Technology Featured APAC

E-commerce enabler Awake Asia merges with ADA for market expansion

Singapore – Awake Asia, a regional e-commerce enabler, has announced that it will be now merging with data and AI company ADA, which will help both of the companies empower their services across 10 markets in Asia Pacific, particularly in the e-commerce sector.

Awake Asia’s integration under the ADA brand is effective 1 June this year, where they will serve the markets of Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Cambodia, South Korea, and Vietnam.

The merger entails the combination of Awake Asia’s deep e-commerce expertise with ADA’s media, creative, and analytics solutions to drive online sales for brands. This is best applied through digital marketing deeply linked to e-commerce revenue generation; consumer data and analytics leveraged to uplift e-commerce sales; and reaching vast audiences in super-apps and marketplaces.

For Srinivas Gattamneni, chief executive officer of ADA, the merger brings together an integrated approach for brands to reach and convert digital consumers, which is best supported by the fact that more brands are forced to adapt to capture the ‘great migration’ of consumers from offline to online, and business owners still in the dark on how to navigate the challenges to maximize return on investment.

“At ADA, our belief is that e-commerce should not be a siloed execution but needs to be deeply integrated into the brand’s analytics, media, creative, and marketing technology investments – only then can we achieve superior performance,” he said.

Leading the new division is Simon Paterson who joins ADA as chief of e-commerce enablement and the former CEO of Awake Asia. 

Commenting on his new appointment, he said “Over the past 5 years, Awake Asia has built a formidable e-commerce enablement business in Southeast Asia. We are excited to embark on this new phase of growth with integrated analytics, media, and creative to boost e-commerce operations for all brands in the region.”

The merger opens a new market for ADA in Vietnam with over 150 e-commerce specialists currently serving more than 120 brands, driving e-commerce growth for clients such as P&G, Unilever, BMW, and Wyeth; and e-commerce partners including Shopee, Tokopedia, and Lazada among others.

ADA has recently been expanding its data and AI-oriented services across Asia Pacific, such as launching its martech service, an end-to-end e-commerce service, and its partnership with Insider for data-led enterprise marketing endeavors, as well its recent US$60m funding from Softbank.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Bukalapak targets gaming inclusivity in Indonesia through itemku partnership

Jakarta, Indonesia – To respond to the increase and significance of the gaming industry in Indonesia, e-commerce company Bukalapak has announced a partnership with itemku, an Indonesian-based online marketplace catered to the gaming industry.

As part of the commitment, both Bukalapak and itemku will work closely in creating greater reach and access for Indonesians in terms of video games, including distribution of products from itemku to gaming customers who are in the country’s rural areas.

In addition, Bukalapak and itemku will develop new projects in the near future to ascertain game accessibility in the country.

“Millions of Indonesians have used my items for years. However, we want to go beyond just making digital entertainment inclusive. I fully agree with Bukalapak’s vision to build an economy that is fair for all, and that’s why we decided to collaborate with them. We want to have a big impact on hundreds of millions of Indonesians, just as they have done. Along with the social impact, I hope this collaboration can bring rapid development in this industry,” Denis Kim, CEO of itemku, said.

Part of the reason the partnership has flourished is due to the increase of game players during the course of the global lockdowns brought by the pandemic. Verizon reports that mobile game usage rose 75% during the first phase of lockdown in 2020, compared to the period before COVID, and there were more than 2.3b mobile game downloads between March 5 and April 5, up 60% at the same time. the previous year period.

Furthermore, a large number of people want to know and try video games for the first time during the pandemic and many of them will continue to play games in the future. This prediction is strengthened by a survey conducted by Google and Savanta in May 2020 of 7,611 people.

For Willix Halim, chief operating officer at Bukalapak, one of their goals as an e-commerce platform has always been to help increase digital penetration in Indonesia, by helping to create a good digital ecosystem. 

“I realize that the need for home entertainment has increased during the pandemic, and itemku is doing a great job of understanding those needs, I hope that with our shared strength, we can help catalyze the need for digital gaming in Indonesia, and make video games more accessible. by every community throughout Indonesia,” Halim stated.

Bukalapak has recently concluded its US$400m funding round, with Swiss investment bank UBS Group AG and Malaysian conglomerate Genting Berhad subsidiary Resorts World being the prime backers of the funding.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

This new SG joint venture aims to prep brands on China market’s reopening

Singapore – As Singapore braces for the reopening of the China market, Singapore fintech Aleta Planet has formed a joint venture (JV) with software development Fooyo to offer digital marketing and e-commerce solutions to meet rising demand from Singapore businesses preparing for the reopening of the China market.

The JV, called AP Studios, will develop digital tools that will help merchants provide a richer, more interactive payment experience as well as engage their customers through the popular WeChat marketing platform in China.

With AP Studios, Aleta Planet, which is already connecting merchants to the UnionPay network in China and in 179 markets globally, will be able to offer a comprehensive and seamless marketing payment solution to these merchants.

AP Studios’ tools, which range from payment checkout webpages and chatbots to WeChat/Alipay mini programs, crowd-control monitoring solutions and interactive tourism apps, can be customized for merchants in retail, medical, education, tourism, government and other industries.

A variety of apps can be created in the WeChat mini program. For example, one app promotes F&B merchants through a food trail itinerary where customers can pre-order food and read reviews; another offers virtual campus tours of a list of universities to foreign students and allows them to pay for school expenses and course fees within the mini program.

Fooyo was founded by Li Shaohuan in 2014 and three former schoolmates from the National University of Singapore namely Fooyo’s Co-Founder and Senior Project Manager, Liu Yangfan and Fooyo’s Co-Founder and CTO, Chen Zeyu.

Ryan Gwee, founder and group chairman at Aleta Planet said, “Everything we do as a fintech company is about innovation and getting the best talent to partner us. Shaohuan and his team have tremendous talent, especially in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and app design, and we are excited to launch AP Studios with Fooyo to expand our suite of digital marketing tools.

He also added that many of their clients have expressed the need for an all-in-one solution that will grow their digital presence in China. They believe that this venture will provide them with a holistic and comprehensive e-commerce solution to achieve targets more efficiently.

“Aleta Planet has always been open to exploring new areas of cooperation. This is part of our growth strategy to expand beyond payments to cover other services related to checkout, digital marketing, customer experience and engagement,” Gwee added.

Shaohuan will head AP Studios as managing director of the solutions team, under the Aleta Planet Group. The team’s combined expertise in AI, big data solutions, robotics and cloud computing has enabled Fooyo to clinch several government-commissioned projects.

“This joint venture between a growing fintech company and a smart SaaS solution company will have an amplification effect for both our businesses. It is going to be a win-win solution. We aim to work with more industries and expand to countries beyond Singapore together,” he stated.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

Omnichannel retail strategies in the era of connected experiences

Retailers across the globe were already facing challenges engaging with the increasingly digital consumer when the global pandemic hit. The sweeping lockdowns and movement restrictions only made the problem worse. Analysts predict that more than 100,000 stores will shut down by 2025 in the United States alone and retailers across the globe are experiencing disruption in the way they’ve connected and engaged with consumers in the past. 

The only way to thrive in this environment is to take a connected retail approach through omnichannel engagement. Retailers can no longer remain purely online or offline players and need to stay in step with customers across multiple touchpoints. This also means brands need to rethink their engagement and communication strategies to acquire, engage, and retain customers in this context. In the process, they must ensure that every touchpoint delivers a consistent, convenient, and continuous experience to the customer.

According to IDC, an omnichannel experience can improve the customer’s lifetime value (LTV) by 30% and customer retention by 90%. These experiences are vital to recognize user behavior across multiple channels. They also magnify user actions to grow ‘micro-conversions’, the ‘wow’ moments that nudge shoppers towards a purchase, such as following a brand on social media or adding an item to the cart or wishlist. At the same time, connected experiences can highlight critical user moments to lower drop-offs.

For example, if you were in a physical store and couldn’t find the staff to help you with questions about an item, eventually you might put it back on the shelf and leave. The same can happen online if brands are not present for these moments. Finally, connected experiences allow for relevant, personalized communications across channels and a boost to LTV through loyalty programs.

A connected experience is more than just having multiple channels of communication. Gartner defines a connected experience as one during which customers can shop without any channel limitations. Customers can choose their preferred channels for purchase; how they’d like to pay; and how they’d like to obtain the items. 

How can retailers create this kind of unified experience and transform brick and mortar customers into digital ones? 

Before retailers start implementing a connected customer journey, they need to have a clear blueprint of how to implement it and assess preparedness. A one-size-fits-all approach could fail. A connected experience strategy can be divided into three stages: crawl, walk, and run. 

Crawl: The most basic stage where foundation building happens. This is where brands and retailers understand the things that work best for customers such as typical user events and the triggers for them. The key objective in this stage is to initiate communication with customers. An example of this in practice could be sending a personal message to thank someone for following you on social media and sharing a link to your website. 

Walk: With the triggers identified and messaging refined, the next stage is to connect the dots across channels. Steps in this stage are creating separate messages for acquisitions, retention, and engagement across each channel; knowing what action you want the customer to take and selecting the trigger for it (e.g., a push notification); and developing an alternate plan in case the customer proceeds in a different direction. 

Run: This is when retailers begin to focus on long-term relationships. You should now be in a place to better leverage data to trigger personalized campaigns. If you are seeing strong engagement, now is also the time to introduce a loyalty program and collect feedback post-purchase. Examples of these activities could be focused campaigns for special occasions; unique offers and incentives based on past purchases; or offering promotions that can be redeemed at nearby stores.

Once you know how to build a connected customer journey and the stage you are in, the next step is execution using engagement workflows. It’s crucial to have workflows mapped across the customer journey, i.e., from micro-conversions (link clicks/page visits) to macro conversions (purchase). 

Retailers need to carry out a series of activities to engage customers throughout their journey, from the time they register on an app or website to the time they add items to a wishlist or complete a purchase. However, the journey doesn’t end here. The process must be repeated for each new or existing user, every time they become active on your app or website. 

Best practices for creating engagement workflows include analyzing micro, ‘intent-rich’ moments to create connected journeys; segmenting by tags, events, and actions; creating workflows by deploying user event and activity conditions, and setting touchpoints using the most suitable channels for each customer segment and the point they are at in their purchasing journey. 

With some insight into how to create workflows for the different stages that customers might be in, it’s time to implement. Before retailers begin, they should keep the following in mind for the best chance of success:

Set KPIs and goals based on workflow rationale: No two customers are alike. If one is in the onboarding stage, another is in the retention stage, so each workflow will need to be measured by different key performance indicators (KPIs). For example, your goal for onboarding customers could be to increase first-purchase transactions. On the other hand, your goal in the engagement phase could be to nudge customers to purchase again. The goal for the customer advocacy workflow could be to collect more feedback from customers. Focused KPIs for each of these goals will allow for better planning.

Delegate to team members: Although the marketing workflows automate processes, some functions should be delegated to team members to improve the campaign’s outcome. For example, different team members can monitor different campaigns and deliver actionable insights on how to meet goals. When team members know exactly what they need to focus on, there is less confusion and more clarity about how to achieve the desired outcomes of the campaign.

Revise workflows with a similar rationale: Remember to review campaigns periodically – weekly, monthly, and quarterly- to measure performance. Customer needs may change during the process of implementing the workflow and you can revise your workflows to integrate any new insights that you gain that could improve the outcome of your campaigns. You can also do an A/B test to know if a campaign performs well before implementing the workflow completely. However, ensure that the revised workflow does not disrupt the customer experience in any way. As is the goal with all customer interactions, it should be hassle-free and frictionless. 

The digital era has placed even more emphasis on the customer experience. Gone are the days of customer service with a smile. Today, retail customers want clear communication and control of their shopping experience. For retail brands, this means that there is more pressure than ever before to deliver crisp, rewarding, and connected experiences. Taking a comprehensive approach to your digital outreach strategy and investing in the tools that streamline this process will ensure your success in the near term and beyond.

This article was written by Saurabh Madan, general Manager for SEA and ANZ at MoEngage.

MoEngage is an insights-led engagement platform built for marketers and product owners looking to bolster their customer engagement. With AI-powered automation and optimization, MoEngage enables brands to analyze audience behavior and engage consumers at every point of the purchasing journey.
Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SRA appoints Lazada as first e-commerce partner for Great Singapore Sale 2021

Singapore – Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), the non-profit non-governmental key representative body for the retail industry in Singapore, has announced the appointment of e-commerce platform Lazada as the first-ever official e-commerce partner for the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) 2021, an annual shopping event in the country.

GSS is a shopping fair that started 27 years ago and is annually organized by the SRA, with the aim to promote the tourism industry in the country. 

The previously held edition of GSS was in September 2020. It was also online due to the pandemic and it took place as a hybrid event as part of the SingapoRediscovers – a campaign by Singapore Tourism Board that supports local businesses and encourages people to explore the country. 

One year on, and with Singapore back to ‘phase two’ of reopening, SRA believes that the decision to partner with Lazada will greatly help the retail industry. With the platform’s expertise in equipping brands and sellers to move online, they can achieve successful sales.

Through the partnership, SRA members will benefit from Lazada platform’s technology infrastructure, payments gateway, and logistics solutions with its third-party logistics partners, which will eliminate costly barriers retailers face when selling online. They will also enjoy a 0% commission, with new LazMall sellers enjoying this promotion for the first three months on the platform from the first day they sell on their LazMall store.

James Chang, chief executive officer at Lazada Singapore, said, “The Great Singapore Sale is a national institution and sentimental for Singaporeans and those who remember flying into the country to enjoy the sales. In these challenging and transformative times, we’re doing our part to rally the retail industry and equip them with the tools they need to have a successful Great Singapore Sale in 2021.”

Furthermore, SRA members on LazMall during the fair can also take advantage of the suite of marketing solutions available to increase visibility while appealing to shoppers. They will each have a dedicated account manager to navigate the plethora of options including LazLive, Lazada’s in-app live streaming service, and flash sales, as well as the Lazada store. 

Meanwhile, shoppers are allowed to make purchases at a seller’s Lazada store and pick them up at their physical outlet. This not only provides an additional delivery option to suit customers’ needs but also paves the way for sellers to enjoy a successful hybrid operating model with both online and offline outlets.

Singapore Retailers Association’s president R Dhinakaran shared that the pandemic has had a profound impact on consumer shopping habits and accelerated retailers’ urgency to expand their digital presence quickly so as to stay engaged with their consumers and develop alternative sales channels. 

“Our partnership with Lazada this GSS is timely, in the light of tighter SMM guidelines limiting shopper traffic to stores and malls, and a changing retail landscape,” said Dhinakaran.

This year’s GSS will kick off with Lazada’s 6.6 sale campaign until 7 July, which is also Lazada’s much-anticipated annual 7.7 sales.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Zalora launches first-ever fashion and lifestyle podcast series in Asia

Singapore – E-commerce fashion brand Zalora has launched ‘Zalora Talks’, the first of its kind podcast series in Asia that centers around the latest trends in the fashion and lifestyle industry. 

Comprising two seasons annually, the platform said ‘Zalora Talks’ is part of the company’s plan to boost its content marketing strategy this year. 

The series will be hosted by Amy Yasmine, the former editor of Harper’s Bazaar Malaysia and will have six episodes making up each season with a 45-minute run time. The series aims to bring together industry experts, brand partners, and fashion and lifestyle key opinion leaders to discuss trending issues around lifestyle, health and wellness, and fashion and beauty, as well as current events like the new realities of celebrating Eid al-Fitr during the pandemic.

The series will feature celebrity guest appearances from personalities like Filipino celebrity stylist Laureen Uy, Singapore-based TV host and entrepreneur Yumika Hoskin, and Malaysia’s model and influencer Natalie Prabha, as well as Singapore’s national swimmer Kimberley Chan, and founder of Wanderlust & Co. Jenn Low from Malaysia.

Over the past year, the brand has been embracing new digital marketing formats, from introducing workout sessions via Instagram Live with gym partners as part of the #SaturdaySweat campaign to in-house editorial productions like digital magazine covers. 

The launch of the podcast series is the latest milestone in the company’s increased investment into native content development and comes off the back of the recent launch of Zalora’s industry webinar series, which is broadcasted quarterly on platforms such as LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. Further, Zalora said that its newly launched podcast series is a way to introduce the podcasting format to the industry, which has itself seen a surge in search interest and activity since the onset of the pandemic last year.

CEO of Zalora Group Gunjan Soni said that as consumers continue to accelerate their migration to the online space, they have noticed the increasing demand for new forms of engagement. 

She further shared that with consumers fatigued with Zoom and video conferencing over the last year of pandemic, audio has become the refreshing new choice of medium, and that they are excited to tap on the guests’ diverse areas of expertise and foster community-driven conversations.

“Being a vertical specialist in fashion and lifestyle, Zalora has always invested in being a leader in content marketing in the e-commerce industry, and we will continue to add more innovative formats through the year while maintaining our high bar on quality,” said Gunjan.

A new episode of Zalora Talks is available on Spotify every week.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

P&G, Lazada rolls out new campaign to raise awareness on Imposter Syndrome

Manila, Philippines – Procter & Gamble (P&G) has partnered with Southeast Asia’s e-commerce platform Lazada to launch a new campaign for women titled ‘#RealDeal’, with the aim to raise awareness around Imposter Syndrome a psychological phenomenon in which a person feels inadequate and incompetent despite her evident success and capabilities.

According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, about 82% of the general population experience imposter syndrome in different periods of their lives, while the statistics from the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Study, also shared that 1 out of 2 women experiences Imposter Syndrome on a daily or regular basis, attesting to the fact that women often doubt their own abilities through feelings of fraud and belittlement of their own experiences and expertise.

The ‘#RealDeal’ campaign aims to shed light on this psychological experience through a short film, telling the real-life story of Singaporean entrepreneur, Yeo Wan Qing, who overcame Imposter syndrome by being open to those around her about the struggles she was facing.

The campaign will run on Lazada in May and June across five Southeast Asian markets including the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore, as well as Indonesia, and Vietnam, with a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Olay, Pantene, and Oral-B.

“Imposter Syndrome should be taken seriously. Women who experience Imposter Syndrome need to come to the realization that people value their expertise, and they can focus on growing through the process. Additionally, they can speak to someone they trust to help them realize that their fears are unfounded,” said Dr. Lim Boon Leng, the psychiatrist from Dr. BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness.

Meanwhile, Alexandra Vogler, the senior director of e-commerce at P&G Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa, shared, “P&G is deeply committed to equality and inclusion. Through this campaign, we want to bring to light the inner struggles that go unnoticed among women experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Through this short film, we hope to inspire people to start conversations about Imposter Syndrome, and support one another in overcoming it.”

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s top 5 stories for April: A data and AI company takes number 1 spot

This month’s top stories are all about game-changing old practices and breaking stereotypes in the industry. A new agency has just launched a new proprietary tech that aims to bring more science to the practice of media planning, while a popular short-video platform moves beyond its popularized brand of entertainment to launch a pilot educational series. 

Meanwhile, the world of gaming makes another comeback. Two companies have recently partnered to offer brands an inventory of a new type of advertising in the gaming world. An AI and data company has also offered a new solution to a marketplace that is of surging demand today – e-commerce; while this month also saw the appointment and elevation of one veteran in the area of loyalty marketing in APAC.

Rankings were sourced from Google Analytics from the period of 16 March to 15 April. Take a look. 

Top 5: Global platforms Anzu and Eskimi partner to offer in-game advertising to brands 

More brands will be able to better engage with gamers around the world and get their hands on a relatively new type of brand placement in games – in-game advertising – as two platforms have partnered to offer the said type of inventory to advertisers in Africa, Asia, and CIS, as well as Europe, and MENA. is a global in-game advertising platform, while Eskimi is a full-stack programmatic and data platform. What Anzu offers are real-life advertisements that fit natively into games, and Yaniv Rozencweig, the director of business operations at Anzu, said that it is looking for a demand-side platform (DSP) like Eskimi that has a strong and agile tech team that is able to “make adjustments” in order to tap into its supply. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to both Rozencweig and Monika Poškutė, the head of marketing at Eskimi, where both said that the partnership ultimately aims to solve the long-standing problem of intrusive ads. 

“Our mindset is very similar [and] basically the same, we believe that ads should not be intrusive, and they should not be a big distraction in your life. You’re supposed to have your activities online for the game that you’re playing on your mobile phone, and it is the game that you’re enjoying, it’s entertainment, [so] suddenly receiving like a pop-up [ad] is a distraction, it’s intrusive,” said Poškutė. 

They also said that the tie-up will be offering foremost the education to clients and brands on how to work around this unique type of advertising and how to best harness it to better connect to gamers which had already reached about 3 billion around the world. 

“You can find various user segments in this big gamer audience in a non-intrusive way, and we believe that by educating our clients about this new opportunity, we are able to offer new channels, [and] new engagement rates, and I could even say probably more loyal user segments,” added Poškutė. 

Top 4: JOLT Digital brings science to media planning through J-CAL 

Singapore-based digital agency JOLT Digital has recently unveiled its new tech for media planning J-CAL, or which stands for J-Calculator, which aims to turn the practice of media planning on its head by bringing more science to advertisers’ processes through econometric modeling. 

MARKETECH APAC spoke to the agency’s founder Sebastien Lepez, where he said that throughout his own experience in media planning, he found that most executives allocate media budget based on gut feel.

Lepez, a marketing veteran with over 13 years of experience in both the agency and client sides, shared that media planners usually use media metrics or the rate of likes, impressions, and views, and while, effective in its own way, still doesn’t integrate sales in the process. 

“We allocate the optimal media budget to the channels we have selected. Our tool is able to tell us exactly how many percent should be invested into each of the channels,” he said. 

In the development of J-CAL, five years’ worth of data across Southeast Asia was used to build econometric curves or what the agency calls response curves for each of the channels that are present on digital. 

“J-CAL has taken nine months to develop and I think we have created a technology that is very unique and very robust. A lot of data, efforts, and thinking has gone into it. We truly believe that it is going to game-change media planning,” Lepez stated.

He further said, “Our industry is in need for a change and it’s been requested by clients for many years. After years [of] working at agencies and clients, I had time to observe the gaps and now I am able with JOLT and with J-CAL to fill these gaps.”

Top 3: TikTok Singapore launches first-ever educational series

While TikTok is most popularly known as an entertainment platform, TikTok in Singapore aims to showcase that such is definitely the case and that the platform is far more reaching than just exciting dances and singing. With this, it launched last 31 March to 6 April its first educational series which has its pilot theme on careers on tech. 

The first-ever #JobTok educational live stream series is a lineup of shows that aims to equip the youth aspiring for tech careers with knowledge of the jobs and skillsets of the future in the industry to help them to make more informed career decisions in life.

“We recognize the need to dispel the uncertainty among today’s job seekers and equip them with the relevant skills to be future-ready, so with that idea in mind, we decided to launch the first-ever ‘JobTok’ educational live series to equip all the users in the platform with the knowledge and the skill set of the future to allow them to make more informed career decisions,” said Doreen Tan, user & content operations manager at TikTok Singapore, in an interview with MARKETECH APAC

The platform has roped in women leaders in tech, tech executives from the government, and even its own engineers to shed light on some of the most burning questions of tech enthusiasts. Segments presented were ‘Adulting Advice from Young GovTechies’, ‘The Faces Behind TikTok live’, and ‘Women Leadership in Tech’. 

‘Ultimately, what we are trying to do here is providing an insider look into the tech industry and to just spark greater interest among Singaporeans to enter this fast-growing industry,” added Tan.  

Top 2: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts names new senior director for marketing and loyalty in APAC

Just recently, hospitality giant Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has consolidated and rebranded its Southeast Asia Pacific Rim (SEAPR) unit to now represent the whole Asia Pacific, and with this, it has elevated its former director for marketing and loyalty in SEAPR Lynn Poh to now take the lead as the senior director for the hotel’s rewards program, Wyndham Rewards, in APAC.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Poh to know more about what her first order of business will be as she takes on the role.

“My first order of business is integrating the marketing and loyalty teams in Asia Pacific, and plus, developing a strategic marketing plan for both digital and loyalty that will support the needs of our hotels across the region,” said Poh. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is one of the biggest hospitality chains in the world with brands across upscale, midscale, and value segments. The APAC leg currently comprises over 1,500 hotels, and within the running quarter of the year alone, the region has announced new additions to its portfolio with a new property in India state Gujarat, and inaugural entries in Nepal and Cambodia.

With tight travel restrictions in the region still in place, how does Lynn plan to keep the rewards program on its feet when such depends on recurring bookings? She said it’s about leveraging digital channels and employing social media strategies that will keep the brand on consumers’ radar. 

“We have seen positive news of travel bubbles coming out of certain destinations, so while we’re still very focused on integrated campaigns, we are also taking a sub-regional approach that’s tailored to market needs,” she shared. 

“So I agree that bookings have not reached historic levels, but throughout the pandemic, Wyndham had been really present in social media and digital channels, and we’ve been driving this message of dreaming to travel again, reconnecting with family and friends, so really driving that top-of-mind awareness through our social media platforms,” she added. 

Top 1: ADA launches new end-to-end e-commerce solution in APAC

Nabbing the top spot for this month of April is ADA, a company that uses deep data and AI capabilities to provide brands in Asia actionable marketing insights and brand and communication strategies. ADA garnered the highest readership for the month for its new e-commerce solution, which is an end-to-end offering for brands.

Speaking with MARKETECH APAC, Anurag Gupta, chief operating officer and chief of agency at ADA, said that what the company found was that while e-commerce is a booming industry in Southeast Asia, companies’ current solutions for online brands are very siloed. 

“There are companies who are driving traffic to the e-commerce platforms or marketplace, then there are companies helping brands optimize the customer journey, then there are companies helping them do fulfillment, but nobody’s linking everything together,” Gupta said. 

Hence, its launch of the new solution. The service is aimed at clients seeking comprehensive solutions to drive traffic, manage customer experience, optimize conversions throughout the funnel, and create engaging content on digital marketplaces as well as owned e-commerce sites.

Gupta said that even amid the increase in adoption of e-commerce, it is still seen as vanity and supplemental channel, where about 90% of sales are still dependent on offline purchases. With the new solution, ADA also aims to help companies understand that with the right direction and strategies, it can be a major channel for a brand. 

Gupta cites one of the pitfalls for brands on the customer journey, taking into example cosmetics brands, where most of the time, customers will come searching on the internet to look for different types, for example, of lipsticks. If brands don’t take the difference of keywords in search seriously, a seemingly small detail would be a big problem on online presence, he said. 

“[E-commerce] is a major part of the digital ecosystem. We see that companies are going to accelerate their e-commerce investments, it is going to be a much bigger channel in their portfolio, and hence, we want to prepare companies how to manage this,” stated Gupta. 

Watch our live interviews with the newsmakers themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Platforms Featured ANZ

Digital-savvy Gen Z Aussies demand higher efficiency from e-commerce channels: survey

Sydney, Australia – Being digital natives themselves, Gen Z consumers in Australia are now demanding greater service from brands online, new survey from digital experience platform Sitecore shows.

About 1 in 10 will switch their loyalty after a poor online shopping experience – most (55%) will give multiple second chances. However, Australian Gen Z shoppers have a low tolerance for browsing online stores, as most will give up after no more than 10 pages of browsing (on average, five pages of browsing).

Meanwhile, a quarter or more Gen Z in Australia also rank same or next day delivery, easy site navigation, and having items in stock as their top three criteria of shopping online. More than four in ten Gen Z in Australia say that having a free delivery option is most important to them in online shopping. However, free delivery is less important to Gen Z (44%) compared to older generations (55%). Gen Z are also more likely to say that an app or website that works well on mobile is critical to their shopping experience (60% vs 49% for older generations).

“The pandemic has tested the loyalty of Gen Z shoppers in Australia, leading them to become digital converts who show less loyalty to their pre-pandemic ‘go-to’ brands. They are also opting to shop more via mobile and direct from brands. Australian Gen Z treats online shopping as an experience to enjoy and expect highly personalized, exciting online experiences that work on mobile and can offer same-day delivery,” said Paige O’Neill, chief marketing officer at Sitecore.

In addition, despite huge patronage to online e-commerce sites, top physical retail outlets will remain attractive to Gen Z, particularly for exploring such as shopping local, socializing, and window shopping—but Gen Z shoppers said online brings the convenience factors such as advantages of availability of products, lower cost, time-saving, predetermined purchases, or just simply being able to stay in. 

Socializing as a reason to go back to retail stores and malls is particularly strong for Gen Z (47% vs. 30% among older gens). Gen Z is more likely to say their online experience with local retailers was not as slick as they expected it to be (40% vs. 26% among older gens).

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ComfortDelGro Taxi to offer bookings on Lazada

Singapore – With most Singaporeans turning to online services to suit their lifestyle, ComfortDelGro has partnered up with leading e-commerce Lazada to house its taxi services in an additional platform. The tie-up is a first-of-its-kind in the country and will offer its shoppers taxi bookings within the app.

The partnership aims to provide an integrative app experience to shoppers, allowing them to conveniently book cabs while browsing and shopping. Lazada believes that the new offering in the app will bolster its reputation as a one-stop destination for customers’ daily needs. With ComfortDelGro Taxi, meanwhile, it expects to expand its reach by tapping into Lazada’s wide customer base, particularly the younger demographic of shoppers.

As part of the partnership, there will be a six-month-long promotion that gives Lazada shoppers 4% off all ComfortDelGro taxi booking trips. Customers can also enjoy greater savings by purchasing and redeeming rides booked through Lazada using promotional codes from the ComfortDelGro LazMall store.

According to James Chang, the CEO of Lazada Singapore, they are excited to be the first and only e-commerce platform in Singapore to offer customers taxi-booking services within a shopping app, and through ComfortDelGro Taxi, a familiar and trusted homegrown taxi operator no less.

“This will enrich the shoppertainment experience for customers who are already browsing, playing games, and watching live streams on the app, and with the added convenience of booking taxis, customers can utilize one app to shop, play and travel. We look forward to a successful partnership with ComfortDelGro Taxi, to explore more value-adding services that our shoppers appreciate,” said Chang.

Meanwhile, Ang Wei Neng, the CEO of ComfortDelGro Taxi, commented, “It has always been our aim to have our taxi booking services within reach of shoppers. What better way to do it than to have our booking services readily accessible through the Lazada app, one of the most popular platforms today. We hope that shoppers will find the experience – from shopping to traveling – a seamless one.”

Lazada shoppers can start booking taxis by clicking the ‘ComfortDelGro’ tab on the e-commerce app.

Just very recently, ComfortDelGro has also launched its first-ever ‘one-stop’ lifestyle and mobility app called ‘Zig’, which enables its users to book taxis, plan journeys, and find deals, as well as make dining reservations, among others.