In the constantly evolving retail environment, the importance of e-commerce marketing strategies cannot be overstated. As retailers strive to keep pace with technological advancements and changing consumer behaviours, innovative and data-driven approaches are more essential than ever in the increasingly digital marketplace.

As part of our E-Commerce Marketing Series interviews, we spoke with Ngai Yuen Low, group chief merchandise and marketing officer at AEON Group Malaysia. Low shares her insights on how to navigate the dynamic retail landscape, emphasising technological advancements, customer engagement, and the future of retail.

The double-edged sword of e-commerce 

Low sees e-commerce as a double-edged sword that presents both significant challenges and opportunities for retailers. 

“One of the biggest challenges is the need to continuously keep up and innovate with technological advancements, which we know can be resource-intensive. Cybersecurity and data privacy continue to be top priorities as we handle an increasing volume of customer data,” she notes. 

However, the opportunities are just as significant. For Low, e-commerce opens up new ways to understand customers’ habits. 

“Right now, we are definitely looking at e-commerce as allowing convenience and greater flexibility in meeting customer demands while enabling us to provide a more personalised shopping experience,” Low explained. 

Meeting customer expectations in the digital age

At AEON, Low shared that marketing strategies are built on a foundation of data analysis to understand and respond to changing consumer behaviours. She also shared how they have to ensure that they have a digital approach to pretty much everything that they do.

“The rise of online shopping preferences means that customers now expect a lot of convenience, some amount of speed that works for their own schedule, and a seamless experience across all touchpoints,” Low said. 

To meet these expectations, Low said that AEON focuses on optimising mobile platforms, improving user experience, and merging online and offline interactions. Social media also plays a crucial role in engaging with customers, and AEON leverages crowdsourcing and influencer collaborations to build trust and authenticity.

Low also mentioned how effective teamwork and leadership are other factors that play an essential role in AEON’s success. She explained how these factors play a critical role in making sure the company effectively integrates their online and offline marketing strategies to create a more seamless customer experience in the face of omnichannel retailing. 

“At AEON, we get leaders across the various different areas to collaborate more to ensure that our marketing, branding, tech, customer services, merchandise development, and operations are consistent across all channels in their messaging and actions,” she shared. 

Low further emphasised how regular check-ins with customers help AEON ensure that their intentions align with customer perceptions, guiding necessary pivots and next steps.

Personalisation and future-proof immersive technologies in shopping 

Right now, personalisation is a hot topic in e-commerce and retail, widely recognised as one of the key strategies for achieving success. And while Low agrees it is indeed essential, she emphasises the importance of ‘doing it right by the customers.’

She further mentioned that while they leverage customer data to deliver highly personalised recommendations and promotions, it is equally important to consider what customers truly want and curtail their spread of choices. 

“It is important to look at customer preferences, purchase history, and browsing behaviour all at once to ensure we capture the whole picture and make accurate predictions about what they like,” Low explained.

For her, cross-departmental collaboration is key to their strategy for enhancing the shopping experience. This includes ensuring customised email marketing campaigns, supported by dynamic and searchable product information, and targeted engagements through a purposeful loyalty platform.

Looking to the future, Low also shared her insights on upcoming trends in e-commerce marketing.

She highlighted how technologies like augmented reality (AR), predictive analytics, causal AI, and generative AI are transforming customer interactions with products both online and offline.

“Right now, looking at what is ahead of the curve, we are prepping our capacity and capabilities with tech that will be even more immersive. Additionally, sustainability will become a key focus, with consumers increasingly seeking out brands that demonstrate a commitment to environmental and social responsibility,” she noted. 

MARKETECH APAC is leading the conversation on the future of e-commerce marketing strategies this 2024 and beyond with the E-Commerce Marketing in Malaysia 2024 conference on July 25, 2024 at Sheraton Petaling Jaya and the E-Commerce Marketing in the Philippines 2024 conference on August 14, 2024 at Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria. Join us and become an integral part of a dynamic community committed to pushing the boundaries of innovation and fostering unparalleled growth in the e-commerce domain.

Singapore – A new report from global payments and financial platform Airwallex has revealed that around 54% of global consumers expect to increase amount of international online shopping, signalling an increase in cross-border shopping. However, the report also notes that consumers also expect more payment flexibility and transparency this year.

According to the report, around 61% of consumers perceive international merchants to be trustworthy, while around 65% expressed confidence in the security of their personal and financial information when buying from international merchants.

When shopping with international merchants, around 77% of survey consumers would likely abandon their cart if their preferred payment method is not available. Additionally, 54% stated that they are unlikely to return to online stores that do not transparently disclose additional fees like currency conversion and international transaction fees. 

Moreover, credit cards (39%) were ranked as the most frequently used payment method amongst consumers shopping online from international merchants, followed by global digital wallets (26%). Meanwhile, shipping costs and transparency are ranked as the most important factors when evaluating the shipping policy of an international merchant (41%), while lengthy refund processing times represent the most prominent challenge for consumers (47%).

The report also noted that 59% of consumers will likely make online purchases from international merchants through social media platforms; Consumers in China (86%), Hong Kong (76%) and Singapore (62%) showed the highest appetite for social commerce. 

In addition, accessing better deals and offers on social media platforms (49%) was the top global motivation for consumers to buy from international merchants, followed by personal recommendations (42%) and interactive online selling (38%). On average, consumers use Facebook the most (28%) to make online international purchases, followed by TikTok (22%) and Instagram (20%).

Kai Wu, chief revenue officer at Airwallex, said, “E-commerce is more global than ever. Despite ongoing economic uncertainty and slowing global growth, it is clear that consumer spending will continue to grow. With the global cross-border e-commerce market set to reach USD 7.9 trillion by 20301, it is critical for international merchants to solve consumer pain points and deliver the best possible customer experience in order to thrive in this competitive market.”

He added, “As a global platform, we see millions of transactions on a regular basis, and are eager to find more innovative ways to support merchants as they navigate the complexities of cross-border e-commerce.”

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – As retailers now prioritise a safe shopping experience for customers, a recent survey revealed that 90% amongst 500 Malaysian online sellers indicated Shopee as a platform of choice.

According to the survey, Malaysian sellers also conceded how the platform was instrumental in protecting their businesses from any forms of online scams or fraud last year.

These insights have resulted in beneficial outcomes, one of which includes how sellers managed exceptional ratings while safeguarding their brand reputation, as well as the loss of followers and customer complaints. Another advantage is that businesses were able to avert any liabilities from scams coming from order cancellations and processing fees. 

Businesses have also maintained their long-term operations due to fewer business disruptions and client loyalty.

Committed to providing a risk-free shopping experience, Kenneth Soh, head of marketing at Shopee, said, “These findings demonstrate the high level of trust that Malaysian sellers have in Shopee’s ability to provide a safe and secure platform for their businesses.”

Furthermore, the survey yielded insights from Malaysian sellers’ preferences for securing their customers’ online safety. Among these factors, 47% stated that they have already established strong operational safety standards by complying with Shopee’s safe policies and guidelines.

35% of them were verified as Shopee Mall, Preferred+, Preferred seller, with a hundred percent authenticity policy, strict adherence to the 15-day return/refund policy, and no less than 95% of products listed as ready stock.

On the other hand, at least 17% of sellers have guaranteed their customers the safe payment options and return or refund policies offered by Shopee. 

“Our platform offers a variety of innovative features and protections that help to keep customers safe, such as Shopee Guarantee, secure payment options, and Preferred+ and Shopee Mall verification programs. Shopee also works closely with law enforcement agencies to combat fraud and protect its users,” Soh added.

Singapore – A large majority of Singaporeans buy some of their favourite brands and products internationally, or do cross-border shopping. This is according to the latest study conducted by global financial technology company PayPal.

According to the report, about 79% of Singaporeans do cross-border shopping. Within it, the top three countries where most of these cross-border purchases come from are China (56%), USA (29%), and South Korea (19%).

When asked why they do cross-border purchases, 54% said that they get better prices when cross-border shopping. Meanwhile, 48% say that these products are not available locally, and 39% use cross-border shopping to discover new and interesting products.

In terms of what types of products they buy overseas, 44% of those purchases are clothes, 22% are consumer electronics and 18% are cosmetics. Meanwhile, 84% of those purchases are made through an online marketplace, 36% on the brand’s website and 34% on the retailer’s website.

Around 58% of these cross-border purchases were discovered via search engines, 44% from friend and family recommendations, and 43% from social media advertisements.

“Buyers are driven by convenience, so complicated shopping experiences are less likely to win over buyers. Make sure you optimise, enhance, and invest in your mobile user experience and purchasing journey. For example, digital wallet payment options streamline the process and will be recognised in a market that has such a focus on convenience,” the research stated.

It also added, “The mobile commerce market in Singapore dominates the online shopping space, with the highest smartphone penetration in Southeast Asia. If a cross-border merchant is looking to succeed with buyers, they should ensure that every aspect of the mobile commerce experience, from browsing to payment options, is optimised to be mobile-friendly. Technology will continue to improve, and brands are going to need to keep up.”

Ohio, USA – Victoria’s Secret & Co. has announced the launching VS&Co-Lab, an inclusive shopping experience for all customers. This curated digital platform connects the modern consumer with unique brands, bringing their stories and their intimates, lifestyle and swimwear products to the forefront. VS&Co-Lab launched as a new section on, where it will showcase brands that align with its values of innovation and inclusivity.

VS&Co-Lab marks the evolution of Victoria’s Secret & Co.’s journey to build strategic business partnerships with a focus on inclusive intimates and lifestyle brands on its own platform. At launch, a collection of 19 brands will be featured, 75 percent are founded, owned or led by women, including minority stake owned For Love & Lemons and Frankies Bikinis. VS&Co-Lab is committed to investing further with minority ownership in diverse brands that offer a differentiated view of the marketplace, customer and category.

Martin Waters, CEO of Victoria’s Secret & Co., said, “In addition to the growth we are driving through our core business, we see important growth potential through partnerships with innovative, relevant brands that can help us extend our reach into category and consumer segments where we have historically been underrepresented. We’re excited to launch this platform where we will showcase, market and create consumer engagement with such exciting, unique and relevant businesses.”

Helena Kaylin, founder of fuller figure intimates brand MINDD also launching on the VS&Co-Lab platform, shared, “As women, we are multidimensional. Our past experiences define how we want to feel today and inform our future.” 

Kaylin added, “Our partnership with VS&Co-Lab has strengthened our mission to drive the intimates industry forward through our obsession with continuous innovation. We harness cutting edge support technologies in order to blend style and comfort for the fuller figure consumer.”

Featured on the homepage of VS&Co-Lab, Nigerian American designer Buki Ade, founder of BFyne, has revolutionized the swimwear industry. “In a sea of sameness, it is crucial for any partnership to be with a business that aligns with our values,” said Buki Ade. “VS&Co-Lab’s mission to provide a platform for breakthrough voices, like BFyne, is vital to push forward diverse perspectives.”

Meanwhile, Patti Cazzato, head of emerging businesses for Victoria’s Secret &Co., commented, “As one of the world’s most recognizable companies among women, and with nearly 90 percent of our store associates worldwide identifying as women, we have a responsibility to ensure women can advance and thrive in every aspect of their lives.”

“VS&Co-Lab evens the playing field for unique brands that speak to the modern consumer. Through leveraging the strength of Victoria’s Secret & Co. and our passionate customer base, we are meeting consumers where they are while simultaneously partnering with small business to drive economic empowerment for women and people of colour,” Cazzato adds.

Singapore – With concerns surrounding festive season marketing due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting inflation of products, marketers in the Southeast Asia region say that they need a stronger boost with their current and upcoming marketing strategies as the holidays are fast approaching, data from the latest survey conducted by digital experience management software Sitecore shows.

According to their survey, 69% of marketers reported a decline in sales so far this year, and nearly 40% of marketers said festive season sales represents the bulk of annual sales: which is particularly true for businesses with less than 500 employees.

Meanwhile, around 96% of marketers are concerned about the impact of inflation on the Christmas shopping season

Furthermore, 97% are concerned that changing local health conditions could result in the need for fast marketing pivots. However, despite the uncertainty, marketers feel better prepared than last year to deal with product availability, balancing online and offline demand, and their customer profiling and personalization programs.

The survey also notes that last year has made significant changes on their supply chain endeavors, and that this year they expect that digital brands ‘will win more’ during the festive season, evident with the fact marketers have started their promotional campaigns earlier than ever.

“Most marketers expect digital brands will win the holiday season, and are planning to offer in-person and online experiences, including virtual give-aways, wish lists, and special festive experiences. The offerings most likely to be delivered in digital form are free gifts or product samples attached to online orders, personal shopping services, and a festive season wishlist to share with loved ones,” the company said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, Steve Hawkes, chief operating officer for Sitecore Asia-Pacific and Japan at Sitecore, commented, “We are seeing many consumer marketers increasingly relying on digital initiatives to capture the needed increase in sales this Christmas shopping season. We know there are rising concerns about the health status of communities across Southeast Asia.”

He added, “Retailers and other consumer companies will need to be nimble and act swiftly in the face of a volatile economic landscape.”

Manila, Philippines – E-commerce platform Shopee has officially launched its new Shopee Loyalty Program, aimed at delivering a more rewarding shopping experience for users.

Through the Shopee Loyalty Program, users can enjoy a range of exclusive perks, vouchers, and deals every month when they shop more with Shopee. 

The membership is free and consists of four tiers namely Classic (less than 10 orders in a month), Silver (minimum of 10 orders in a month), Gold (minimum of 25 orders in a month), and Platinum (minimum of 55 orders in a month). Shoppers can unlock higher tiers and enjoy bigger rewards by completing a certain number of orders within a month.


Martin Yu, director at Shopee Philippines, said the program will give users more ways to save and have fun with the platform and aims to help users unlock more value with Shopee. 

“We are excited to bring more joy and reward Shopee users better with Shopee Loyalty. Shopee has seen online shopping grow in importance for Filipinos in the past year, as more people turn to Shopee for their needs, from groceries to entertainment,’’ said Yu. 

Shopee has been ramping up lately its programs and initiatives, including training programs for Filipino e-commerce talents, and programs targeted at helping brands achieve greater brand reach.

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.”