with the help of a performance marketing approach.

Apnaklub provides local wholesalers and retailers with products from various brands better than local wholesale rates. It also empowers people to start their own wholesale business without any investment or stock risks. In addition, Apnaklub, through its partner program, guarantees that people will get the industry’s best margins on more than 200 brands.

As part of the mandate, Social Beat will be assisting Apnaklub in scaling its shopping app for wholesalers and retailers in the country through performance marketing campaigns that focus on new user acquisition and overall brand awareness.

“We are excited to partner with Social Beat to drive Apnaklub’s mission to improve outcomes for the smaller MSME retailers. With smart digital interventions, we aim to understand the local needs so that we can build a winning micro-business,” said Shruti, CEO of Apnaklub. 

Meanwhile, Vikas Chawla, Social Beat’s co-founder, commented that they are delighted to partner with Apnaklub to increase the visibility of their app. 

“With our experience in finding the product-market fit and merchant acquisition, we are excited to be part of the journey with this experienced and nimble team,” said Chawla.

Just recently, Social Beat has also announced that it has entered a new partnership with global CRM platform Salesforce, with the aim to drive marketing automation and digital transformation for brands in India.