Platforms Featured ANZ

ANZ shoppers to spend less, more selective in online purchases this year

Sydney, Australia – Shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are reported to spend less and be more selective in prioritising essentials during their online purchases, a report by BigCommerce, an open SaaS e-commerce platform.

According to the report, 30% of respondents also indicate they plan to decrease their BNPL spend, with 68% doing so to save money for essentials. Furthermore, 79% of shoppers would be likely or very likely to leave a website and purchase elsewhere if a website is too slow.

In addition, credit card as a proportion of last payments made has risen to 39% in 2022, up from 26% in 2020 and 2021. Debit cards have also become more popular as a payment method, increasing from 17% in 2020, to 21% in 2021 and now at 23% in 2022. The majority of purchases made after receiving a marketing prompt came from email (42.1% of respondents), while respondents who made a purchase after receiving an abandoned cart email have also doubled to 32% in 2022.

Shannon Ingrey, vice president and general manager, APAC at BigCommerce, said, “The beginning of the pandemic pushed shoppers online, and now they’re getting more selective with their spending to prioritise saving more. We’re at a point where retailers and merchants need to take an introspective look at their key services to address shopper pain points like website speed and fast delivery time.”

Meanwhile, 40% of respondents indicated they have chosen one retailer over another because of a loyalty program offering, with 69% saying they have used a loyalty program to claim a reward in the last three months. For 77% of respondents, free shipping is the number one preferred perk when it comes to these loyalty programs.

“It’s critical for retailers to ensure they have the right technology and infrastructure in place to prioritise fast, seamless experiences for shoppers. Understanding what consumers think and how they behave on a day-to-day basis will be key to the strategic decision-making of every merchant in 2022,” Ingrey concluded.

Technology Featured ANZ

Privacy-first solutions not a priority for half of media planners in AU

Sydney, Australia – Despite privacy becoming a crucial part of the business in the marketing and advertising industry, new data from programmatic advertising partner Blis shows that 50% of media planners in Australia are still not seeing privacy-first solutions as a key priority during 2022.

This is despite 33% of the respondent media planners citing privacy-first solutions as one of their biggest challenges this year. According to the data, media planners are still skeptical, or even confused, about how to tackle this challenge.

In terms of media planners’ views about current privacy-first solutions in the market, just one in three media planners feels they have good privacy-first solutions in place to reach their audiences. 

For specifics, 36% of media agencies are considering a mixture of contextual targeting, unique identifier (UID) 2.0 and FloC. In-house planners seem to be more skeptical, with 36% of them still saying they wouldn’t consider any of the current solutions as ideal to overcome privacy concerns.

The data also noted that CTV gained planners’ attention during the pandemic and will continue to do so in 2022, with 52% of media agency planners expecting to spend more than 50% of their overall digital media campaigns on CTV. Similarly, in-house media planners expect to spend 33% of their budget on CTV, a much lower but still significant part of their budgets.

In addition, media planners are also preparing to increase in-app advertising budgets as in-app spending is expected to account for 44% of total media spending by 2026. 

For Aaron McKee, CTO at Blis, the new data shows his research highlights on some key areas that media planners, and the industry as a whole, need to be aware of and plan for, if they’re not already.

“Many media planners are already missing half their web audience and 80% of their most valuable in-app audience and challenges around reach, relevance and measurement will only get worse with the Chrome third-party cookie changes coming shortly. This is the year to try new approaches to reaching wide audiences in a way that demonstrably performs,” McKee said.

He added, “The approaches that stand the test of time will be rooted in privacy and respect for personal data. Finding trusted privacy-first partners will help make their lives much easier – and their campaigns more effective – in the long run.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

10.10, 11.11, 12.12: Which among sales events is the most popular in SEA?

Singapore – Sales festivals, such as 11.11 and 12.12, create opportunities for consumers to make advanced holiday gift purchases, and retailers should note to make these moments count, and capture the attention of their shoppers in advance of year-end seasonal shopping moments.

Out of all these sales festivals, which remains the most popular among Southeast Asian consumers? The latest data from adtech Criteo finds out, spanning across recorded data from 280 e-commerce players from nine markets in SEA

According to the report, 11.11 emerged as SEA’s most popular sales festival, with sales made during this period in 2020 increasing by 554%

Meanwhile, Criteo’s report cited 12.12 as the largest shopping festival for SEA in 2020, with online retail sales and traffic increasing by 305% and 127% respectively. 

Market-wise, observed trends found that 12.12 emerged as the most significant shopping festival for Indonesia, while 11.11 remained the largest sales festival for Singapore and Vietnam.

“While there has been tremendous growth in Double Day sales over the last two years, we are seeing that the growth in e-commerce sales (when compared with their respective baseline year) have been slowing down as more in the region get accustomed to remote work, life, and play,” said Taranjeet Singh, managing director for Southeast Asia and India at Criteo.

He added, “While retail sales continue to grow, we see that the rate of growth is narrowing. It is thus more important than ever for brands to understand consumer habits across online and offline platforms, and relook campaign strategies so that they can stand out from competitors and gain greater market share.”

As the present 11.11 sales this 2021 is nearing, top e-commerce platforms in SEA are currently launching big campaigns to gain further momentum. Lazada Singapore has partnered with real estate company Propnex for a S$1m-worth condominium for their 11.11 giveaway, meanwhile, Shopee has partnered again with CapitaLand for continuing the omnichannel drive which had gamification as a key aspect.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Poor password practices persist among 93% of Malaysians

Singapore – Despite 57% of internet users in Malaysia experiencing a personal data breach or knowing someone who had, 93% of the respondents admit to practicing poor online habits, including sharing, recycling and using guessable passwords. The findings are part of Google’s latest digital responsibility study conducted across APAC.

The study found that 80% of respondents in Malaysia use the same passwords for multiple sites, with 45% of the respondents admitting to recycling passwords for up to 10 unique sites. Among these password recyclers, 40% say they do so in fear of forgetting new passwords, while 41% say it is simply convenient to use the same ones.

“We know from past research that people who have had their data exposed by a breach are 10 times more likely to be hijacked. When we share, recycle and use guessable passwords we put our personal information, including payment data, at exponential risk,” said Chuah Jia Wen, industry head of CPG and retail at Google Malaysia.

Furthermore, 51% of local respondents confessed to using guessable passwords, spanning the most easily crackable combinations from significant dates and significant others to pet names and even postal codes. Worse still, 25% of the respondents admit to saving their passwords in the ‘Notes’ app of their mobile phones, most of which are not encrypted by default.

In regards to security in online transactions, 60% of the respondents admit to making purchases on pages without the secure symbol on the page’s hyperlink. Notable too is that 70% of respondents who save financial information online also share passwords with friends and family, putting themselves at greater risk of a personal data breach with passwords used across multiple devices.

Despite these online security lapses, 64% of respondents say that they are likely to adopt two-factor authentication (2FA), even if it is not mandatory. Meanwhile, 80% of respondents also say that in the face of a potential data breach, they will choose to change their password immediately. Interestingly, 33% of those who would not change their passwords immediately are believed to be acting out of caution, citing that the breach notification could well be a scam on its own.

“It is clear from our findings that internet users in Malaysia desire to get better at managing their digital health. The challenge, however, lies in the gap between knowledge and action, and key to plugging this gap is access to tools that can adequately equip people with both security and convenience,” Chuah stated.

She added, “That’s why we focus on providing easy to use tools to help people take charge of their online safety, and we strongly encourage everyone to take full advantage of them especially in this year-end season, where the need to safeguard against holiday hacking is more crucial than ever before.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Nearly all SEA consumers planning to leverage online shopping this festive season

Singapore – Despite many consumers now reducing their budget for shopping and fearing shopping in-store due to pandemic concerns, about 93% of Southeast Asian consumers say that they will shop more across digital commerce sites this festive season, new insights from marketing technology company InMobi shows.

According to the report, about 39% of respondents have said that this is the first time that they will be trying out online shopping.

A positive sentiment is evident across online shoppers in the region, saying they want to learn about a product (39%) and explore product categories (71%), as well as making a purchase (69%). Some 24% of respondents declared that they would spend more on online shopping for the holiday season, while 47% planned to reduce their budget for in-person shopping.

“Despite a tough 2021, Southeast Asians are still gearing up for the year-end holiday shopping season, which has traditionally been the most active period for e-commerce sales in the region. More shoppers than ever are going online and spending more money online, most using their mobile phones to explore, discover and purchase. The time is right for brands and marketers to leverage mobile-first marketing to attract the interest of the connected festive shopper this year,” said Rishi Bedi, vice president and general manager for Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea at InMobi.

However, nearly 64% of consumers are still ‘undecided’ or are ‘completely unplanned’ on their online shopping experience, giving brands the opportunity to capture this market.

The report also noted that there are three key buyer personas that are emerging across Southeast Asian consumers for the holiday season, namely bargain hunters (64% of respondents), category explorers (26% of respondents) and brand lovers (10% of respondents).

In terms of spending, some 51% of Indonesians planned to spend over IDR 500,000 for their online shopping, while one in five Singaporeans will spend more than S$1000, with the average Filipino family shelling out ₱7627 for the festive season. 

Meanwhile, clothing and accessories, groceries, gadgets, and home appliances emerged as the most in-demand product categories across Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines.

“Since 2020, the consumer shift towards mobile shopping has meant a surge in the adoption of InMobi’s shoppable media and online to online/offline commerce solutions by brands for maximizing ROI. These solutions, along with our unique deterministic audience targeting on programmatic, will play an even more significant role for brands in this online festive season,” Bedi concluded.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Close to half of ad agencies in SEA admit to never checking ‘diversity’ in client briefs

Singapore – Despite diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) being prominent across media and marketing, about 40% of ad agencies based in the Southeast Asia region admit to never checking client specification on DE&I before creating creative work for them, insights from independent global marketing consultancy R3 note.

According to the consultancy’s latest report spanning 300 video advertisements broadcast in the region, there are lapses in regards to gender representation in these advertisements. About 33% of the sample ads have shown negative stereotypes on body image, 38% have portrayed negative stereotypes of gender characteristics, and 44% have portrayed negative stereotypes of gender roles.

For Shufen Goh, co-founder and principal at R3, there should be a greater need for more people from diverse backgrounds in control of storytelling and production or we risk telling stories that are one-dimensional, adding that with 60% of agencies reported not having a formal process to ensure that diversity is addressed in client advertising is already considered a ‘red flag’.

“Marketers can play a positive role and encourage greater change in the narratives being developed by requiring diversity among creative directors and producers and demanding more inclusive organizational design,” Goh stated.

Despite the negative connotations, there are still brands who have persisted in creating campaigns that respect gender representation.

Based on the review, Kotex, Avon, Colgate, Apple, and Nike were five brands with the best gender representation in advertising in Southeast Asia. All brands scored positively in areas of avoiding objectification, positive body image portrayals, and positive portrayal of gender roles and characteristics. The best performing advertising addressed female empowerment, body positivity, ethnic and economic diversity, and sexual orientation.

In addition, female empowerment has been the focus of diversity initiatives across agencies in the region, though most activities reported were limited to educational and culture building exercises.

“If we look at progress through a regional lens, change is being made. There is greater representation across gender and ethnicity in the workforce, and more equality in agency leadership positions. Now it’s time for marketers and agencies to come together and shift the topic of diversity from one of corporate culture and optional participation to tangible process and policy,” Goh concluded.

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.

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.

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.

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.