Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty marketing platform SoPa acquires Bangkok-based Thoughtful Media

Singapore – Society Pass (SoPa), the data-driven loyalty platform in SEA, has announced the acquisition of Thoughtful Media Group (Thoughtful Media), a social commerce-focused and premium digital video multi-platform network headquartered in Thailand which has an operating presence in the US, Vietnam, and the Philippines. 

The acquisition of Thoughtful Media marks SoPa’s first foray into Thailand and adds to SoPa’s growing ecosystem of technology-enabled companies located in the SEA countries of Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Just recently, SoPa has also acquired Singapore-based Gorilla Networks, a next-generation Web3-enabled MVNO.

Thoughtful Media creates and distributes digital advertising campaigns across its MPN in both SEA and the US. Advertisers leverage Thoughtful Media’s wide influencer network throughout SEA to market and sell advertising inventory exclusively with specific placement and ‘effect’. 

Thoughtful Media’s social commerce platform will be amplifying the reach and engagement of SoPa’s e-commerce ecosystem and retail partners. With this acquisition, SoPa aims to increase customer engagement whilst also focusing on the quality of relationships through a campaign-based approach enabled by this synergistic acquisition.

Specifically, Thoughtful Media’s digital advertising tools and expertise bolsters Society Points, SoPa’s paradigm-shifting loyalty platform. Through data-driven marketing campaigns, advertisers of all types utilise Society Points’ proprietary 1st party data to improve the targeting, efficacy, and efficiency of their digital marketing spend. SoPa’s product offering is seen to uniquely position Thoughtful Media as a leading SEA retail marketing and advertising hub for international and regional consumer brands.

Dennis Nguyen, SoPa founder, chairman, and CEO commented, “We are thrilled to have Thoughtful Media join the ever-expanding SoPa ecosystem. Thoughtful Media’s social commerce-focused business model perfectly complements our future growth strategy for Society Pass as we drive consumer eyeballs and generate revenues for riveting consumer brands throughout Southeast Asia. In addition, Society Pass is excited to complete our first Thailand acquisition and look forward to launching our SoPa loyalty platform to the 65 million consumers in Thailand”.

Meanwhile, Dan Thorman, Thoughtful Media CEO, said, “Partnering with Society Pass allows Thoughtful Media to unlock strategic opportunities with influencers and advertisers as well as design cross-marketing synergies for companies in the SoPa ecosystem. In doing so, we expect to drive tremendous revenue growth in 2022 and beyond.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty platform SoPa acquires SG-based MVNO Gorilla Networks

Singapore – Society Pass (SoPa), the data-driven loyalty and e-commerce ecosystem in SEA, has acquired Singapore-based Gorilla Networks (Gorilla), a next-generation Web3-enabled MVNO.

Established in Singapore in 2019, Gorilla utilises Web3 technology to operate an MVNO for its users in Southeast Asia. With network coverage to over 160 countries, Gorilla offers a full suite of mobile communication services such as local calls, international roaming, data, and SMS texting. Moreover, Gorilla enables its customers to convert unused mobile data into digital assets or Gorilla GO Tokens through its proprietary blockchain-based SwitchBack feature. 

Dennis Nguyen, SoPa founder, chairman and CEO, explained, “We are excited to make our first acquisition in Singapore, and welcome Gorilla into our SoPa family. Gorilla’s technology platform aligns well with our acquisition strategy as we incorporate Gorilla’s blockchain and Web3 capabilities onto the SoPa ecosystem and enable the new meta-economy for all our portfolio companies.” 

“From our Leflair lifestyle e-commerce platform to our Pushkart/Handycart F&B delivery services, as we roll out the Society Pass loyalty platform in the coming months, we leverage Gorilla’s technology to drive customer retention for merchants and create innovative revenue models for our ecosystem,” added Nguyen.

With the rebound of the travel market throughout Southeast Asia, Gorilla expects to dramatically increase its customer base by marketing to the region’s business and leisure travellers with its user-friendly technology platform. It plans to expand its MVNO services offering to Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia over the next 12 months.

“When we started Gorilla Networks three years ago, our vision was to build a democratised mobile communications service platform where users regardless of nationality, home location or mobile subscription plans can access essential telecoms services such as roaming and mobile data anywhere and everywhere throughout the world. Gorilla is currently transitioning existing web 2 telco services onto the web3 economy by tokenising mobile data as digital assets,” said Xanne Leo, founder and CEO of Gorilla Networks.

“In 2021, we digitised eSIMS, data plans, and mobile numbers as NFTs, which dramatically transformed how our users purchase, interact and experience mobile services. By joining forces with SoPa’s extensive ecosystem and large user base in Southeast Asia, we are thrilled about the combined marketing capabilities we will now bring collectively to our partners and customers,” added Xanne Leo. 

For our Empowered Women Series last March, we sat down with the women leaders of SoPa – PH Country Manager Abie Pagdanganan and CEO Pamela Aw-Young. 

Pagdanganan shared about the platform’s goals, “So our business on the consumer-facing side, we aim to integrate everything that you need into just one ecosystem. This is where consumers can easily search books or order anything they want or need, through our values interconnected that works.”

Marketing Featured Global

Cheetah Digital unveils key trends on relationship marketing–from loyalty to messaging

Australia – Global cross-channel relationship management solution provider Cheetah Digital has recently launched its consumer trends index this year, which unveiled the latest key trends regarding relationship marketing, ranging from privacy trends to loyalty and messaging.

In regards to privacy trends, the index has noted huge rises in those turning to incognito browsing, amounting to a 50% increase, a 48% increase for using a PC cleaner software, a 40% increase in using a password generator, a 37% increase in usage of ad blocking tech, a 31% increase in those paying for premium software, and a 31% increase in usage of a password manager.

Staying on the topic of privacy, the index also noted that users prefer brands to only use data that they have explicitly shared directly to the brand. Other methods such as ads based on location data, retargeting ads derived from tracking cookies, and ads related to something they discussed near a smart device ‘creep’ out users.

Meanwhile, in regards to brand loyalty, around 57% of consumers say they are prepared to pay more to buy from a preferred brand, with loyalty metrics spiking across the board. Among the growing reasons they stay loyal are when brands understand customers as individuals (110% increase), treat their data with respect (71% increase), align with their personal values (58% increase) and offer admirable loyalty programs (55% increase).

Furthermore, consumers’ expectations of the loyalty programs are maturing, with a desire for contests and sweepstakes, increasing to around 73%. Other loyalty initiatives that customers expect include exclusive access and content (58% increase), and personalised product recommendations (56% increase).

Lastly, when it comes to messaging marketing to customers, email remains one of the most effective channels, beating banner ads, social media ads, organic posts, and SMS by up to 108%. Half of consumers report purchasing a product directly as a result of an email they received in the last 12 months. 

Speaking about the index release, Tim Glomb, VP of content at Cheetah Digital, said, “The path to customer acquisition has evolved from a relatively straightforward train track to a bowl of spaghetti, with multiple channels and formats to navigate. Brands can no longer get away with lumping customers into segments, but rather must treat them as individuals. This requires developing authentic relationships, offering real value exchange, and interpreting the right customer signals at the right time in the right channel.”

He added, “This report offers brands an extraordinary opportunity to assess their ability to create and execute campaigns that meet and exceed consumers’ growing demand for more personalisation, more privacy and a deeper relationship with the brands they know and trust.”

Cheetah Digital’s index is available for download here.

Technology Platforms ANZ

Purebaby partners with Cheetah Digital to strengthen customer journey and loyalty

Australia Purebaby, Australia’s largest independent babywear brand has announced it is transforming its customer loyalty strategy with the power of cross-channel customer engagement solution Cheetah Digital.

Purebaby was on the hunt for a software solution that would enable them to send personalised email messages to their existing and prospective customer base and allow them to move away from ‘batch-and-blast’ customer emails. 

“You have a database, you’re sending them one electronic direct marketing campaign (EDM), and that was it.” Sanjay Gill, CEO at Purebaby, says, “With the old platform, we were not getting what we needed in terms of segmentation and personalisation. It felt as if we were not using our database to its fullest potential, so we decided we needed a change.”

Another issue Purebaby had with their old platform was their support team was based in the U.S, which meant the Purebaby staff never had face-to-face meetings and seldom spoke with their provider. Purebaby wanted a locally based team to liaise with to offer more custom and real-time support.

“One of our conditions we had when we were onboarding with Cheetah Digital was for the teams to talk on a regular basis. There was an endless number of sessions that happened between our teams where we mapped out critical journeys for our customers,” Sanjay explains. 

A transformative solution

In July 2018, Purebaby turned to Cheetah Digital, sat down and mapped out an entire customer journey to decide at exactly which touchpoints the retailer wished to interact with their customers. 

“During those sessions, we mapped out the entire journey. such as which touchpoints were especially sensitive and important to our customers, such as when they announce they’re having a baby, to having the baby,” Sanjay says. 

From those sessions, Cheetah Digital helped create a bespoke number of “series,” which were personalised EDMs aimed at their customers’ experience at each critical touchpoint:

  • Milestone series: For a baby’s first birthday, for example 
  • Welcome series: Welcoming a new customer
  • Size-up series: When the baby needs a bigger size of clothing
  • Due date series: For mothers about to give birth

Purebaby also tries to incorporate highly personalised EDMs for milestones such as a first birthday or a baby shower when parents give that specific information. 

“As an example, we mapped out the birthday journey,” Sanjay explains. “When the customer is having a birthday or the baby’s first birthday — there’s a whole journey regarding those milestones. A whole journey was mapped out by Purebaby and Cheetah Digital. There were specific campaigns built around it and those campaigns were triggered at different times.” 

Additionally, Cheetah Digital and Purebaby worked on a “welcome series,” so when a customer signs up to the loyalty program called “Pure Love,” there are a series of personalised emails sent to them. These aren’t marketing emails, they are beautiful, introductory, experiential messages, introducing the parent to the brand, and showing them why Purebaby is special and what products they offer. 

“Our loyalty program is data-driven, as you come into the store, you sign up and it’s offline and online. This means a customer could walk into our store or could go to the website, sign up, and the journey will be the same,” Sanjay adds. 

Purebaby also has a “size-up” trigger for parents with newborn babies informing them it may be time to buy the next size-up for the newborn’s clothes. 

“Receiving that email knowing the parents are busy and they may not have time to go to the shop, receiving that email is very helpful from the feedback we hear. It also gives them time to plan if they’ve placed the order, it will be delivered in 24-hours, it does help the parents,” Sanjay explains. 

The “due date series” is sent to mothers who tell Purebaby their due date and they are sent helpful content pre- and post-birth, such as hospital checklists. 

“We realised a lot of people were entering the parenting journey underprepared. The due date series is about helping parents be prepared, we send them the hospital checklist, we send them the first wardrobe checklist. If someone has done that work for you and it is a matter of purchasing it, it makes it easier. It goes back to making parenthood easier for customers and make the journey easier,” Sanjay says. 

Supporting revenue growth and adaptability during the pandemic

Since implementing Cheetah Digital, Purebaby’s revenue has grown 47% compared to the prior year. Its email channel has become Purebaby’s second-highest revenue-driving channel. 

Through engaging with Cheetah Digital, the “welcome series” EDM has a 50% engagement rate; the “due date” EDM campaign has a 70% open rate and 14% unique click rate and the “size-up program” is performing on par with the “welcome series” at a 50% engagement rate. 

Between November 2020 and October 2021, email accounted for 21% of Purebaby’s total revenue and 16% of its total traffic, in the same period a year prior, its email accounted for 19.5% of its total revenue and 15.8% of its total traffic. 

Like many brands, Purebaby was concerned about the pandemic when it first hit Australian shores in March. Their retail sales halted and their digital sales took off. Sanjay says Purebaby was slowly undergoing digital transformation and COVID accelerated it for them. 

“Within weeks, 90% of our sales were coming from digital, whereas previously only 10% of sales came from online retail,” Sanjay says. “Our retail versus online sales has now balanced to 50/50, the digital sales have not gone backwards, they are much higher but the retail is standing on its own,” Sanjay says.

“Having a good platform, especially a good engagement platform like Cheetah Digital where we were able to ramp up our engagement with the customer was important for us.”

Cheetah’s VP, Go to Market APAC, Billy Loizou, says it’s exciting to partner with innovative brands like Purebaby that are leveraging innovative loyalty programs to transform customer experience at scale.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with such a global retail leader that is revolutionising how brands unlock the value of their data to help build meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Purebaby and are excited to see how the brand continues to evolve and grow.”

Purebay sits has been running for more than 20 years and began as a wholesale brand selling to the likes of Myer and David Jones. Its founders, husband and wife team Sanjay Gill and Mirabai Winford, wanted to create a timeless, quality brand that was functional and fashionable to the market.

In 2010, the business started its transition into retail. The company now has 23 stores in Australia and distributes to more than seven countries worldwide, including the U.S., U.K., and the Middle East.

Cheetah Digital is a cross-channel customer engagement solution provider that enables marketers to create personalized experiences, cross-channel messaging, and loyalty strategies.

Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC prepares marketing industry for 2022 with What’s NEXT series

Over the past two years, the pandemic has transformed the consumer, the brand, and the advertiser. The absence of physical interactions created a ripple of massive changes that have either brought sectors down to their knees, or proved to be a boon for others.

If anything, the upcoming year is presenting a better promise for business as social restrictions further ease down and travel reopens. But despite this remains the challenge of unearthing and uncovering who the consumer will be – What will please him and what will fall off his radar? 

MARKETECH APAC, the digital media who itself was born in the mid of the pandemic, aims to take the intimidation off the new year and instead help marketers focus on the potentials for innovation through the thought leadership series, ‘What’s NEXT’.

What’s NEXT is a collection of expert insights by marketing leaders which aims to present predictions and insights on forecasted trends in 2022 and help future-proof brands’ strategies coming into the new year.

“As a watchdog and a dedicated content hub for the industry, we know how fluid trends in this part of the world could be. Metaphorically speaking, we want to hold marketers’ hands and be with them as we step into a new chapter in this global situation, and see how the pandemic – now endemic – will change the way brands and consumers interact with each other,” said Shaina Teope, regional editor of MARKETECH APAC.

The series which ran from December 2021 to February 2022 gathered marketing leaders coming from different domains to present ideas on how to stay ahead of the marketing game this 2022. 

Check out the full line-up of insights by marketing leaders under the series:

What’s NEXT: The top personalization strategy for the increasingly nuanced consumer

  • In the recent webinar by MARKETECH APAC on the future of digital marketing in the Philippines, AirAsia PH’s Head of Marketing Allenie Caccam; Anvey Factora, the head of marketing communications, e-commerce, and retail at Canon Philippines; and Mark De Joya, chief operating officer of Max’s Restaurant – all agreed on one personalization strategy that would remain constant in relevance no matter what the changes the new year will bring to the market and the consumer.

What’s NEXT: Why marketers need DXP more than ever in 2022

  • It’s now no question that any platform or tech that help push brands’ digitization further is worth being the centerpiece of brands’ marketing strategies. Don Lee, the managing director of CMS provider Magnolia for APAC dug a little deeper on how DXP, specifically a composable DXP, can best help brands not just adapt to the changes in the consumer today, but how such type of platform can 

What’s NEXT: Moving beyond static ads by leveraging programmatic creative management platforms

  • Travis Teo, executive director of adtech adzymic, shared the different possible hindrances that are keeping brands from providing optimum digital creatives – and deep dived on the root cause of all of them.

What’s NEXT: Predictions for customer experience in 2022

  • In this read, Shellie Vornhagen the CXO at CX platform Emplifi, enumerates the ways CX is going to transform itself as newer trends firm up in the market in 2022, such as social commerce, conversational chatbots, and most especially, metaverse. 

What’s NEXT: How can platform businesses supercharge their loyalty programs in 2022

  • In the pilot article under the series, we roped in Loyalty & Growth Leader Henry Christian to talk about how on-demand businesses, which has surged in need among consumers during the pandemic, can leverage their present demand to deliver highly-retaining and -converting loyalty programs.

What’s NEXT: Guide to help you master the art of content marketing in 2022

  • Who better to share insights on forming the best content marketing strategy coming into 2022 than a marketing leader from leading Asian news publication South China Morning Post. Its Regional Sales Director for APAC Darryl Choo shared how brands can refresh their content marketing strategies, imparting helpful insights on how to successfully work from internal process to delivery.

What’s NEXT: How mobile is redefining shopping experiences

  • We have become mobile-first even before the pandemic struck, but with stronger demand for fast and on-demand shopping experiences by the consumer, the mobile platform is now opening up more greenfield opportunities for brands to explore and innovate. Check out the thought leadership piece by Karam Malhotra, global VP at SHAREit Group

What’s NEXT: What the future looks for marketers beyond the cookie

  • When Google earlier announced that it will be phasing out cookies by 2022, the advertising community was brought to a standstill, suddenly overcome by the urgency to re-calibrate ad targeting strategies Then the community had some kind of dejavu when this was further delayed to 2023, providing a breather but at the same time asking of brands and advertisers to do better in their preparations. Let this insight on cookies by Cheetah Digital’s Billy Loizou, further add to your cognizance on dealing with a cookieless digital environment as there is no such thing as overpreparation.

What’s NEXT: Why brands must focus more on customer retention than acquisition this 2022

  • David Harling, the managing director of MoneySmart, touches base on the state of growth marketing now that we are about to navigate a digital world without cookies. His top piece of advice – brands may want to lessen dependence on acquisition as this will start to cost more in the efforts to scale.

What’s NEXT: How businesses and brands can thrive in metaverse

  • Metaverse is now taking the digital world by storm, and marketers are at a great position to leverage this platform to turbocharge brand engagement – but how does one start? Cheelip Ong, Lion & Lion’s regional chief creative officer, shared how metaverse can be the implementation ground for other emerging trends in marketing such as NFTs and gamification

What’s NEXT: Unpacking opportunities in digital finance for 2022

  • Of course with the surge in digital activity this pandemic tags along the supercharged growth of digital finance. Superapps in SEA is leading the way with financial services, becoming the anchor by which consumers can have a brand as top-of-mind across all services. UM APAC’s Elizabeth Shie and Abygayle Brani share the ways fintech marketers can leverage its growth this 2022.

What’s NEXT: Why brands must adopt a multi-platform strategy for social advertising

  • According to Stewart Hunter, the director of for customer success in APAC, each social media platform has grown to serve a different role in the funnel, posing a challenge to the brand message and format in various platforms. Hunter shares why brands must start adopting a multi-platform strategy for their social advertising and where to begin in their efforts.

What’s NEXT: Top tips for CRO this 2022

  • Whether you’re an online retailer, a startup with a valuable B2B product, or an entrepreneur selling your expertise, CRO could be the key to a bigger profit margin in 2022. Charlotte Ward, the director of Agnes media, shares her top three pieces of advice in achieving greater conversions.

What’s NEXT: Shoppable Content: The convergence of content and commerce

  • In narrowing the gap between commerce and consumer, big brands are moving from a publisher model into an e-commerce one. Sven Lung, CEO of Green Park Content, takes a look at some of the best case studies of previously launched shoppable content initiatives and shares how brands can successfully deliver said efforts on their own.

What’s NEXT: What to expect in influencer marketing in 2022

  • What’s the next phase of influencer marketing? We’ve seen the power of influencers in brands’ marketing in the past period, and now, we need to prepare for what’s to come next in this area. Ace Gapuz, CEO of Blogapalooza, shares what she believes the 5 forces that will drive influencer marketing forward – including the phenomenon that will start streating content creators as individual media companies.

What’s NEXT: How brands can connect with Asia’s next generation of culture shapers

  • How has the pandemic changed the youth? In this insight, Lesley John, the MD of Virtue for APAC, shares the consumption and lifestyle changes that have occured among Gen Zs and Millennials in the past two years, and shares how brands can get under the skin of this cohort moving forward in the pandemic.

What’s NEXT: How BNPL can be a merchant enabler for retailers in Asia

  • BNPL services have increased in adoption in the past year with the pandemic seeing a surge of consumers jumping into digital consumption. Moving forward in 2022, Jeremy Wong, head of strategic partnerships at Atome, shares the ways BNPL is expected to evolve, and what retailers can do to leverage its power in enabling sales among merchants.

What’s NEXT: 2022 will see the evolution of corporate purpose

  • As consumers become more conscious about their impact to society, they have grown to demand more accountability from the brands they consume. Mel Panabi, business director of Red Havas Philippines, shares on what has become of this new resolve and how brands must act in accordance to this new value-laden consumer behavior.

What’s NEXT: Welcome the age of reimagination

  • Virtual events are here to stay, and it’s time we step up these online interactions beyond standard online meetings and gatherings into something more powerful. According to Cathy Song Novelli, SVP for marketing and communications at Hubilo, it’s about creating a supportive ecosystem to enable innovation among event marketers.

What’s NEXT: How the ride-hailing industry shifted gears to meet market demand

  • Ride-hailing services is no longer a luxury and the pandemic has further pushed for its value with the recurring limitations on social interaction. Ryde’s CEO Terence Zou and PR Lead Katrina Adrianne takes a look at this transformation over the past two years and shares what we can expect from the industry as we move forward in 2022.

What’s NEXT: The state of dine-in, food aggregators moving forward in 2022

  • When food aggregators cushioned the downward growth of dine-in during Covid, it has gradually stepped up from being an afterthought to becoming F&B players’ top business model. KFC Malaysia’s CMO May Ling Chan reviews the current opportunities and challenges as brands further strengthen their strategies on food aggregators.

What’s NEXT: The future of CTV measurement and transparency

  • Connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) has overtaken the linear TV experience over the past two years. Laura Quigley, SVP for APAC at IAS, talks about what has been these changes in media consumption and the opportunities that lie for advertisers and publishers in programmatic technology.

If you are a marketing leader and would like to share your insights and predictions under the series, email us at [email protected]

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AirAsia’s rewards program to now be integrated into its super app

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – BIG Rewards, AirAsia’s lifestyle rewards program, will now be integrated into the airasia Super App family; to now be called airasia rewards. It would be recalled that the rewards program even underwent a rebranding at the start of 2020, coming from previous name, ‘BIGLIFE’.

The brand new move will merge all features from the previous BIG Rewards app to be available within the airasia Super App. Users can now expect a more seamless app experience, now eliminating the need to have two separate apps for earning and spending their reward points.

With the new integration, all user details and remaining points will be merged into the Super App and be renamed as airasia points. The loyalty rewards points will now be the digital loyalty currency that can be used throughout the entire Super App ecosystem. 

Amanda Woo, CEO of airasia Super App, said that the airasia Super App has now become a way of life, and its enhancement is in line with the airline’s core value of providing value and best deals to flight passengers and everyday app users.

“We are proud to see a phenomenal growth of airasia Super App in recent years since its launch in October 2020. With our digital businesses that include nearly 20 travel, delivery, and lifestyle offerings, we have successfully transformed into a data and tech-driven company, even being recognized as one of the three ASEAN Unicorns based in Malaysia by a Credit Suisse report,” said Woo.

She adds, “[It’s] not just for users; the addition of airasia rewards will spark new and exciting collaboration opportunities with our flight and hotel partners, merchants, and even riders. In return, our app users will benefit greatly from better deals and different ways to redeem their airasia points.”

Ong Wai Fong, chief loyalty officer, shared that the app integration has 3-pronged benefits for members, partners, and businesses. 

“Members will be able to enjoy more deals and promos in the Super App, while conveniently earning airasia points for every transaction and using points to pay for their orders. Partners, on the other hand, will have wider access to the millions of Super App users to boost sales and grow their businesses with us. These in return will enhance our data and help us design better products to increase member stickiness and transform it into enduring customer loyalty,” shared Ong Wai Fong.

To celebrate the integration, from 16 to 20 December 2021, airasia rewards is giving app users up to 20X airasia points for every purchase they make on the airasia Super App. App users who book or purchase flights, hotels, SNAP, food, grocery, and duty-free items using their airasia points will be able to enjoy a special redemption promotion of 50 points to RM1, whose normal rate is 125 points to RM1, during the promo period as well. 

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Aimazing, HyperQB partner for super-app launch providing mall intelligence

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Retail data platform Aimazing and customer engagement and loyalty super-app HyperQB have integrated their solutions to provide a complete mall intelligence and first-of-its-kind loyalty solution in the form of a mall super-app for Malaysia and the region.

Through the partnership, Aimazing will deliver a mobile solution that is easily accessible, allowing retail malls to achieve more omnichannel personalization to power their marketing and loyalty efforts. This in turn allows malls to look forward to having the infrastructure that allows them to have the same data-driven ability similar to e-commerce marketplaces, where every consumer’s purchasing journey is taken into context when crafting marketing campaigns.

Retailers will be able to use the dashboard to see foot traffic data and customise new retail strategies in real-time according to their customers’ journey. This was previously impossible, if not extremely costly and time-consuming, due to the fragmentation that exists in the current point of sale (POS) market.

“The strategic partnership provides a singular, unified view for mall managers to deliver experiences that are powered by modern technology platforms. In a post-pandemic world, it is increasingly important for malls to adapt and understand the importance of an insights-driven omnichannel approach. The partnership between Aimazing and HyperQB helps to give mall managers the infrastructure they need in order to enable this,” said Jun Ting, chief executive officer at Aimazing.

In addition, the mall super-app improves loyalty programs for customers by allowing mall management teams to understand shopping patterns and consumer habits, presenting the opportunity to offer various rewards in the form of discounts and perks to incentivize shoppers to conduct repeat purchases. 

HyperQB believes that customer loyalty programs are key assets that can be leveraged by mall managers on Aimazing’s mall super-app to run campaigns, understand which merchants they should work with and have data of shoppers preferred merchant brands allowing them to find creative ways to retain those customers, further increasing their lifetime value.

“The era of online is already here, and will continue staying with us. There is no other best answer to retail automation and transformation to use omni-channel to shape the entire customer journey So what is your strategy? Those questions should always come from the top management of the retailers and mall operators,” said Stephen Lim, co-founder and managing director at HyperQB.

Aimazing and HyperQB’s joint offerings are aimed at powering all malls in Malaysia to sustain their business by increasing foot traffic, increasing sales through effective promotions, and customer retention by providing the smartest and most seamless unified shopping and customer experience. 

Malls will be able to improve their returns on mall marketing by unlocking advertising dollars from brands and FMCG deals and forming multiple partnerships that could generate insights for the expansion of their products and services, by utilizing mall intelligence.

“Within the current retail market, malls do not have real-time sales data to inform business decisions, due to the technical difficulties involved in its collection processes. With an all-in-one integrated retail data and loyalty platform, the retail industry can look forward to infrastructure and solutions that can help supercharge their business operations and omni-channel strategies,” Aimazing said in a press statement.

Technology Featured APAC

Brands entangled to scam messages at risk of losing consumers’ trust: APAC study

Hong Kong – As the rise of scam messages from fraudulent entities begin to overwhelm consumers, users in the Asia-Pacific region now have their trust with brands slowly erode once brands get entangled in any form of scam messages, the latest survey from digital trust company Callsign shows.

According to their latest insights, around 52% of APAC users lose trust with the brands they are loyal to once a scam message sent to them claims to be associated with their favorite brand, regardless of any real association to the message itself or its actual content.

Such loss of brand confidence also unveils a reason that 28% of APAC users state that they receive more scam messages than personal messages from friends and family. On a global scale, the insights puts out the ratio of people receiving scam messages at around 4 out of 5 people.

As 51% of APAC respondents admit that they have fallen victim at some point in their lives to these SMS fraud or scam messages, 29% of the respondents say that they have stopped using the brand mentioned or allegedly associated with the fraud message.

“The problem has become so pervasive that consumers mistrust the technology, processes designed to protect them from fraudsters and confirm identities with many adamant that users must prove beyond doubt who they are when logging in to use a platform, and that there should be an online identity system to quell the surge of scams,” Callsign said in a press statement.

With these issues in mind, 45% of APAC respondents say they think identity is the problem and that people should prove who they are when signing into any platform, which includes authentication measures like two-factor authentication (2FA) and third-party app authenticators.

For Stuart Dobbie, senior vice president for innovation at Callsign, the insights shows that consumer trust in our digital world has vanished and, rightly or wrongly brands, are being blamed. He added despite all these sentiments,little is being actually done to purposely re-establish digital trust through complete and accurate digital identities.

He further explained that with consumers feeling the brunt of perceived inaction by organizations, it is no surprise that they are asking for more protection, and that if we continue to be unable to know and trust that the person is who they say they are online, large parts of society will stop working.

“Digital trust is about the confidence we have in the technology, processes, and people to secure our digital world. Digital trust is underpinned by digital identities, and the fact that scams are running wild proves that our digital identities are well and truly broken. It’s time to re-think fraud prevention strategies, identifying genuine users through their behaviors will allow us to identify users online and re-establish digital trust,” Dobbie added.

Meanwhile, Namrata Jolly, general manager for Asia-Pacific at Callsign, commented, “The solution lies in re-thinking how we fight fraud and how we identify people online. Current approaches tackle both challenges by only identifying fraud. The problem with this approach is that a fraudster using stolen credentials looks like a genuine user gaining access to accounts or executing transactions. If instead fraud strategies look to positively identify only genuine users, this automatically and simultaneously prevents fraud.”

SME Featured Southeast Asia

Report shows SG consumers ‘loving their own’ with patronage to local biz on a roll

Singapore – Despite the ongoing pandemic, small businesses in Singapore are widely supported locally, thanks to a growing number of Singaporeans rallying their support and patronage to their products, a new report from the Singaporean arm of e-commerce giant Amazon and market research firm YouGov shows.

According to the report data, the Gen X demographic, who are born from 1965 to 1980, are the most supportive among the local demographic, tallying around 48% of respondents saying they at least buy once a week from a local business. This was then followed by millennials (44%) and Gen Z’ers (34%).

While majority of all shoppers polled said they will support organizations that have a charitable component, 63% of Gen Z shoppers said that for the same product, they would rather buy from a seller that gives back to the local community, versus one that does not, compared to 55% of both millennial and Gen X shoppers.

In terms of what type of purchases are being made, clothing and accessories topped the type of purchases being made, with 59% of respondents saying so, 64% of that data are Gen Z shoppers. Other categories include health and personal care (47%) and groceries (46%).

Regarding increased purchases made during the pandemic, pet supplies were the top purchases locally, tallying around 85% response rate from respondents. This is followed by beauty and skincare (82%) and books (78%).

With the introduction of social distancing measures and heightened public health alerts, 2 in 5 Gen X shoppers (39%) said the ability to avoid public spaces and stay safe is a key motivator for online shopping.

While 27%of Gen Z shoppers said the availability of international selection is a crucial online shopping motivator, the highest compared to their Millennial and Gen X counterparts.

Lastly, with the majority of Singaporeans identifying as Bargain Hunters (32%) and 41% saying that lower prices are the top motivator for online shopping, it comes as no surprise that 23% of shoppers rely on product comparison sites when making online shopping decisions.

“Customer obsession has always been at the heart of Amazon’s business globally. By keeping our finger on the pulse of changing consumer trends and behavior, we ensure the user experience is optimized for customers’ shopping preferences,” said Henry Low, country manager at Amazon Singapore.