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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

POND’s, Shopee team up with new interactive campaign including chance to win NFTs

Singapore – POND’s, the skin care brand under Unilever, has teamed up with e-commerce platform Shopee to launch an interactive campaign ‘#PondsGlowStage’ to take Shopee users’ online shopping experience to the next level through interactive games, exclusive promotions and discounts on POND’S products and, for the first-time ever, to win limited edition non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

The #PondsGlowStage NFT is an exclusive, first-of-its-kind digital collectible designed by artist Rifqi Ardiansyah. Fans will have a chance to redeem this exclusive NFT when they purchase POND’S products during the promotions. The NFT will give them access to exclusive benefits such as being the first to receive alerts on POND’S latest product releases and value deals in the future. 

During the special event, consumers can play the interactive POND’S Glow Stage Catch Game and earn points to redeem special giveaways. Players just need to tap and hold the shopping basket to catch as many of the falling POND’S products and elements they can within the time limit – all while avoiding harmful skin spots. 

Jopa Malantic, who was recently named as the global brand director at POND’S, said, “We are always seeking out the most innovative and engaging experiences for our consumers. As such we are thrilled to partner with Shopee once again – this time to offer the #PondsGlowStage, featuring the e-commerce platform’s first ever NFT Gift with Purchase.” 

He added, “In addition to providing the chance to win a limited edition NFT, #PondsGlowStage offers a fantastic interactive experience for our fans to engage with the brand and learn more about how our decades of science-backed expertise can help resolve their skin issues.”

Meanwhile, Pavan Challa, director of regional brand partnerships at Shopee, commented, “We are happy to deepen our long-standing partnership with POND’S through this new campaign, which is Shopee’s first collaboration with a brand for an NFT giveaway. Shopee continues to develop and explore new ways to engage and excite our users, and help our brand partners deepen their engagement with shoppers. As we continue to grow the beauty category on Shopee Mall, we look forward to working closely with brands such as POND’S to bring more innovative and exciting experiences to shoppers.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee makes third round of layoffs, affecting SG team

Singapore – Leading e-commerce platform Shopee began another round of layoffs last Monday which affected some employees in Singapore, according to a report by The Straits Times

According to ST, sources shared that the latest layoff was subdued and not many people knew about it, but that there had been rumours of plans to let people go.

Shopee said in a statement to ST, “We continue to carefully review our business projects and priorities to ensure we are optimising operating efficiency, in line with our goal of achieving self-sufficiency.”

“We are also working to support our affected colleagues during this transition,” Shopee added.

Shopee is one of the tech giants that made mass layoffs this month, including Meta and Twitter.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

How the Shopee PH endorser flak unfolded–as told by social data

The recent brand ambassador announcement by Shopee Philippines has caused a wide range of reactions amongst Filipinos online, with the majority turning against Shopee for tapping local celebrity Toni Gonzaga who is known for her controversial support of now-president Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. 

As of this writing, Shopee has defended its decision, stating that Gonzaga was chosen for her ‘mass appeal’, and not for her ‘political views’.

Despite this, clamour and discussion regarding Shopee Philippines’ announcement remained. In light of this, MARKETECH APAC has tapped social media monitoring Digimind to learn more about how the negative flak unfolded–as told by social media data.

Are Social Mentions Equal to ‘Boycott’ Sentiment?

Digimind noted in its data that social media mentions of Shopee spiked following the brand ambassador announcement, peaking at 286,495 on September 29. Said day was the time Shopee Philippines uploaded a teaser video of Gonzaga as the new brand ambassador.

However, despite the large volume of tweets mentioning Shopee, social media mentions, specifically those suggesting the boycott, only took 0.4% of all social media mentions. Despite the small percentage, this still amounts to a fairly sizeable volume of4,000 netizens expressing their opinion to boycott Shopee.

According to Olivier Girard, head of Digimind for APAC, influencers will always be on the verge of receiving scrutiny, especially when being associated with a partisan group or cause. 

“While consumers are familiar with the concept of influencers or celebrities endorsing brands, brands now need to have a more stringent process in place when assessing each influencer’s fit for their brand or campaign. Any brand, large or small, runs the risk of facing some level of social scrutiny or backlash when announcing a public figure with uncertainty over the public might receive them,” he said.

Was There a Spillover to Rival Platform Lazada?

 Following the negative flak to Shopee, numerous citizens have shown interest in moving to rival e-commerce platform Lazada, which is also one of the most popular e-commerce platforms in the country.

However, Digimind notes that the social media conversations around Shopee still eclipse those about Lazada, showing that resentment towards the former is much stronger than renewed support for the latter. Over the course of September 26 to October 3, Shopee registered around ~2M social media mentions while Lazada only managed to get around ~145k social media mentions. In addition, Shopee’s mentions reached around ~11m users while Lazada reached around ~5.2m.

“Where brand reputation is concerned, it is therefore critical that brands evaluate potential ambassadors closely in the domain of social media,” Girard said, related to how brands should pick their next brand ambassador.

Who and Where the Discussion is Coming From

Digimind noted a great number of discussions related to Shopee come from sellers themselves and users that are greatly concerned about the welfare of the sellers.

A handful of small businesses and online shops have decided to create a business account, with some saying that they would not support a platform that ‘enables [political lies]’, as well as ‘unjust termination of employees’. Netizens have pointed out the irony from Shopee Philippines’ side in retrenching employees in order to ‘optimise’ operations and then contracting a new brand ambassador afterwards. 

Girard said that it’s important for brands to obtain consumer sentiments to help them prepare communication contingencies ahead of time, as in the case of Shopee. 

“[This] can help brands identify influencer profiles that match their target community and sieve any negative sentiment your marketing and social teams might otherwise miss out on in the macro analysis,” Girard explained.

In the end, the brand ambassador announcement for Shopee Philippines went on as usual, albeit social engagement against them has diminished over time. Time will only tell how these media social sentiments truly play out in the longer run.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee signs MoU with Pharmaceutical Security Institute to combat fake pharma products

Singapore – Regional e-commerce platform Shopee has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with non-profit organisation Pharmaceutical Security Institute (PSI) to combat the sale of counterfeit pharmaceutical products online.

The MOU affirms both Shopee and PSI’s commitment and dedication to protecting public health against counterfeit medicines and is part of Shopee’s increased efforts to tackle counterfeits on its platform.

The MOU was signed virtually by Terence Pang, chief operating officer at Shopee; and Todd Ratcliffe, president and chief executive officer at the Pharmaceutical Security Institute

Under this partnership, Shopee and PSI will collaborate closely on initiatives for both sellers and shoppers. This includes educational programmes and the sharing of industry best practices to inform sellers, as well as awareness campaigns to protect shoppers.

Pang said, “Shopee looks forward to partnering with the PSI as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and trusted marketplace environment for brands and shoppers to transact. The safety of our shoppers is our priority and we are always looking for ways to enhance our platform and better protect users. This includes partnerships with leading organisations such as the PSI, which allows us to tap on industry knowledge and best practices to strengthen our current measures against counterfeits, and allow users to shop with greater confidence.”

Meanwhile, Ratcliffe commented, “The PSI is pleased to partner with Shopee in our ongoing journey of protecting public health. Recently, we have noticed an increase in the number of seizures of counterfeit pharmaceutical products, the result of bad actors taking advantage of easing pandemic restrictions and new opportunities. It is important for the PSI to work closely with key e-commerce platforms like Shopee to increase public education and awareness on counterfeit medicines to protect consumers. Together with Shopee, the PSI looks forward to rolling out new initiatives that make e-commerce a safe and secure way to shop.”

The MoU is part of Shopee’s increasing efforts to make e-commerce safer for its community of sellers, shoppers and partners, by collaborating with key stakeholders including industry associations and government bodies to collectively combat counterfeit goods.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee PH’s latest brand ambassador draws flak from netizens

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee in the Philippines is in hot water following the announcement of its newest brand ambassador, Filipina singer-actress Toni Gonzaga, with local netizens criticising the brand for their ambassador choice.

Shopee Philippines previously teased the new brand ambassador in a snippet video posted on Twitter on September 28.

Toni Gonzaga has been involved in controversy over the past few months after showing her staunch support to now-elected President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr., the son of former dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. It should be noted that Gonzaga has appeared in numerous presidential campaign rallies for Marcos towards the May 9 national elections.

Progressive-minded netizens have called out Shopee Philippines for their new ambassador, with many saying that they would not support a brand that enables political lies.

Netizen @majiksparky stated that with the new announcement, they will switch to rival e-commerce platform Lazada.

Meanwhile, a Twitter user named @ArenoEllen, who is also an online seller, has encouraged netizens to switch to Lazada, claiming that Shopee takes a 15% cut from their payouts, while Lazada takes around 5% of payout.

Many Twitter users have also pointed out that the new brand ambassador comes after Shopee Philippines have recently laid off employees, the latest string of Shopee employee layoffs in Asia-Pacific, including China, as well as in Latin America.

Despite the criticism, Shopee Philippines pushed through with the announcement of Toni Gonzaga’s brand ambassador stint, with her thanking fans for the ‘mentions and engagement’.

A Shopee representative said that Gonzaga was chosen not for her ‘political views’ but rather her mass appeal.

“Together with our newest brand ambassador, Toni, we are working to deliver entertaining content to drive anticipation leading up to the upcoming 10.10 Brands Festival,” they said.

This was not the first time Shopee drew flak with its brand ambassador. When Shopee got international superstar Jackie Chan to be its brand ambassador for its 11.11 Regional Sale in 2021, marketing leaders and creatives criticised the ad for its ‘lukewarm’ and ‘confusing’ direction.

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Marketing Featured East Asia

Shopee reportedly cutting more jobs–this time in China

China – Regional e-commerce giant Shopee has reportedly cut more jobs, this time in the Chinese market, according to a report by the South China Morning Post.

The recent layoffs in China follows recent reported layoffs from Shopee in Singapore, Indonesia, and in Latin America.

According to SCMP, the layoffs are to optimise operating efficiency with the goal of achieving self-sufficiency across Shopee’s business. In addition, they will be extending support to their affected colleagues during this transition.

However, the report didn’t mention how much of Shopee China’s workforce are impacted.

It should be recalled that Shopee’s parent company Sea has also announced that it is shutting some of its projects and downsizing staff in Garena and Sea Labs.

Shopee is one of the latest tech companies to announce employee layoffs, including Netflix, Snap, Oracle, and Hootsuite.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

ChannelAdvisor announces integration with Shopee

Australia – Cloud-based e-commerce solutions ChannelAdvisor has announced its integration with regional e-commerce giant Shopee. Through the partnership, ChannelAdvisor customers will be able to reach new consumers in the SEA region.

Customers can now extend their multichannel commerce strategies to new markets in the region, while leveraging the efficiencies of a centralised platform.

Some of the solutions include transforming product data to meet the unique requirements of each channel, optimising and managing product content from a centralised location, maximising reach without overselling by synchronising inventory quantity across channels, and identifying growth opportunities with powerful reporting and dashboard analytics.

Derek Conlin, VP for global business development at ChannelAdvisor, said, “We’re excited to announce our integration with Shopee, which will provide ChannelAdvisor customers with access to millions of new buyers in Southeast Asia and beyond.”

He added, “Brands and retailers keen on accelerating growth of their online business should evaluate selling on Shopee to increase visibility and sales in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee PH launches community platform to combat online scams

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee in the Philippines has recently launched Shopee Cares PH, an online community platform where Shopee provides customer education and support to combat the rising number of online scams.

The goal of the platform is to empower consumers with proper know-hows and tips on how they can protect themselves from phishing scams, money and gift card scams, and third party seller scams.

With Shopee Cares PH, users are also encouraged to seek help for any product inquiry or concern, and inspire other users through their memorable Shopee finds and experiences. Sale tips and tricks are also provided to ensure online shopping is made enjoyable with exclusive deals and promos. 

Martin Yu, director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee has always been committed to ensuring that every Filipino’s online shopping experience is safe and reliable, and Shopee Cares is a testament to that. Through this platform, we aim to equip them with knowledge on how to shop safely and combat these online scams together so that they can continuously enjoy shopping online.”

He added, “As more Filipinos rely on e-commerce, we continuously ensure that measures are in place to make their experience with Shopee more secure. What we want is for our shoppers to continue enjoying the benefits of online shopping, as this has become an essential part of their daily lives.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

P&G, Shopee launch exclusive virtual home shopping experience

Singapore – Regional e-commerce platform Shopee and multinational consumer goods company Procter and Gamble (P&G) have recently launched an exclusive virtual home shopping experience, as part of P&G’s ‘Regional Super Brand Day’ on Shopee.

Said virtual home shopping experience aims to include campaign-exclusive deals, on-site visibility, and traffic drivers such as influencer engagement and media. It will also include multi-format touch points including videos, gamification, and localised content in a bid to make online home shopping convenient and engaging for all.

The new virtual home shopping experience is a one-stop shop for household essentials produced by P&G brands such as Olay, Downey, Gillette, where users can browse through items categorised according to rooms. The immersive shopping experience aims to provide consumers with an interactive and elevated online shopping journey that changes the way they discover and browse products, beyond traditional product pages. 

This feature is being rolled out progressively across six countries in the Southeast Asia region. Starting with Malaysia and Vietnam on 10 July, it is being progressively rolled out in July and August across Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Elements of the microsite will be localised to each country with the aim of better resonating with consumers through familiar imagery.

Pavan Challa, director of regional brand partnerships at Shopee said, “We are happy to deepen our long-running partnership with P&G to elevate the digital home shopping experience. This new feature will help consumers immerse themselves into the journey of browsing and discovering new brands and items very much like visiting a showroom.” 

He added, “Deeper engagement with brands will also help to facilitate greater customer loyalty, which is a win-win for our users. As we continue to grow the household and personal care categories on Shopee Mall, we look forward to working closely with brands such as P&G to innovate experiences.”

Meanwhile, Shankar Viswanathan, head of e-commerce for Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa at Procter & Gamble, commented, “With the COVID-19 pandemic causing a surge in e-commerce over the past few years, staying ahead with digital innovation is more important than ever. In partnership with Shopee, the virtual home experience has been carefully curated with consumers in mind.” 

He added, “By leveraging the power of technology and gamification, we aim to provide consumers with the best possible virtual home shopping experience in the new normal. In line with P&G’s belief in constructive disruption, we are certain that this will drive growth and value, shaping the future of e-commerce.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

South Korean beauty company LG H&H ties with Shopee to bolster e-commerce efforts in SEA

Singapore – South Korea’s cosmetics and personal care company, LG H&H, and regional e-commerce platform, Shopee, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deepen their partnership in the SEA region, with the aim to scale up LG H&H’s e-commerce business and capture new online buyers.

The MOU is expected to accelerate LG H&H’s growth not only in the premium beauty category but also in the premium personal care category in five key markets, namely Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam, as well as Thailand, and Taiwan. It also aims to help LG H&H to be in the Top 10 Brand Principal in the Health & Beauty Category on Shopee. LG H&H brands that already have official stores on Shopee include The Face Shop, belif, and su:m37.

Moreover, under this partnership, both companies will be working together closely to accelerate new user growth by bringing more brands under LG H&H onto Shopee, and identifying new collaboration opportunities in areas such as marketing and exclusive product launches. 

In June 2022, LG H&H officially launched the luxury brand, The History of Whoo, on Shopee Mall and Shopee Premium with their first regional campaign across five markets, which are Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and Vietnam, as well as Malaysia. Designed to introduce customers to the secret of Korean Royal Beauty, the campaign featured the brand’s signature skincare range, the ‘Bichup’ product series. A campaign launch video was also created by LG H&H and Shopee Premium to build awareness and educate about the brand heritage through richer storytelling.

Sean Lee, the head of the overseas business division at LG H&H, commented that they are glad to start this new partnership with Shopee as their key priority e-commerce partner in SEA, and they believe that LG H&H and Shopee together, will be able to accelerate the company’s growth with the help of Shopee’s deep insights on the local market landscape, and especially their expertise on using data-driven approaches to understand consumer behaviours on e-commerce. 

“We are proud to have launched our representative luxury brand, The History of Whoo, on Shopee Premium with our first regional campaign. We are glad to receive a warm response from Shopee users, and hope to further our reach to more customers on e-commerce,” said Lee.

Meanwhile, Terence Pang, chief operating officer at Shopee, shared that as the demand for premium health, beauty and personal care products continue to grow on Shopee, they are delighted to deepen their partnership with LG H&H to bring greater variety and value to their shoppers. 

“We aim to support them in expanding their omnichannel presence in Southeast Asia, especially in reaching the emerging generation of digital luxury shoppers through Shopee Premium. Together with LG H&H and many of our brand partners, we look forward to co-creating more exciting, unique and rewarding experiences for our customers in future,” said Pang.