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Technology Featured Southeast Asia

FairPrice Group, The Trade Desk team up to power advertising approach with retail media

Singapore – Food and grocery retailer FairPrice Group (FPG) has announced an industry partnership with adtech The Trade Desk to provide brands on The Trade Desk’s platform with insights on the impact of their digital advertising campaigns across offline and online sales channels.

In addition, such brands will be able to reach FPG’s customers on the open internet, beyond FairPrice’s owned media platforms. The partnership marks the first time that FairPrice Group’s pseudonymised sales conversion data will be available within a programmatic media buying platform.

The new partnership allows brands to reach an engaged customer base of more than 2 million NTUC Union and Link Members, including over 700,000 FairPrice app users. Brands and media agencies will be able to directly measure how digital ad campaigns are driving both in-store and online sales within FairPrice stores.

Furthermore, brands can make near real-time enhancements to their ad campaigns that can be optimised in a way that was not previously possible. Furthermore, the partnership makes it easier for brands to reach and engage with relevant FairPrice consumers across the open internet, in the fastest-growing digital channels, such as over-the-top (OTT), music streaming, mobile apps, gaming, and websites.

Alvin Neo, chief customer and marketing officer at FairPrice Group said, “Through this partnership, FairPrice Group aims to help brands unlock meaningful opportunities to better connect with our customers. As we enter the era of consent-based marketing, we look forward to working with The Trade Desk to harness the power of retail data to gain better insights to reach and serve consumers in relevant and beneficial​ ​ways.”

Meanwhile, Mitch Waters, senior vice president for ANZ, Southeast Asia and India at The Trade Desk, commented, “Given the complexity of the modern consumer, brands will need to take an omnichannel approach that supports a true shopping experience and navigates the path to purchase with consumers. By integrating FairPrice Group’s retail data available for the first time with The Trade Desk platform, we are helping brands reach FairPrice customers across the open internet, and closing the loop between advertising activity and in-store and online action.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Society Pass, Magnite team up to develop retail media network in SEA

Singapore – Society Pass, through its digital advertising arm Thoughtful Media Group, has recently announced that it is teaming up with global independent omnichannel sell-side advertising platform Magnite to create a retail media network in Southeast Asia through delivering targeted content, messaging, and experiences to the region’s concentrated populations of online consumers and merchants.

The TMG Media Network offers brand advertisers exposure to consumers in Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, including the more than 3.3 million registered consumers on SoPa’s ecosystem. The network features premium inventory spanning its owned channels and the wider web, including display, mobile, video, social and digital out-of-home when fully deployed.

Meanwhile, Magnite enables programmatic activation and expands demand facilitation for TMG Media Network across its omnichannel inventory. Advertisers and publishers are then able to activate data from TMG Media Network through Magnite, unlocking new opportunities to reach audiences at scale across ad formats for brands.

Dennis Nguyen, chairman at Thoughtful Media Group, explains, “We are excited to launch the TMG Media Network, which provides advertisers access to influencer content creation, highly targeted 1st party e-commerce data, and social commerce opportunities at scale. As a leading retail marketing solution in SEA, the TMG Media Network incorporates a multi-faceted, data-driven approach to audience reach, engagement, and conversion, which provides for a more impactful brand and consumer experience.” 

He added, “And as data-driven social commerce becomes increasingly pervasive, TMG is well-positioned to power the region’s first media and advertising network with an end-to-end content, data, and supply solutions.”

Meanwhile, Gavin Buxton, managing director for Asia at Magnite, stated, “We are excited to work with one of Southeast Asia’s most innovative brands and platforms to drive meaningful growth through game-changing content, data, and technology. Activating SoPa’s expansive and growing audience data to scale impactful, multi-channel experiences shapes the way consumers engage and interact with brands.”

The recent partnership with Magnite comes weeks after Society Pass welcomed Rokas Sidlauskas as its newest chief marketing officer, as well as the recent beta launch of their loyalty app. Thoughtful Media Group is one of the many acquisitions Society Pass made, including Philippine delivery platforms Mangan and Pushkart.ph, and Vietnam-based delivery service Handycart under Dream Space.

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Marketing Featured South Asia

Decathlon to suspend Sri Lankan retail, e-commerce operations by late October

Sri Lanka – French sporting goods retailer Decathlon has announced that it will indefinitely suspend its retail and e-commerce operations in Sri Lanka by October 30 this year, following import concerns amidst the current social unrest in the country.

Decathlon first operated in the country in October 2018 and has operated two stores, as well as an e-commerce store.

In a Facebook statement, Decathlon said that its production activities in Sri Lanka will continue to operate as normal.

“We would like to thank all of our customers and partners for the good will and support they have shown since we first opened our doors. The welcome reserved for our concept and our products was amazing and we sincerely hope to restart our retail activities in Sri Lanka when circumstances permit,” the company said.

They also added that it will also relocate its production sites and its employees, as well as providing financial and return-to-employment support to its employees moving outside the company.

Decathlon’s suspension of operations in Sri Lanka follows the ongoing economic crisis in the country, with Sri Lanka facing its worst economic crisis since 2019. This resulted in the recent Sri Lankan protests that resulted in the government declaring a state of emergency and the resignation of Mahinda Rajapaksa as the prime minister.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Sansanee Songkiatthana named marketing director of Bata Group in Thailand

Thailand – Sansanee Songkiatthana, previously of Klook in Thailand, has been named as the new marketing director of retail group Bata Group in Thailand. This is according to her LinkedIn update where she dated the start of the role at September this year. 

Songkiatthana’s marketing experience expands roles for Avon, Unilever, and Klook. At Unilever, she used to head marketing activation. Meanwhile, her time at Klook saw her assuming the position of head of marketing for Thailand, and then eventually moving up to the role of associate marketing director. 

The Bata Group is one of the leading manufacturers and retailers of footwear with a global presence. It is active in 70 countries across the globe and has over 5,300 brick-and-mortar stores spread over its markets. 

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Platforms Featured APAC

How BNPL providers and partner marketers can seize their growing collective opportunity

Over the past five years, the number of buy now, pay later (BNPL) businesses and options has skyrocketed. The boom began when the world’s largest online retailers integrated these options into their e-commerce experiences, and the concept quickly went mainstream across the retail landscape. More recently, amidst the pandemic and rapid shift to online spending, we saw the first BNPL players turn to the BNPL and partner marketing channel as a new revenue stream. Since then, the channel has become an exceptionally important part of the BNPL industry’s growth strategy. 

That said, the e-commerce and fintech landscape are both undergoing rapid transformations, making this a particularly crucial time for partner marketers and BNPL players in terms of laying the groundwork for a sustainable future together. Let’s take a closer look at this growing opportunity, as well as the areas where both sides need to focus their efforts to ensure responsible growth. 

Why All Eyes Are on BNPL 

The BNPL opportunity, while not a new concept, has been redefined for a digital world and has taken on significant weight in recent years. Retailers have flocked to these providers, with major players like Klarna now serving hundreds of thousands of global retailers, including names like Amazon and Macy’s. 

In terms of the money that flows through these systems, Juniper Research predicts that money spent through the BNPL market will nearly quadruple between 2021 and 2026, to eventually account for more than 24 per cent of global e-commerce transactions (compared to 9 per cent in 2021). At the same time, these services will widen their generational appeal. According to eMarketer, 80 per cent of BNPL customers in 2018 were millennials or Gen Zers 14 and over. That figure dropped to 73 per cent last year, as older generations began to embrace these newer payment options. However, millennials and Gen Z are expected to remain the predominant BNPL customers in the near future. 

While BNPL is seeing global growth, Australia has become the world’s hotbed of BNPL activity. The BNPL boom in Australia has attracted more than 30 players in recent years, the largest being names like Afterpay, Zip and Humm Group. Zip in particular has more than 2 million customers across Australia and New Zealand, and the company credits the BNPL trend as being a major contributor to the wave of Australians who have ditched their credit cards in recent years. The rise of Apple Pay is a consumer trend worth monitoring, as well.

How the BNPL-Affiliate Relationship Can Thrive

To thrive, BNPL and affiliate relationships need to acknowledge the unique challenges and opportunities of each other’s respective businesses and ensure their contributions to the relationships are mutually beneficial. Particularly as consumer watchdog groups increase their scrutiny of BNPL programs and their lending practices, it will behoove both sides to demonstrate responsible practices by structuring these programs for success upfront. 

From the BNPL provider’s perspective, there are three elements to consider when it comes to being successful in the partner and affiliate space: 

  • Audience size and scale
  • Marketing themselves as a media business 
  • Optimising their customer platform with the right advertising opportunities

Afterpay has the biggest audience in the Australian BNPL market. Other BNPL competitors, who may not have the same audience size, were quicker to invest in optimising their customer platform to drive more customers through their shopping and rewards platform. However, Afterpay is further investing and launching an enhanced shopping portal which they are now monetising for their merchants.

Different BNPL providers are targeting different demographics as they are seeing certain shifts ultimately leading to increased audience size, unlocking broader reach across the population that has higher spending power.

No doubt, the BNPL opportunity is big—and getting bigger every day. From the merchant standpoint, capitalising on this shift and giving customers more flexibility in payment options just makes sense. From an affiliate marketing perspective, we can leverage this shift to help drive the right advertising to the right audience using the data produced through buyer spending behaviour.

To continue to leverage the growth in the market the industry needs to continue to monitor the consumer buyer patterns for sustainable growth.

This article is written by Kelly Guerin, APAC director of partnerships at Partnerize.

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Marketing Featured Global

A.S. Watson Group pledges 200,000 jobs for young people globally

Hong Kong – To honour the International Youth Day, which is celebrated on 12 August, global health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group has announced its commitment to provide 200,000 job openings for young people globally by 2030. This pledge is to give young people from all over the world the opportunities, skills, and experiences to equip them for the fast-changing business landscape and kickstart their careers in retail.

The initiative aims to enable the youth to gain valuable experience to develop their career in the retail sector. The jobs will span different areas of the retailer’s business, including working in stores, at head office, and in distribution, and the roles are multi-disciplinary from customer service specialist, to marketing, digital development, e-commerce, analytics, and finance, as well as sustainability, amongst others.

Parkson Tseung, A.S. Watson Group’s group people director for Asia, noted that they all have a responsibility to nurture the next generation, and what young people need is more companies opening doors to them and offering them a platform to prove their abilities. 

“A.S. Watson is proud to provide more and better opportunities so that young people see hope in their future amid uncertainties in the world economy. The pandemic has made it difficult for young people to start their career with limited exposure to the workplace. Through these jobs, we are not just empowering them to be more confident and competent but also strengthening our business by listening to the voice of the next generation,” said Tseung.

Meanwhile, Joanne Mackie, A.S. Watson Group’s group people director for Europe, shared that young people are an important source of talents and creativity; by developing their skills, they can make their business stronger and fitter for the future. 

“We are not only offering job opportunities, we’re also providing training and coaching to give young people the skills they need to work in the new world of O+O retail. We plan to provide 5 million training hours specifically for youth in our global workforce to embrace the future. We look forward to 200,000 talented young people joining us between now and 2030 to help fuel the sustainable growth engine for A.S. Watson,” said Mackie.

A.S. Watson has been investing in a range of people development programmes that combine on-the-job learning with further education. In the UK, Superdrug and Savers Apprenticeship Scheme has been established for more than 10 years to help school leavers who wanted to gain work experience rather than formal qualifications and has been recognised as a top Apprenticeship Employer in Retail. More than 4,500 people have achieved a Retailer Apprenticeship qualification through the scheme.

Meanwhile, in Asia, the A.S. Watson Retail Academy was the first local retail academy in Hong Kong since 2018. A.S. Watson was also the first local company to offer a Professional Diploma in Retail Management, a Qualifications Framework (QF) level 5 programme, equivalent to a bachelor’s degree on the job. So far, more than 4,400 people have graduated from all levels of QF programmes.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Footwear retailer Foot Locker to open largest SEA store in Philippines

Manila, Philippines – Global streetwear and footwear retailer Foot Locker is opening its first official store in the Philippines, slated to be the largest Foot Locker store in Southeast Asia. The store will be established in Glorietta by Ayala Malls in December 2022.

According to Preview.ph, the Philippine Foot Locker store will be managed by MAP Active Philippines, a local subsidiary of Indonesian lifestyle retail group Mitra Adiperkasa (MAP). 

MAP Active Philippines were actively posting job vacancies for Foot Locker on LinkedIn weeks before the announcement. Some of the work positions they were offering include store manager, assistant merchandise manager, account manager, and sales associate.

Virendra Prakash Sharma, CEO at MAP Group, said that the brand’s expansion to the Philippines will bring the culture of youth active lifestyle and sneaker enthusiasts in the country to the highest standard.

“We look forward to bringing together new standards that have never been achieved in retail in the Philippines,” he said.

Foot Locker is the latest global company to establish its largest SEA store in the Philippines. Recently, Nike opened its largest SEA store in Taguig in June this year. Same goes for brands such as Uniqlo and IKEA establishing their largest stores in the Philippines in the past few months.

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Technology Featured APAC

Bonsey Jaden, CUE Group introduce data-driven solution primed for retail industry

Singapore – Digital brand agency Bonsey Jaden and tech firm CUE Group have introduced a data-drive solution which is primed for the retail industry that delivers a deeper understanding of consumer practices with real-time analytics, at all levels of operations and marketing.

RetailX, developed by CUE Group, is one of the latest solutions to be included as part of Bonsey Jaden’s 360 integrated approach to necessary digital transformation.

The partnership comes after the recent investment of CUE Group to Bonsey Jaden in September 2021, aiding to boost the digital development of enterprises, industries, and governments.

With existing methods of data monitoring, companies should be able to understand the flow of traffic in both their physical and online outlets, as well as identify unique patterns among their specific clientele. However, many ultimately fall short in implementation; although solutions similar to RetailX already exist for the benefit of face-to-face retail, the landscape of consumer behaviour is constantly shifting, highlighting the common fallacy that depending on artificial intelligence is the only way forward.

“In a similar vein, the greatest advantage with RetailX is achieved by giving equal importance to an expert team, and understanding that top-down data interpretation is possibly the most crucial step in not only sales advancement and improvements to customer experience, but also in business as an entire field—including marketing,” both companies said in a press statement.

RetailX acts as an enabler that gathers and analyses in-store traffic data to empower retailers with key insights to make smart business decisions, from the obvious to the out-of-sight—from identifying customer foot traffic both in and out of a brick-and-mortar to a full consumer profile, including but not limited to age, gender, and purchasing patterns. 

In addition, the data gathered through RetailX introduces a new perspective for store operation management, paving the way for a more targeted and personalised shopping experience, potentially accelerating sales growth.

Daniel Posavac, group CEO of Bonsey Jaden, said, “Since embarking on this new relationship with CUE Group, it has been exciting to explore how we can integrate their avant-garde technologies with our own unconventional ideas and applications. We look forward to bringing RetailX beyond the retail industry into other industries that could benefit from it, such as hospitality, health and fitness, food and beverage, and many more.”

He added, “The information we get in the end allows us to strategize more efficiently, for both online and offline consumers of all identities and personas—we can cover more ground while keeping it personal.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

STB, CapitaLand team up to deliver new retail concepts in SG

Singapore – The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and CapitaLand Investment Limited (CLI) have recently inked a three-year partnership to deliver new retail concepts and drive global awareness of Singapore and CapitaLand malls as must-visit lifestyle destinations.

Said partnership is a first for CLI and is aimed at capturing pent-up demand as international travel recovers. It hopes to enhance Singapore’s destination appeal to international visitors, achieve greater impact with meaningful and differentiated events and retail experiences, as well as drive incremental spending among locals and international visitors.

One of those initiatives they plan to do is to profile home-grown brands locally and in China across selected CapitaLand malls in both countries, with a focus on Singapore malls in tourism precincts such as Orchard Road (Plaza Singapura, The [email protected]), Civic District (Funan, Raffles City Singapore), Bras Basah.Bugis (Bugis+, Bugis Junction and Bugis Street) and Clarke Quay.

In addition, they also aim at creating unique retail-tainment and lifestyle offerings through innovative cross-industry partnerships in areas such as the arts, lifestyle and sports. These will add to the pipeline of signature leisure events and activities in Singapore.

Yap Chin Siang, deputy chief executive at STB, said, “We are delighted to ink this timely partnership with CapitaLand Investment to enhance and showcase the vibrancy of Singapore’s retail scene to the world. Together, we hope to engage consumers more meaningfully, as we jointly curate inspiring first-to-market offerings and authentic experiences that will strengthen Singapore’s position as a lifestyle destination for locals and visitors.”

The partnership, supported by EnterpriseSG, will also give home-grown brands more opportunities to raise their profile through the various projects to capture growth opportunities in Singapore and China.

Meanwhile, Chris Chong, CEO for retail and workspace in Singapore and Malaysia at CLI, commented, “As Singapore’s largest mall operator with an extensive network of retail partners, we are pleased to partner STB, with support from Enterprise Singapore, to further enhance the vibrancy of our malls, which are popular lifestyle destinations for locals and tourists to meet, shop, dine and play. We are excited to work with new and familiar like-minded partners to present unique immersive retail experiences, fusing concept stores with world class events to delight our shoppers and boost sales for our retailers.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Retail chain Guardian launches a music video to celebrate Hari Raya with a twist

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Retail chain company in Malaysia, Guardian Malaysia, has launched a one-of-a-kind campaign through releasing its first-ever music video. The music video aims to evoke the ‘much-missed feeling’ of returning to one’s hometown for Hari Raya with a modern twist. 

The music video was designed and produced by digital-first agency Lion & Lion Malaysia to celebrate the return of family reunions after two years of restricted travel due to COVID-19. The heart-warming video was shot on location in paddy fields and a rustic village, and features local celebrities Noorkumalasari, Wani Kayrie, and Sofea Shaheera in the lead roles. 

Titled ‘Kembalikan Kemeriahan bersama Guardian’ (Bring back the excitement with Guardian), the music video tells the story of four sisters as they make their long-awaited journey back to their hometown together, riding colourful Vespas to surprise their mother for Hari Raya. The sisters travel to their childhood home, stopping along the way to help fellow Malaysians on the road. 

The video is anchored on the song itself, ‘Pulang Di Hari Raya’ (Home on Hari Raya). Widely regarded by Malaysians as a classic staple of the festive season, the song was originally performed by Noorkumalasari, who makes a cameo as the mother. Actress and singer Wani Kayrie performs the updated version of the song in addition to playing the lead role as the sister dressed in orange, while social influencer Sofea plays the second sister in pink.

Combining tradition with modernity to engage a new generation, Wai Sim Liew, business director at Lion & Lion Malaysia said, “Guardian Malaysia has established itself as the trusted leading pharmacy and health and beauty retailer of choice for the community. Many of today’s young shoppers grew up shopping with Guardian. We wanted Guardian’s debut film to truly resonate with those who have been anticipating celebrating Hari Raya with their families in person, and we know that Hari Raya music videos are something Malaysian millennials look forward to every year.” 

According to Hans Lee, creative director of the agency, , every element of the music video was designed to bring out the nostalgic experience of balik kampung, while also making it relevant to Guardian’s younger audience. “We came across ‘Pulang Di Hari Raya’ by Noorkumalasari and knew that this was the perfect song, with a catchy feel to it, to capture our storyline. To further resonate with our audience, in particular the younger ones, we updated the lyrics and had Wani Kayrie cover it,” said Lee. “We also came up with the idea of using Vespas instead of cars. This allowed us to incorporate beautiful outdoor shots as the sisters journey across the city to their hometown,” he said.

Meanwhile, Angela Teo, head of marketing for Guardian Malaysia and Brunei also commented, “’We felt that the heart-warming tale of the four sisters’ neatly-hatched plan to surprise their mother, only to find it back-firing on them in a joyful way, captures the essence of what most Malaysians are feeling this Hari Raya. It does not matter how long and winding the journey home is, as long as one gets to celebrate Raya safely with loved ones.”