Technology Featured ANZ

Shopify’s integrated retail hardware launch in AU marked with latest study on shopping behaviors

Sydney, Australia – As e-commerce company Shopify brings to Australia its latest suite of integrated retail hardware and payments for retailers in the country, the company has recently published a study on the status quo of the local retail scene.

According to the study, despite online shopping likely to double, most Aussies still prefer to shop in-store. However, retailers are having to cater to and accommodate new ways of shopping such as contactless payments, local delivery, and click-and-collect that have been accelerated by the global pandemic.

Furthermore, Aussies are increasingly turning online to make their purchases. The research shows the number of shoppers buying mostly online will likely double post-pandemic vs. pre-pandemic, from 7% pre-pandemic to 15% now that many COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease. 

Shopify also noted that buying in brick-and-mortar stores, still tops Australia’s shopping preference with 64% of people choosing to buy mostly in physical stores post-pandemic, compared to 79% before COVID-19.

“We are experiencing a fundamental shift in how people shop following the global pandemic. This new retail renaissance is forcing retailers to adapt to new business models, as digital disruption is fueled by rocketing customer expectations for convenience, personalization, experience, and safety,” said Shaun Broughton, managing director APAC at Shopify.

The report also reveals the number of Australians buying online for click-and-collect or local delivery will continue to grow compared to pre-pandemic. The former increased from 17% pre-pandemic to 23% post-pandemic, and deliveries from online purchases grew from 37% to 43% accordingly. On the other hand, buying through social media is predicted to stay relatively low among Aussies, sitting at 5-6%.

In other data, Shopify noted that the top 3 expectations of consumers are free shipping (64%), easy returns (58%), and efficient customer service (57%). About 8 in 10 shoppers say buying local is important to them, with proximity (77%) and supporting local business owners (60%) cited as the main reasons why. 

Meanwhile, 29% of online shoppers would select pick-up from a physical store location if free-shipping is not available, and 52% expect retailers to offer ‘click-and-collect’. Furthermore, 93% have used a non-cash means of payment while shopping in-store (e.g debit card, credit card, mobile wallet).

“Australia has quickly become an important market for Shopify, so bringing integrated retail hardware and in-store payments to our Australian retail merchants is a pivotal step in future-proofing their businesses,” Broughton added.

Shopify’s hardware launch, categorized under the Shopify Point of Sale (POS) and Shopify Payments suite, aims to bring said benefits:

  • The ability for retailers to accept all major payment methods, however, and wherever they need to in order to make the sale
  • Secure and reliable checkouts for both retailers and customers when completing a sale, all through a single POS system.
  • Unified back office to track and manage sales, payments, and payouts across online and in-person retail all from a single location
  • Returns and exchanges helping retailers assist customers with purchases made online or at other locations
  • Upfront pricing with a single rate for all credit cards and no hidden fees or hardware rental fees
Technology Featured Southeast Asia

PH digital payment platform BillEase partners with four e-commerce players for ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ integration

Manila, Philippines – Philippine installment payment platform BillEase has announced new partnerships with four ecommerce platforms namely Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and Prestashop to bring payment installment schemes for merchants and retailers in the country

Merchants that use any of these platforms can now integrate with BillEase and activate ‘Pay Later’, ‘Pay in Installments’ and ‘Pay with Down Payment’, which will provide customers with flexibility in payments and smoother shopping experience.

The multi-platform partnership is in response to retailers doubling their efforts in ‘moving’ their businesses online in the mid of the pandemic. Furthermore, as many Filipinos are still unbanked and uncarded due to signup processes, BillEase provides both merchants and customers ease of service. 

BillEase, which is developed by SEA-focused fintech company First Digital Finance Corporation (FDFC), enables customers to spread the cost of their purchases over time at a low interest rate, giving them flexibility and increased purchasing power. It also allows customers to afford big ticket purchases beyond their credit limit with a down payment solution. 

On the other hand, the payment platform benefits merchants by paying them in full, absorbs all credit and fraud risks through its proprietary credit decisioning technology. BillEase also lifts conversion rates in the online space to accommodate payment with less friction and faster approval time.

“With this integration, we’re bringing our financial product closer to consumers by making it easier for merchants to add our point-of-sale financing option. Installment purchase is already a very popular option for most Filipinos when they shop in malls. But these offline offerings often don’t translate well to the online world and the payment experience is not seamless,” said Georg Steiger, CEO and co-founder of FDFC

He added, “Our goal is to help merchants improve their conversion rate by making the online buying experience a pleasure for customers. Spreading payment over monthly installment with extremely affordable rates makes their shopping experience lighter. For merchants, they can enjoy an increase in basket sizes and more conversion as we also support 0%-APR plans with no cost to customers. Over 90 percent of Filipino consumers are disenfranchised when it comes to credit cards. In contrast, BillEase is a simple, safe and transparent cardless alternative to revolving credit lines for online shoppers who primarily use debit cards and are usually underserved.”

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Loyalty solution Ascenda kickstarts new meta-aggregation engine for merchant offers

Singapore – Ascenda, a loyalty solutions company, has launched OffersHub, a meta-aggregation and personalization engine that allows merchants to personalize their offers and loyalty programs for their customers.

Primarily targeted to banks and other digital payment platforms, the recent product launch aims to allow these merchants create customer connections through their reward values.

“Our proposition delivers a rich pool of personalized offers with sustainable funding mechanisms – all delivered in a turnkey solution. The unique meta-aggregation engine at the heart of OffersHub enables our enterprise clients to tap into deal content across multiple sources, so they can provide the most compelling proposition to their customers and capture the greatest return of investment (ROI) on their marketing investments,” Mark Mullinix, head of strategy & partnerships at Ascenda stated.

Included within Ascenda’s offering are streamlines for various gateways of reward programs such as card-linked offers, coupons, e-commerce affiliate rewards, and discounted gift card purchases. A hyper localized approach is also offered to predict relevance factors such as demographics and geo-location.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s PLDT Home, ShopeePay team up for e-payment convenience

Manila, Philippines – Local-based telecommunications company PLDT has recently partnered up with e-commerce Shopee’s payment platform ShopeePay to bring convenience to payment gateways for services provided by the local telco.

The recent partnership aims at providing more payment service options for PLDT customers in settling their payments for postpaid plans, WiFi, and other bills.

Users can pay through ShopeePay in the Shopee app, under the “Load, Bills & eServices” option.

Accompanying the recent partnership is a chance for PLDT Home subscribers to receive rewards just by paying through the ShopeePay platform. Users may enjoy Shopee coin cashbacks for the following promos:

  • 300 Shopee coins cashback when users pay every Monday, Thursday, and on November 11 by using the voucher code PLDTBILL300.
  • 250 Shopee coins cashback every Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with the voucher code PLDTBILL250
  • 200 and 150 Shopee coins cashback respectively when they pay their bills with PLDTBILL200 and PLDTBILL150 voucher codes

“As more consumers are turning to our platform to stay connected and fulfill their daily needs, we are committed to providing them easy access to digital payment services such as ShopeePay for seamless payment,” said Martin Yu, associate director at Shopee Philippines.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Alibaba kicks off annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival

Shanghai, China – Customer-centric innovations and features—this has been Alibaba’s focal point this year as they recently announced their plans for the annual 11.11 Global Shopping Festival.

As ‘11.11’ continues to grow by the year, Alibaba focused on launching new strategies in the midst of changing consumer behaviors. Strategies include promotion of Alipay’s digital lifestyle platform, ‘doubling’ of shopping windows that will aid in featuring more brands and merchants, consumer reach and promotions, and utilization of livestreaming technology to drive more engagement from customers, especially from Chinese consumers, which has been noted to create the largest international presence to date.

Alibaba’s Alipay digital lifestyle platform aims at connecting almost two million local service providers in China, including micro-merchants such as street stalls and small-scale grocery stores. On the other hand, the company recently launched its Taobao Deals’ “RMB1 Sales” campaign, which aims at encouraging consumers to purchase goods at huge discounts and free shipping. Lastly, in regards to the livestreaming strategies, Alibaba aims to launch a shopping festival concept in Southeast Asia-namely in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam markets.

Jiang Fan, president of Taobao and Tmall, expressed his hopes for the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, stating that through these innovations, the company hopes to adapt to the changes this year has brought to the consumer market.

“The pandemic has fundamentally changed consumer shopping preferences and accelerated digital transformation of many businesses. Through our expansion from ‘single’ to ‘double,’ 11.11 will be offering more opportunities for merchants both online and offline to engage with consumers as well as provide a better consumer experience overall,” Fan stated.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Philippine’s Cebu Pacific adopts Cellpoint Digital’s payment orchestration platform

Philippines – CellPoint Digital, a leading provider of digital commerce and payment solutions to airlines and travel companies, has partnered with Cebu Pacific, one of the largest airlines in the Philippines to implement a cutting-edge Payment Orchestration Platform across all its digital channels.

CellPoint Digital’s payment orchestration platform, Velocity, will enable Cebu Pacific to simplify the payment experience of its repeat customers by deploying stored cards in all its digital channels with a single sign-on.

Velocity is a PSP and acquirer agnostic and will enable the airline to build and orchestrate a bespoke network of acquiring banks. The intelligent routing module will dynamically optimize the routing of each transaction via this network, thereby maximizing the acceptance rate and lowering transaction costs.

Cebu Pacific will also have the ability to fast track the launch of new payment methods in new markets, by picking and rapidly activating new ones from CellPoint’s growing payment ecosystem, including over 40 local and global cards and over 350 alternative payment methods.

Based on CellPoint’s experience, stored cards will generate a double-digit uplift on the conversion rate and a payment acceptance rate exceeding the airline industry average. Customer satisfaction and the conversion  is also expected to be boosted by pay-by-link messages that re-engage customers who leave at check-out. A multi-currency pricing feature offers international travelers the option to pay in their preferred currency.

“Our customers remain at the heart of our business – as such, we are constantly improving their customer journey with us. As we continue transforming processes towards a frictionless experience, implementing effective and secure online payment portals is critical. With this new development, we look forward to providing our passengers an omnichannel experience and the ease of one-click payments, along with localized options in all markets,” said Candice Iyog, vice-president for marketing and customer experience at Cebu Pacific.

Meanwhile, Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Digital said, “We are delighted to partner with one of the most successful airlines in the Asia Pacific and support their impressive expansion and commitment to the best digital customer experience. Our independent payment platform will give Cebu the agility and control they need to optimize further their payment strategy and drastically simplify their customer payment experience,” Gjerding added.