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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee PH’s latest brand ambassador draws flak from netizens

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee in the Philippines is in hot water following the announcement of its newest brand ambassador, Filipina singer-actress Toni Gonzaga, with local netizens criticising the brand for their ambassador choice.

Shopee Philippines previously teased the new brand ambassador in a snippet video posted on Twitter on September 28.

Toni Gonzaga has been involved in controversy over the past few months after showing her staunch support to now-elected President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., the son of former dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. It should be noted that Gonzaga has appeared in numerous presidential campaign rallies for Marcos towards the May 9 national elections.

Progressive-minded netizens have called out Shopee Philippines for their new ambassador, with many saying that they would not support a brand that enables political lies.

Netizen @majiksparky stated that with the new announcement, they will switch to rival e-commerce platform Lazada.

Meanwhile, a Twitter user named @ArenoEllen, who is also an online seller, has encouraged netizens to switch to Lazada, claiming that Shopee takes a 15% cut from their payouts, while Lazada takes around 5% of payout.

Many Twitter users have also pointed out that the new brand ambassador comes after Shopee Philippines have recently laid off employees, the latest string of Shopee employee layoffs in Asia-Pacific, including China, as well as in Latin America.

Despite the criticism, Shopee Philippines pushed through with the announcement of Toni Gonzaga’s brand ambassador stint, with her thanking fans for the ‘mentions and engagement’.

A Shopee representative said that Gonzaga was chosen not for her ‘political views’ but rather her mass appeal.

“Together with our newest brand ambassador, Toni, we are working to deliver entertaining content to drive anticipation leading up to the upcoming 10.10 Brands Festival,” they said.

This was not the first time Shopee drew flak with its brand ambassador. When Shopee got international superstar Jackie Chan to be its brand ambassador for its 11.11 Regional Sale in 2021, marketing leaders and creatives criticised the ad for its ‘lukewarm’ and ‘confusing’ direction.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Decathlon to suspend Sri Lankan retail, e-commerce operations by late October

Sri Lanka – French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has announced that it will indefinitely suspend its retail and e-commerce operations in Sri Lanka by October 30 this year, following import concerns amidst the current social unrest in the country.

Decathlon first operated in the country in October 2018 and has operated two stores, as well as an e-commerce store.

In a Facebook statement, Decathlon said that its production activities in Sri Lanka will continue to operate as normal.

“We would like to thank all of our customers and partners for the good will and support they have shown since we first opened our doors. The welcome reserved for our concept and our products was amazing and we sincerely hope to restart our retail activities in Sri Lanka when circumstances permit,” the company said.

They also added that it will also relocate its production sites and its employees, as well as providing financial and return-to-employment support to its employees moving outside the company.

Decathlon’s suspension of operations in Sri Lanka follows the ongoing economic crisis in the country, with Sri Lanka facing its worst economic crisis since 2019. This resulted in the recent Sri Lankan protests that resulted in the government declaring a state of emergency and the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Shopee reportedly cutting more jobs–this time in China

China – Regional e-commerce giant Shopee has reportedly cut more jobs, this time in the Chinese market, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The recent layoffs in China follows recent reported layoffs from Shopee in Singapore, Indonesia, and in Latin America.

According to SCMP, the layoffs are to optimise operating efficiency with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency across Shopee’s business. In addition, they will be extending support to their affected colleagues during this transition.

However, the report didn’t mention how much of Shopee China’s workforce are impacted.

It should be recalled that Shopee’s parent company Sea has also announced that it is shutting some of its projects and downsizing staff in Garena and Sea Labs.

Shopee is one of the latest tech companies to announce employee layoffs, including Netflix, Snap, Oracle, and Hootsuite.

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Platforms Videos APAC

Tiqets, Klook partner to bolster selection of cultural, leisure experiences

Singapore – Tiqets, an online platform for cultural and leisure experiences in Europe and North America, has partnered with Klook, a travel and leisure e-commerce platform in the Asia Pacific, to connect both their supply channels to offer consumers a world-class supply of cultural and leisure experiences.

Through the new partnership, customers can now use both platforms to seamlessly book an expanded range of experiences available through either Klook or Tiqets. With this integration in place, museums, attractions, and tour operators working with Tiqets and Klook can significantly increase their reach, and consumers will be able to easily book thousands of unforgettable experiences wherever they travel.

As the travel industry enters its rebound phase after a gruelling, two-year global pandemic, both companies have made a remarkable comeback. Over the summer months, Tiqets saw a 220% surge in bookings in Europe and the UK alone. Similarly for Klook, the company has seen outbound bookings grow eleven times in the same period compared to earlier in the year, signalling that the travel bug is stronger than ever. With the end-of-year holiday season on the horizon and the partnership underway, another impressive increase in bookings is expected.

Luuc Elzinga, Tiqets’ president and founder, commented, “We are thrilled to be partnering up with Klook, one of the most impressive OTAs in the industry. Through this partnership, our network of more than 4,000 of the best museums, attractions and tour operators that provide guided tours at these museums will benefit from greater visibility in the APAC market, and Tiqets will benefit from the new supply that Klook already has connected.”

Meanwhile, Wilfred Fan, chief commercial officer at Klook, said that this partnership with Tiqets opens new doors for both groups of customers to enjoy instant and seamless access to the widest selection of attractions and experiences across the Asia Pacific and Europe.

“Klook has gone from strength to strength during the pandemic, and we’ve quadrupled the number of activities on our platform over the last two years in anticipation of travel recovery. We will continue to work closely with our merchants to accelerate their recovery and reach even more customers around the world,” added Fan.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

CREA expands capabilities to enable int’l brands to reach consumers in SEA

Singapore – Digital commerce enabler in SEA, CREA, has announced a new and enhanced offering that will enable it to efficiently import international brands to Southeast Asia, acting as their gateway to the market.

The extended offering means that CREA now offers brands the full spectrum of support regarding importation, licensing, product strategy, and distribution across online, social, and offline commerce channels. With this, brands will be able to rapidly accelerate their entrance to the Southeast Asian market, which is estimated to be made up of 350 million online shoppers, according to an annual study conducted by Bain & Company and commissioned by Facebook.

In addition to this end-to-end support, brands can now leverage CREA’s community of digital content creators to amplify their reach and drive mass awareness and engagement amongst consumer audiences through social channels such as TikTok and Instagram. Brands will also be able to access its in-house marketing, branding, and data-driven insight capabilities to further drive sales and reach new audiences, with the aim of establishing themselves as household brands in the region. CREA will also be offering brands access to its technology-driven logistics network, further streamlining their entrance to the market.

Aimone Ripa di Meana, founder and co-chief executive officer of CREA, shared that this transformation of their business was a natural progression for their company, and they are proud to see how much they have grown in such a short space of time. 

“We started working with brands in Southeast Asia that were looking to ramp up their digital presence, and now with our expanded capabilities, we can support international brands on their journey to enter the market. We look forward to bringing more global brands to the region and driving their success,” he said. 

CREA said that the new offering launches with it having already secured exclusive rights to distribute and manage some of the hottest new-generation brands from the United States, including skincare and beauty brands Mario Badescu, ILIA, and Malin+Goetz. More brand partners will be announced in due course.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s What’s NEXT returns with a 4-month long festival of insights sharing

The Philippines – MARKETECH APAC‘s What’s NEXT returns this year with a stronger push to bring the industry together through a variety of knowledge-sharing activities. MARKETECH APAC will continue to feature thought-leadership articles written by renowned marketing leaders to cover various marketing areas, as it did last year.

With MARKETECH APAC‘s ongoing push to create relevant video content, we will gather the best in the industry this year and sit down with them to discuss how marketers can prepare for the upcoming year of marketing opportunities and challenges.

On November 3, 2022, What’s NEXT 2023 will kick off with a regional webinar, What’s NEXT: Events in Asia Pacific, in collaboration with event tech platform, Hubilo. On November 8, in partnership with influencer marketing platform Vamp, another regional webinar, What’s Next: Influencer Marketing in APAC, will be held.

True to its mission of creating a well-connected marketing community in Asia Pacific, What’s NEXT 2023 concludes with a two-day hybrid conference, What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia Pacific, on February 21-22, with at least 120 physical attendees in Manila and 1,500 virtual attendees from various markets in Asia Pacific.

The conference will spark offline and online discussions about digital, e-commerce, customer engagement, CX, esports, research, B2B, metaverse, and other relevant topics that will help marketers future-proof marketing strategies.

MARKETECH APAC’s What’s NEXT 2023 will be a go-to platform for checking out the marketing industry’s new trends, opportunities, and challenges to be explored in the region through this holistic approach.

Keep an eye on our website and social media pages for updates on the hybrid conference.

Please contact Joven Barceñas at [email protected] if you are interested in becoming a partner.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ChannelAdvisor announces integration with Shopee

Australia – Cloud-based e-commerce solutions ChannelAdvisor has announced its integration with regional e-commerce giant Shopee. Through the partnership, ChannelAdvisor customers will be able to reach new consumers in the SEA region.

Customers can now extend their multichannel commerce strategies to new markets in the region, while leveraging the efficiencies of a centralised platform.

Some of the solutions include transforming product data to meet the unique requirements of each channel, optimising and managing product content from a centralised location, maximising reach without overselling by synchronising inventory quantity across channels, and identifying growth opportunities with powerful reporting and dashboard analytics.

Derek Conlin, VP for global business development at ChannelAdvisor, said, “We’re excited to announce our integration with Shopee, which will provide ChannelAdvisor customers with access to millions of new buyers in Southeast Asia and beyond.”

He added, “Brands and retailers keen on accelerating growth of their online business should evaluate selling on Shopee to increase visibility and sales in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

TikTok Shop launches in Singapore

Singapore – TikTok Shop, the new e-commerce solution by short-video platform TikTok, has officially launched in Singapore. Starting 10 August, shoppers can usher in Singapore’s 57th birthday festivities via the TikTok Shop 8.8 campaign.

As part of the platform’s ongoing efforts to support local businesses, TikTok Shop is a dynamic marketplace built into the TikTok platform, allowing consumers and creators to connect and engage directly with brands and sellers. 

In particular, TikTok Shop offers merchants and brands a bustling online space they can leverage to connect with newfound consumers keen to discover new brands and share fresh finds with others.

Ng Chew Wee, head of business marketing for APAC at TikTok, said that they have observed that Singapore has exceeded its potential as a major e-commerce market, with its projected market volume expected to hit US$11.45 billion by 2025. 

She stated, “As more people shop online, TikTok Shop presents the ultimate convergence of content and commerce with unique Shoppertainment experiences for all.”

Wee added, “In this way, TikTok Shop not only empowers local businesses to effectively tap onto the platform’s fast-growing audience base to drive tangible business results but also affords the delivery of content that delights and entertains – resonating with the right audience across the discovery to purchase stages.”

With TikTok Shop, sellers can also create an e-commerce experience by having full control of the end-to-end process within TikTok – from uploading the products to curating the point of purchase as well as managing shipping and order fulfilment – affording a seamless consumer journey that will help businesses thrive. 

Additionally, sellers will also be able to tap into the rich variety of content formats to showcase their creativity, connect with their audiences and be discovered by the community. These include shoppable live sessions and creator collaborations that can be easily forged using the TikTok Shop Affiliate Program, which connects creators with sellers through commission-based product marketing. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee PH launches community platform to combat online scams

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee in the Philippines has recently launched Shopee Cares PH, an online community platform where Shopee provides customer education and support to combat the rising number of online scams.

The goal of the platform is to empower consumers with proper know-hows and tips on how they can protect themselves from phishing scams, money and gift card scams, and third party seller scams.

With Shopee Cares PH, users are also encouraged to seek help for any product inquiry or concern, and inspire other users through their memorable Shopee finds and experiences. Sale tips and tricks are also provided to ensure online shopping is made enjoyable with exclusive deals and promos. 

Martin Yu, director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee has always been committed to ensuring that every Filipino’s online shopping experience is safe and reliable, and Shopee Cares is a testament to that. Through this platform, we aim to equip them with knowledge on how to shop safely and combat these online scams together so that they can continuously enjoy shopping online.”

He added, “As more Filipinos rely on e-commerce, we continuously ensure that measures are in place to make their experience with Shopee more secure. What we want is for our shoppers to continue enjoying the benefits of online shopping, as this has become an essential part of their daily lives.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Alban Dudek joins Wavemaker Indonesia as partner for e-commerce

Jakarta, Indonesia – Alban Dudek, formerly the chief digital and marketing officer at Omnichannel Retail Indonesia, has joined Wavemaker Indonesia as partner for e-commerce. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading e-commerce services for all Wavemaker Indonesia clients, from brand awareness to conversion on multiple channels.

He brings into the company a multi-market experience that will positively make business to be more competitive and profitable, in addition to advancing the team to improve their e-commerce expertise, and focusing on the clients’ performance growth area.

He will be reporting to Amir Suherlan, managing director of Wavemaker Indonesia.

Regarding his new role, Dudek said, “Digital transformation and expansion of marketplaces, particularly in Indonesia, have allowed the growth of multiple inspired brands and sellers who took this opportunity to grow fast, sometimes with a short-term vision. The establishment of bigger and well-implemented brands is now challenged by the growth of this new market.”

He added, “More than ever, agencies and marketers are now empowered to accompany this transformation while keeping respect for brand values. Accompanying this growth requires strong leadership and actions. And it requires creativity, interest in the product always and eyes wide open to new tech emergences.”

Meanwhile, Suherlan commented, “We continuously build agency capability to offer a full-service commerce solution for the brands and retailers. It is a fast-growing pillar within Wavemaker Indonesia.”

He added, “Dudek has the eagerness and strong view how to build further commerce services not only on digital marketing but an end-to-end solution including commerce strategic consultation and creative assets developments.”