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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SEA marketers to increase retail media spend within 12 months: report

Hong Kong – Almost all of marketers in Southeast Asia have said that they will be increasing retail media spending within the next 12 months, a new report released by Carousell Media Group and IAB SEA+India reveals.

In the report, around 87% of the respondents intend including retail media as part of their media plans within the next 12 months. Moreover, it is also worth noting that retail media advertising accounts for 1 in 5 advertising dollars spent.

It also noted that around 78% of the marketer respondents will use retail media data for off-platform targeting on new formats such as Connected TV (CTV), while 44% will advertise on a brand-suitable retail media network that does not carry their products.

Miranda Dimopoulos, regional CEO at IAB SEA+India, explained that around 44% of respondents say they will advertise on a retail media network even if they do not have any products listed on that marketplace. 

“For marketers, investing ad spend in a retail media network compatible with their own brand values, and those of their customers, is a major consideration,” she said.

Meanwhile, JJ Eastwood, managing director at Carousell Media Group, commented, “Retail Media allows brands to showcase their products to consumers who have specifically searched for that item, or something similar, providing a seamless consumer experience and, of course, a solid return on ad spend.”

He added, “The fact that 78% of respondents want to use retail media data for off-platform targeting, specifically on exciting new formats like CTV, indicates that Retail Media is moving up the funnel and can provide marketers with both direct response and branding opportunities.”

Eastwood will further be discussing the future of retail media at the upcoming What’s NEXT 2023: Marketing in Asia-Pacific conference. The panel, titled Digital Advertising’s Third Big Wave – The Rise Of Retail Media, will further explore how brands can tap retail media and leverage it to their advantage.

Carousell and IAB SEA+India had previously worked together in a report, where they tackled trends in the region regarding consumer purchasing attitudes.

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Marketing Featured Global

Amazon’s new wave of layoffs affects 18,000 employees

Singapore – Global e-commerce giant Amazon has announced a new wave of layoffs: this time affecting 18,000 employees globally. Majority of the roles impacted will be under the company’s physical store Amazon Store, as well as from their people, experience, and technology (PXT) organisation.

In a public letter posted by Andy Jassy, CEO at Amazon, the new set of layoffs comes after they have worked in the past year to work with their teams and looking at their workforce levels, investments they want to make in the future, and prioritising what matters most to customers and the long-term health of their businesses.

“[We] are deeply aware that these role eliminations are difficult for people, and we don’t take these decisions lightly or underestimate how much they might affect the lives of those who are impacted,” Jassy said.

It should be recalled that Amazon laid off around 10,000 employees in November 2022, impacting corporate and technology roles. Moreover, it also announced that it will be freezing hiring for corporate roles in its retail business.

“We typically wait to communicate about these outcomes until we can speak with the people who are directly impacted. However, because one of our teammates leaked this information externally, we decided it was better to share this news earlier so you can hear the details directly from me,” Jassy added.

Amazon’s newest update are part of a worrying trend of tech layoffs that started in 2022. Large-profile companies like Meta, Oracle, Netflix, Snap, Twitter, as well as regional companies like Carsome, Shopee, and Tencent have announced ‘sizable’ layoffs.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam e-retailer Greenoly partners with Beautizon

Vietnam – Greenoly, a Vietnam-based health supplement e-retailer invested in by Blueseed Group, has recently signed a strategic partnership with beauty product distributor Beautizon. 

With the partnership, Greenoly will be acting as a key online retail platform for Beautizon’s brands and products. Blueseed Group, on the other hand, will be supporting its marketing efforts to boost Beautizon’s brand awareness and adoption in Vietnam.

Beautizon’s Founder and Director Steven Stoddart shared his excitement over the partnership, stating, “As a distributor of leading Australian and New Zealand brands we see Greenoly as a great online retail platform to connect our products to customers throughout Vietnam.”

He also added that the Blueseed Group’s market-leading marketing experience will help Beautizon take its brands to new levels in the marketplace. 

Greenoly’s CCO Thao Tran also said, “We’re so happy to be partnering more closely with Beautizon and their brands like Sukin. Already in the lead up to this formal agreement we’ve been seeing great growth in the customer demand for high quality, natural and more gentle beauty products compared to what has traditionally been available within Vietnam.”

Meanwhile, Bill Crang, head of partnerships at Blueseed Group, also shared his excitement over the said partnership. “I’m even more excited that via this partnership we will be able to reach out to support other top Aussie (and Kiwi!) brands enter the fast growing Vietnam market.”

It was January this year when Blueseed Group made an investment in Greenoly in an effort to build the latter as Vietnam’s next retail champion.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SG consumer online spend on grocery, personal care items expected to rise this holiday season

Singapore – While Singaporean consumers are likely to be more pragmatic and price-conscious this holiday season in light of current global conditions, online spend on essential and personal care items like groceries and apparel this holiday season will still increase. This was according to the latest survey from Amazon Singapore, in collaboration with YouGov.

According to the survey, three in four Singaporeans make at least one online purchase a month, with pricing and sales discounts (50%) emerging as the top consideration factor among online shoppers looking to purchase items this holiday season, followed by product quality (15%) and trustworthiness of a website (11%).

The survey also found that more than half of online shoppers are likely to be more conservative with their spending this holiday season in light of current global economic conditions, with 57% of shoppers saying they will spend less or wait until there is more stability before making large purchases. This highlights the need for retailers to look at helping to mitigate consumers’ fear of inflation and offer budget-friendly options for customers.

On the other hand, almost three in 10 (27%) are optimistic that there will be no impact on their spending this holiday season. Online shoppers also say that the top categories they plan to spend more on during this period are apparel and accessories (38%), groceries (35%), and health and personal care (31%).

Around 53% also said they are keen to see more items from local brands on e-commerce stores, however 78% said that they will only shop from local brands if there are good deals and promotions. Meanwhile, 66% of online shoppers surveyed said that they will buy from brands that offer the lowest prices.

Lastly, while 68% of shoppers say they plan to purchase items online for themselves during the holiday, the survey found that around 37% of shoppers aged 25-34 years also plan to purchase items for their parents or partner’s parents, while around 48% of shoppers aged 35-54 years plan to purchase items for their children. This indicates that there is an opportunity for retailers with a target audience aged 25 and above to appeal to online shoppers looking to purchase items or gifts for their family and children.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Singaporeans most pragmatic when it comes to shopping sustainably, Carousell Group’s Recommerce Index reveals

Singapore – In celebration of its 10th anniversary, leading multi-category platform for secondhand in Greater Southeast Asia Carousell Group released the Carousell Recommerce Index (10th Anniversary Edition) revealing the sustainability impact its collective community has made by buying and selling secondhand items. 

Over the past decade, the Group’s users have extended the life cycle of millions of items, including: 76.8 million fashion items; 33.9 million electronics; 26.6 million hobby items and toys; 11.1 million home items and furniture; and 10.6 million babies & kids items. 

To further illustrate the impact, if we take the total number of used fashion listings on Carousell, we can provide every single person in Singapore with 13 outfits. Additionally, assuming all used electronics listed are iPhone Xs, the height when stacked together is the equivalent of over 23,500 times the height of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

The Recommerce Index also showed a study conducted by IAB and Carousell Media Group that Singaporeans topped the chart with 44% choosing “saving money” as their key motivations for buying secondhand.

The report also highlighted key trends in each market, specifically for Singapore:

  • Top 3 most popular categories to sell secondhand items are Fashion, Hobbies & Toys, Home & Furniture
  • Top 3 most popular secondhand category to browse are Fashion, Hobbies & Toys, Home & Furniture
  • All-time top 3 most searched keywords for secondhand items: Rolex, AG06 (Yahama Channel Mixer) and Road Bike

Recommerce refers to the selling and buying of previously-owned products, including both new and used in condition. The report covers data from 9 of Carousell Group’s family of brands across Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan markets — Carousell, Cho Tot, Laku6, Mudah.my, OneKyat, One Shift, Ox Luxe, Ox Street, and Refash.

Since its inception in 2012 as a mobile-first app to make selling and buying underutilised items easier, Carousell has grown from a C2C classifieds marketplace into a multi-category platform for secondhand goods in Greater Southeast Asia. To accelerate the next decade of recommerce, the Group has been working on additional capabilities to offer more features and services to users that make buying secondhand items as trusted and convenient as buying brand new items.

Ng Chee Soon, managing director at Carousell Singapore, said, “Carousell was founded a decade ago with the mission of making secondhand the first choice. The Recommerce Index serves as a crucial guide to help us better understand the motivations behind our consumers’ behaviour, especially amidst the post-Covid economic uncertainty. With 1 in 3 Singaporeans using Carousell monthly, secondhand is even more accessible to everyone and we are excited to fuel the shift and for Carousell to drive recommerce growth in the Greater Southeast Asia region.” 

The Carousell Recommerce Index (10th anniversary edition) is available for download here.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

aCommerce launches new connector to link Shopify stores to order management platform

Bangkok, Thailand – E-commerce enabler aCommerce announced the release of its new connector that will help data streams from Shopify to the former’s proprietary omnichannel order management platform EcommerceIQ.

The connector is aimed at helping e-commerce managers keep track of their multiple sales channels switching between marketplaces, social commerce, and direct-to-consumer dashboards to monitor their online business. 

It is also expected to enable a smooth flow of products, inventory, sales orders, returns, delivery updates, and all related data between EcommerceIQ and Shopify.

The connector is secured by EcommerceIQ’s proprietary tokenized module and will automatically consume and synchronise order information, inventory, and pricing control through a unified panel.

Upon its release, aCommerce’s existing partners will have the opportunity to be among the first to opt in and sample its capabilities with full EIQ integration. The connector will then be brought to the broader market in the next few months following the pilot.

“We are thrilled about the upcoming release of what this new connector can bring to our clients and the wider market,” said Roberto Kauffmann, aCommerce’s group chief product officer.

He added, “For our brand clients, this Shopify and EcommerceIQ turnkey integration-as-a-service allows us to simply add and operate Shopify stores as an additional channel. Likewise, brands wishing to launch a store or existing Shopify merchants, can now easily scale up their business by tapping into our fulfillment and other EcommerceIQ services almost instantly. It also provides clients with centralized multichannel monitoring and insights that are vital for professional ecommerce.”

Paul Srivorakul, aCommerce group chief executive officer, also commented, “Direct-to-consumer is a crucial piece of the puzzle. With the new public integration, our clients will have a 360 view of their operations, where they can manage and optimize their ecommerce business. This is an opportunity for brands and merchants to leverage their existing marketplace presence and create an efficient multi-channel strategy.”

aCommerce was previously tapped by Shopify Plus to be its first partner in Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

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Marketing Featured ANZ

Reprise Commerce, Amazon Ads Australia launch masterclass on retail media capability

Sydney, Australia – In partnership with Amazon Ads Australia, global commerce agency Reprise Commerce launched their new program Amazon Ads Accelerator, a bespoke in-person masterclass focused on retail media capability.

The program aims to provide foundational knowledge and tactical skills to develop and manage successful end-to-end campaigns with Amazon to drive client growth. It is open to all IPG Mediabrands’ agencies including Reprise, Initiative, UM and Matterkind, with plans to expand into other markets next year.

Amazon Ads Accelerator features curated bespoke content within the pilot program that covers five key topics across two days. This includes Amazon Essentials, Insights and Planning, Sponsored Ads, DSP and Ad Tech, and Brand Innovation Lab. 

The participants are expected to become certified in an area of relevant specialisation by the end of the program.

Jess White, CEO of Reprise, shared that she is “incredibly proud” to be piloting the new program content in the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape. She said, “Accelerator is a game-changer and is key to evolving Reprise’s eCommerce offering in a rapidly hanging and very competitive environment.”

She added, “The masterclass delivers an immersive experience for teams to develop holistic strategies that amplify Amazon capabilities to drive sales growth. By creating seamless customer flow across the purchase journey, Accelerator further enhances the success of Reprise’s proprietary FLOW framework, designed to maximise outcomes for clients.”

Stef Morrison, eCommerce lead at Reprise Commerce also said, “Our clients will benefit from the additional knowledge and skills our teams are armed with; it clearly enhances inter-agency collaboration across IPG agencies; and importantly it provides our people with inspiration on how the Amazon marketplace is valuable for brands who sell – and don’t sell – on Amazon by providing solutions for every stage of the consumer journey.”

“We are thrilled at the response from our teams on the day, they were highly engaged asking lots of questions and there was a real buzz around collaborating on full funnel eCommerce solutions for our clients,” Morrison added.

The program commenced in Sydney last week and will be rolled-out to Melbourne on December 6.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee makes third round of layoffs, affecting SG team

Singapore – Leading e-commerce platform Shopee began another round of layoffs last Monday which affected some employees in Singapore, according to a report by The Straits Times

According to ST, sources shared that the latest layoff was subdued and not many people knew about it, but that there had been rumours of plans to let people go.

Shopee said in a statement to ST, “We continue to carefully review our business projects and priorities to ensure we are optimising operating efficiency, in line with our goal of achieving self-sufficiency.”

“We are also working to support our affected colleagues during this transition,” Shopee added.

Shopee is one of the tech giants that made mass layoffs this month, including Meta and Twitter.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

E-commerce enabler Baozun buys Gap’s business in China, to create new business line on brand management

Shanghai, China – Baozun Inc., a Chinese e-commerce solution provider and digital commerce enabler, has announced that it has entered definitive agreements to acquire Gap Greater China. 

As part of its strategic plan to drive sustainable growth, Baozun has established Baozun Brand Management (BBM) as its new business line that intends to leverage its portfolio of technologies at the service of brands and deepen relationships with brands. The substantial size and scope of Gap Greater China are crucial in its development.

The company shared that the combination of its China-for-China strategy through Gap’s acquisition and its technology and data-driven approach in product and consumer operations will empower Gap for sustainable future growth.

Vincent Qiu, chairman, and chief executive officer of Baozun, commented, “This acquisition accelerates our evolution into a technology-driven, omnichannel commerce player. Technology is at the centre of our strategy, and it is our competitive advantage. With Gap’s brand equity and significant size in Greater China, BBM will start at a higher point to bridge the digital commerce/brick-and-mortar divide at scale and do what few have done in retail.”

“Baozun Brand Management is a strategic addition that naturally flows from the existing core e-commerce services business. We aim to leverage our leading technology portfolio and develop into a holistic, all-rounded partner for global brands to further unlock business potential in China. Meanwhile, we will also accelerate the establishment of our retail talent pool, supply chain capabilities, and IT systems to build an ecosystem and better serve our other brand partners,” added Qiu 

Gap Greater China is the China division of Gap, the well-known  American speciality apparel company. The China branch first opened its store in 2010.

“We are deeply committed to our customers in Greater China and know that it is a market with enormous potential for our brand,” stated Mark Breitbard, president and CEO of Gap Brand

Breitbard added, “The growth that we are unlocking through local partnerships with market experts like Baozun is allowing us to not only connect with new and existing customers but to provide them with personalised, service-oriented experiences. With its best-in-class omnichannel technology and deep expertise in data management and digital business, Baozun has helped drive impressive results in our online growth and penetration of the Greater China market in the past four years, and we feel confident about our partner’s future value-creating China-for-China plans for Gap Greater China.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ShopBack taps BeLive Technology to bolster video-first commerce capabilities

Singapore – Shopping and rewards platform ShopBack has partnered with BeLive Technology, a Singapore-based live streaming solutions provider, to power its video-first commerce efforts. This marks a significant step forward for the live commerce industry in Singapore and Southeast Asia. 

The new solution allows ShopBack live viewers to access exclusive promotions, creative video content, and interactive video features powered by BeLive Technology. It aims to maximise interaction between its hosts and the community, to deliver an entertaining shopping experience.

BeLive Technology said that the first live stream saw its vouchers sold out within minutes of going live. Merchant partners will get access to ShopBack’s live campaigns which are curated specially for them. The immersive experience and interaction between merchant partners and viewers will help build customer loyalty and a stronger community.

Currently, the collaboration is only available to ShopBack’s Singapore users however plans are in place to expand into all of ShopBack’s territories across Asia in the near future. It also marks BeLive Technology’s expansion across Asia as well as the opportunity to explore additional Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) markets.

Kenneth Tan, CEO and co-founder of BeLive Technology, commented that they are delighted to partner with ShopBack and power video-first commerce for one of Asia’s most loved brands. 

“Live video’s authenticity and descriptive nature have great alignment with ShopBack’s ability to help shoppers make smarter purchase decisions. We are incredibly excited to allow help ShopBack’s users discover, research and shop better with our interactive video solutions,” said Tan.

Meanwhile, Fern Nannaphat, country manager of ShopBack Singapore, noted, “We will continue adopting new solutions to win our users over with the best deals and most engaging content. This live stream feature has proven to be a vital addition to the ShopBack ecosystem, where we deepen the engagement with our users and offer our merchants an immersive way to promote their products.”