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Marketing Featured Global

Consumers reveal CX having less impact on purchasing decisions

Toronto, Canada – Despite 92% of respondents agreeing that customer experience (CX) is vital to customers, 52% of the respondents said that CX on their end has less impact or no impact at all to their purchasing decision or long-term loyalty, according to the latest report by total experience management company Alida

In their global report, they have found that 95% of respondents say they’re willing to spend more for a better customer service experience, placing greater emphasis on their personal experience versus convenience. Respondents note that bad personal experience (79%) and poor brand reputation (65%) were also cited as the biggest influences in making a purchase.

Unfortunately, 75% believe brands are simply not listening to their feedback, and one in ten believe businesses will never use customer feedback to inform business decisions.

According to the report, the biggest ‘offenders’ are banks, in-person retail, and credit card companies.

Nicole Kealey, chief strategy officer at Alida, notes that the past year has seen a fundamental shift in how consumers interact with brands, forcing companies to change the way they engage with and stay close to their customers.

“Being reactive is no longer a viable business strategy. Our study shows that business leaders are missing out on a tremendous opportunity to harness the insight and opinions directly from their customer base to create a better customer experience, drive sales and increase customer loyalty,” Kealey stated.

The report also noted that 4 out of 5 consumers state that they are highly motivated to do business elsewhere after a bad customer experience. The majority of respondents stated that they are also likely to leave a bad review, something that can have a negative long-term impact on a business. According to the report, t negative social reviews influence the purchase decision of six in ten respondents.

Kealey notes that as all industries look to best navigate a post-pandemic world, companies must understand that one of their most important assets to success is a happy customer.

“A customer who has enjoyed your products, services and experiences will come back again and recommend you to their friends and family. But competition will become fierce and optimizing every step of the brand experience will be critical. To do so, brands must integrate CX into their overarching business strategy and employ the tools they need to truly understand their customers and take action,” she concluded.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia South Asia

INSEA consumer expenditure on e-commerce apps reached US$106.7m in Q2 2021

Singapore The expenditure across India and Southeast Asian e-commerce app users for Q2 2021 has tallied at US$106.7m where US$60.6m coming from India and US$46.1m in Southeast Asia, the latest insights from mobile advertising platform MAAS of Affle and mobile app store marketing intelligence company Sensor Tower show.

Southeast Asia’s e-commerce expenditures are based on data from Indonesia (US$18.8m), Malaysia (US$11.9m), Thailand (US$8m), and Vietnam (US$7.3m).

The study noted that e-commerce apps registered peak in-app activities, with the consistent upward growth resulting in an 18% Y/Y increase in average daily active users (DAU) for India and 20% Y/Y increase in Vietnam and Indonesia, for Q2 2021. India’s shopping app installs surged in July 2021, surpassing 80 million that month, up more than 15 million M/M. 

In terms of which product categories were popular on e-commerce shopping, they were groceries, grooming/beauty products, apparels, electronics, school and household items, furniture among others. 

Shopping behavior also indicated an increased preference for mobile-based transactions, with retention for first-time app users and after a week of using the top shopping apps in India reached their highest average since 2020 in Q2 2021. Longer-term retention for the top shopping apps in India peaked in Q3 2020, and while retention decreased in the following quarters, it still showed positive growth Y/Y. 

Meanwhile, retention for top shopping apps in SEA has trended slightly downwards since the start of 2020 during the turbulent times of the COVID-19 pandemic. Retention for e-commerce apps after a week of usage decreased by 1.4 percentage points Y/Y in Q2 2021, and a month of app usage retention fell by 0.4 percentage points Y/Y.

According to Viraj Sinh, co-founder and managing partner international at MAAS, India and Southeast Asia are projected to be one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in the world, by 2025, as its unique demographic and fast-changing consumer behavior trends creates a paradigm shift towards e-commerce in the region, which is certain and it continues to happen at a rapid pace

“New verticals, niche players continue to spring up across the region that further drive the adoption and penetration of e-commerce, which is still relatively low. The measurement of success has evolved and the approach to user growth has changed. Having the right partner to help one through this journey has become paramount and a crucial first checkpoint and often the difference between success and failure,” Sinh stated.

Meanwhile, the average time spent in top shopping apps increased during the pandemic, peaking in Q4 2020. While it decreased from this peak in the first half of 2021 in both India and SEA, it remained above Q1 2020 levels. 

The increase in time spent was largely driven by more sessions per day, perhaps due to people having more time stuck at home during the pandemic. The average session duration for top apps in India and SEA hovered around 2 minutes for the past six quarters.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

In-app purchases across SEA see 240% average growth: report

Singapore – The change of consumer behavior into tapping into digital purchases has pushed the average growth of in-app purchases across Southeast Asia to 240% this year, with the Philippines tallying the highest growth at 371%, new insights from marketing analytics company AppsFlyer’s report show.

The region has seen a 13% to 35% rise in in-app revenue from March to July 2021, despite global in-app spend falling 2.05%. In order to capture and convert these first-time users, e-commerce marketers have also doubled down on their ad campaigns after March 2020. 

This has resulted in an overall uptick in year-over-year non-organic installs (NOI) in the region, with Philippines (215%), Indonesia (104%), and Malaysia (69%) noting the highest growth. Meanwhile, marketers in Singapore dialed back on marketing campaigns due to user acquisition cost, with NOI increasing just 28%.

“Up until March last year, Southeast Asia was still a significantly offline market – at least when it comes to the mobile app space, and the majority of people did not have online banking or contactless payment options. Now, just 1.5 years later we are on the cusp of a paradigm shift as Southeast Asia is poised to experience a digital shopping wave; what businesses do now can determine their market share over the next few years,” said Sam Chiu, senior director of marketing for APAC at AppsFlyer.

Meanwhile, app remarketing on iOS saw growth in 2021 across all six SEA markets, even after Apple introduced new privacy rules and disabled Identifier For Advertisers (IDFA) in April 2021. In fact, Indonesia – an Android-dominant market – saw the most robust growth, with remarketing conversions on iOS shooting up 98% from April to July 2021, and Android remarketing conversions falling 4.4%. This contrasts with global figures, where iOS remarketing conversions dropped 22.4% and Android observing an 8.2% increase during the same period.

“This is why it is crucial that marketers advocate for higher budgets to invest in ad campaigns to acquire new users and remarket to existing ones. Companies should focus on increasing brand awareness and building customer loyalty now, before they miss the boat,” Chiu added.

Despite all of this growth, brands should be more wary in executing ad campaigns, as the report found that e-commerce apps’ exposure to fraud was US$58m in APAC between Q4 2020 to Q1 2021. Although this number is high, it is improving: Malaysia and Indonesia both saw an almost 80% reduction in year-over-year fraud rates when comparing January 2020 to January 2021 – reiterating the importance of vigilance and anti-fraud solutions.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

India’s influencer marketing scene on upward 25% CAGR trajectory by 2025

Mumbai, India – With India slowly opening to the the influencer marketing scene to allow brands to connect directly to consumers, the sector is expected to be valued at ₹2200 crores by 2025, or a 25% CAGR trajectory increase from 2021’s ₹900 crores, according to the latest report provided by INCA, the influencer and content marketing solution arm of GroupM, shows.

Part of the reason influencer marketing is thriving in the country is due to the higher preference of brands of utilizing influencers for the campaigns. According to the insights, 75% of influencer marketing campaigns feature influencers such as social media stars, while 25% only for conservative celebrity personalities.

“Social media has given normal people an opportunity to build their own brand, create communities via content. Standard influencers have more authenticity and are more relatable than traditional celebrities.Specialist and niche influencers command a high degree of authority on the topic and bring in more credibility in comparison to mass celebrities,” the company said in a press statement.

In terms of categories being most active in the sector, personal care campaigns garnered the highest percentage of particular brands tapping heavily on the type of marketing, with 25% of respondents saying. These are followed by food and beverage (20%), fashion and jewelry (15%), and mobile and electronics (10%). In sum, these industries contribute to 70% of the volume of influencer marketing in India.

“In the last two decades, digital advertising growth has accelerated and has become ubiquitous. It’s been gaining share in the marketing pie by transforming its presence at the back of advertising technology platforms such as search, commerce, social, and programmatic. Marketing technology platforms such as analytics, CRM, and CMS have also contributed to this growth journey by enabling brands to understand consumer behavior and their journey on and off the internet,” INCA said in a press statement.

The evident growth of the influencer marketing scene in India is best seen with the report’s data stating that 84% of brand marketers are leaning towards launching one influencer campaign this year, and around 81% of brands who have already launched influencer campaigns are satisfied with the ROI it brought to them.

In addition, around 75% of marketers say that influencer campaigns had a positive impact on the consideration and purchase stage of the sales funnel, and 89% of marketers said the ROI from influencer marketing was better or comparable to other channels.

For Prasanth Kumar, CEO at GroupM South Asia, the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of influencer marketing by brands, as they are making it an integral part of the brand marketing strategy and is now an important part of the company’s media mix recommendation to brands.

“The key factor that has got brands interested is the bond of trust and authenticity that influencers share with their audiences, thus helping brands associate with an influencer to leverage the same. This report is our effort to help marketers understand various aspects of influencer marketing in the country. Consumer behavior is changing at a fast pace, and we want to empower marketers with the knowledge that can help them,” Kumar stated.

Meanwhile, Ashwin Padmanabhan, president for partnerships and trading at GroupM India, commented that the objective of their report was not only to quantify the industry but also attempted to define and standardize the various formats and industry terms. 

“Influencer marketing industry is at a point of inflection and can take off, subject to the industry initiating to measure, quantify and make investments in influencer marketing accountable. We hope this report will catalyze the industry and ensure the power of influencers is harnessed effectively,” Padmanabhan added.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

What are the latest e-commerce trends among shoppers in China?

Beijing, China – With China becoming more and more open to exploring new trends and strategies within the retail and commerce market, Asia-Pacific and Western brands ought to take better attention in order to succeed in tapping the Chinese consumer market, a new report from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence shows.

Citing data from market research firm eMarketer, who notes that 52% of total retail sales globally originate from China, the report unveils how China is ‘opening’ itself to the world in terms of commerce. For Chen May Yee, APAC director for Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, Chinese tech giants and global brands alike are trying new ideas first in cities like Shenzhen, from where they spread across China and its borders, hence no global brand can afford not to pay attention. 

Statistics-wise, 27% of Chinese consumers shop online four to six times a week, compared with 19% of Indians, 14% of Thais, 12% of Australians and 11% of Indonesians. Despite the regularity, 9% of Indian consumers say they shop online every day, compared to 7% in China.

In terms of spending power, Chinese consumers are willing to spend the most on online purchases, averaging to US$1,507 though Australia is not far behind, with an average of US$1,177.

While there has been a significant rise of the Gen Z demographic in the consumer space, the older generation are not to forget as well. China’s seniors are the last untapped demographic when it comes to commerce, but not for long. Post pandemic, 81% of Chinese consumers that are aged over 55 years old are now more comfortable using digital technology.

The report also notes that the pandemic and accompanying lockdowns have pushed record numbers online, often through sheer necessity when shops were shut down. This is evident by the fact that even in China, which already boasted a high level of digital literacy before the pandemic, 62% state that they have become more comfortable using digital technology post-pandemic.

In China, the country that created the mega-influencer capable of moving millions of dollars of merchandise in a single livestream, a degree of influencer fatigue is setting in. About 24% of Chinese say friends and family are now their biggest influence on buying decisions, versus 16% who cite social media influencers and 4% who say celebrities. In China, some online marketers are tapping into this shift by promoting friend recommendations, micro-influencers and peer-to-peer networks.

The report also notes that the Chinese market has pioneered various strategies and new demographics to tap into, including launching of live commerce as well as venturing into the gamer market, where eight in ten among Chinese respondents are playing games on mobile phones. Surprisingly, 91% of respondents who are over 55 years old say they do gaming as well on mobile.

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Platforms Featured APAC

APAC ad investment projected to grow significantly to 6.3% by 2022

Singapore – Despite the decline in the advertising industry last year due to the pandemic, it proved to be less severe as they continued to roll out into this year, as new findings from advertising company dentsu projects the industry to see significant growth by 2022 at a rate of 6.3%, including within the Asia-Pacific region.

While 2020 remains the weakest performing year since the global financial crisis, the decline in growth has been raised since dentsu’s January 2021 forecast from -8.0% to -5.2%. In 2021, the market is seeing an 8.0% growth recovery, an improvement of 2.1% points on January’s prediction. Looking to 2022, recovery is set to continue when spending is likely to reach US$243.6b.

The forecasted growth of the advertising industry is highly attributed to the increase in ad spending among brands agencies, both regionally and globally.

According to the report, ad spend in APAC is expected to grow by 8.0% or US$17b to US$229b. In the region, Australia and India are forecasting particularly high growth rates in 2021, with 2021 growth expected to exceed pre-pandemic levels in China.

The report also noted that in APAC, the 6.2% rise in digital spend last year is forecast to grow by 12.8% in 2021 to reach US$124.5b, representing a 54% share of total ad spend globally. Forecasts for social and video will increase by 33.4% and 10.8% respectively, as well as within the search advertising space, targeted at a 7.8% increase, therefore reaching digital spend to US$23.1b in 2021.

With restrictions lifted on social activity, out-of-home (OOH) advertising will see a bounce back post impact of the pandemic, rising 7.5% in 2021 in the region. Cinema has a slightly longer recovery, with a decline to 5.0% in 2021, yet expected to bounce back in 2022. Radio will also see growth by 4.3% in 2021.

Regional live events such Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games have continued to be a significant driver of growth in linear TV ad spend in APAC, which has noted 3.9% increase in 2021 to reach US$59.2b. Data suggests a shift towards connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top (OTT) media and audiences moving more towards digital media consumption mean linear TV spend will remain below pre-pandemic levels until beyond 2021.

“It is promising to see a return to growth in the APAC region with two of our markets in the top five contributors of ad spend growth; China and Japan. While China continues to see strong levels of growth driven by digital and OOH, Japan’s growth will be buoyed by events like the 2020 Olympic & Paralympic Games, and the House of Representative elections [in Japan] and the advertising spend associated with it, particularly in TV,” said Ashish Bhasin, CEO for APAC at dentsu international.

He also added that Australia and India are two of the top year-on-year growth markets, forecasting a surge in ad spend. 

“Australia has had a stronger economic recovery after the pandemic particularly in TV and Digital where the government focused much of their COVID-related campaigns, while India is expected to see a resurgence in Digital advertising spend though TV is still the main contributor with a 40.9% share,” Bhasin added.

Meanwhile, Prerna Mehrotra, CEO for media in APAC at dentsu international and managing director for media in Singapore at dentsu, commented that they are optimistic that the region will bounce back to positive growth in ad spend, with some channels likely boosted higher than pre-pandemic levels. She also noted that the main driver behind the growth is economic recovery, with the APAC GDP set to increase by 7.3%, and a stronger-than-ever push to digital marketing.

“Serving as a stimulus the pandemic has accelerated digital adoption. Digital media will continue to drive ad revenue growth this year with a strong performance in social (+33.4%) and video (+10.8%) and the majority of spends in mobile. We will also see more investments diverted towards addressable and the digitalization of OOH channels,” Mehrotra stated.

She added, “Programmatic DOOH will also be a key growth driver in the future. With the growing numbers of supply-side platforms (SSPs) and demand-side platform (DSPs) partnerships and increasing demand for location-based solutions to ad-reaching consumers in these times of uncertainty, advertisers will benefit from the speed, flexibility and targeting capability that the medium will provide.”

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Platforms Featured APAC

One in four of APAC consumers on the hunt for new finserv providers

Singapore – As the financial services industry in the Asia-Pacific region has reached maturity and high adaptability, around 22% of consumers in the region are stating that they eye switch financial service providers, with 48% of the respondents saying that they are inclined to use digital banks instead, new data from experience management (XM) company Qualtrics shows.

According to their latest report, 25% of those aged under 40 and 21% of 41-50 year olds say they plan to change who they bank with over the next year. In contrast, just 14% of people aged over 50 plan to switch banking providers. Similar results are seen in insurance, as 29% of people aged under 40 are likely to switch, compared to 27% of 41-50 year olds with20% of those aged over 50.

Qualtrics notes that the product and customer experience consistently ranked in the top reasons driving trust in providers, and the reasons for choosing digital-only offerings. Alongside competitive rates and brand perception, the quality of the mobile app and website, products, and customer service are also some of the top factors driving trust in the industry. 

In addition, consumers said they were opting for digital-only offerings for better customer experience, lower fees and charges, flexible products, higher returns, and more personalization.

“While Asia Pacific is a hotbed of innovation and opportunity for financial service providers – from traditional players through to emerging fintechs – what’s clear from our research is that share of wallet is dependent on the quality of the physical and digital experiences provided. Consumers are actively hunting for products, services, and engagements tailored for their rapidly changing needs and preferences,” said Harish Agarwal, head of customer experience solutions and strategy for Qualtrics in Southeast Asia, India, and Greater China.

He added that this means organizations that are able to quickly listen, understand, and act on customer feedback will have a significant advantage.

The report also stated that despite two-thirds of respondents saying they were satisfied with their banking provider (68% of respondents) and health/life insurer (65% of respondents), a significant portion of consumers are still looking to switch, as 22% are planning to change who they bank with, and 27% are looking to change their insurance provider.

Regarding service feedback, around 69% of respondents said it was very important their provider captures ongoing feedback from them regarding products and services – and that most especially, feedback is acted on. Meanwhile, 48% of respondents said it was unlikely they’d purchase from a provider in the future if the organization failed to respond to their feedback.

Consumers are also moving away from traditional providers when it comes to investing, with 73% saying they adopted digital channels to meet their needs, such as online brokers, fintech apps, and digital wealth management solutions. Younger consumers are consistently the most willing to engage non-traditional providers.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Skincare top health priority among SG Gen Z’s, report shows

Singapore – In the wake of the pandemic, there is no doubt that people are showing unprecedented concern over their health. Within ‘health’ meanwhile, we’re looking at a variety of areas and for the Gen Z demographic in Singapore, specifically, there has been a heightened interest in skincare at the farther period of the pandemic, a report from communications agency DeVries Global shows.

With more than a year into COVID-19, skincare has now emerged to be top-of-mind. The report notes an uptick in skincare consumption among Gen Z’s in Singapore, with 84% of the respondents saying they care for such endeavors. Demographic-wise, 67% of the total female respondents and 57% of the total male respondents consider skincare as an integral part of overall health.

In addition, over 80% of the respondents say that they would consider switching skincare brands if it’s proven to improve their skincare health. Meanwhile, for those who refuse to switch, the reason boils down to three factors: satisfaction with their current brand, competitor brand’s price, and personal concerns on whether the competitor brand will work for them.

In order to convince consumers to switch from their current brand to another, the report’s data showed they would need to be recommended by health professionals (287 respondents), reviewed positively by other customers (280 respondents), and should carry scientific study results (211 respondents).

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

SEA report says e-commerce, retail, D2C consumers engage with brands on web more than mobile

Singapore – As the industries of retail, banking and finance, and digital entertainment become more and more active, these industries have ramped up their personalized customer engagement across their target users in Southeast Asia, as a new report from customer engagement company MoEngage shows.

According to the report, daily active users (DAUs) of e-commerce, retail and D2C brands increased by 13.36% in the first four months of 2021. When studying the monthly active user (MAU) trends of the same brands, web MAUs had increased the highest (by 8.7%) compared to mobile. 

The report notes that such activity is recorded most likely due to pandemic movement restrictions and shoppers working from home, as opposed to shopping via mobile on the go.

As the report targeted three main channels in their report namely push notifications, email, in-app messages, and website messages; they found out that push notifications that used behavioral attributes with an added layer of personalization from shopping brands saw deliverability of up to 85.67% and campaign conversions increased to over 27%.

There has been an increase of 54.9% in the number of DAUs across all digital banking, fintech, peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, insurance, and cryptocurrency platforms during the first four months of 2021.

In terms of email click-throughs, it saw better click-through rates and conversion across all industries as compared to the generic ones: open rates of emails from shopping brands went up to 28.17% and the 0.5% of emails that were behavior-based in the digital entertainment sector saw 2.4 times better click rate, while in banking, behavior-based emails boosted conversions by 2.72 times compared to generic broadcasts.

Finally, the report noted that digital media and entertainment brands using custom user segments based on behavioral and user attributes to send in-app messages to Android users saw twice the increase in click-through rates and conversion rate of up to 50.05% as compared to sending the same message to all users.

“Consumer behavior in Southeast Asia has changed rapidly over the last year, and digital adoption across industries has accelerated during the pandemic period. We’re pleased to provide organizations globally with a holistic view of how their current and prospective customers are behaving and guide them through their insights-led customer engagement and business growth journey,” according to Saurabh Madan, GM for SEA and ANZ at MoEngage.

The report concludes by stating that the findings demonstrate the importance of closely analyzing consumer behavior across every critical channel and developing both proactive and reactive outreach in association with these insights.

“Laser-focus on this [customer engagement] establishes customer-centricity, ensuring that brands meet and exceed the expectations of their customers and boost long-term loyalty and repeat business,” the report added.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

New report shows PH esports still grasping for mainstream success amid rising popularity

Manila, Philippines – While the esports scene industry in the Philippines has been thriving, thanks to a combination of local area network (LAN) gaming centers or more known as ‘computer shops’ and mobile gaming accessibility, the industry has seen its fair share of struggles maintaining mainstream focus, a new report from strategic advisory firm YCP Solidiance shows.

According to the report, the local industry has yet to prove that esports titles hold a lifespan long enough to support professional players’ careers, unlike traditional sports that have a long-proven history of consistent returns and established fan support. In contrast, international leagues such as The Overwatch League and League of Legends: League Championship Series have successfully proven their success in other countries, paving ways for a profitable future for the Philippine esports market.

On the other hand, while these esports tournaments have yet to see themselves ‘ripen’ in the local scene, the esports industry in the Philippines currently has over 43 million active gamers, a number growing steadily by 12.9% yearly since 2017. The country’s most played game, Mobile Legends, reached a whopping peak of 2.65 million active users daily (from data by the Google Play store in April 2019), and has shown consistent growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%.

The report also suggests that in order for the esports industry to thrive in the country, they need to combine three elements: content, packaging, and accessibility. In the case of establishing an esports league tournament in the country, for instance, the Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) in the Philippines, they have one of the highest levels of Mobile Legends competitive play that is accessible today in the country.

“Even better is that it shows a marked improvement, exponentially growing the viewership number from the previous seasons, and a growing loyalty amongst its viewers as seen with the returning support after multiple editions of the tournament. Though more outside investments and direct sponsorship support is not yet prevalent, it stands to reason that future editions of the tournament will very likely catch the eye of many non-endemic sponsors,” the report stated.

They added that at the end of the day, it is a ‘delicate balancing act’ that requires concrete efforts on all ends to make sure all bases are covered. Such efforts require considerable investments, but when these are done right, successes such as the one Mobile Legends has shown is a definite possibility. 

“Especially now that Mobile Legends’ success along the way is converting many nonparticipants of esports into potential audiences of tomorrow, the esports industry in the Philippines has never looked more approachable and primed to succeed in the coming years,” the report concluded.