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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SG adults will shop during Black Friday sales—only if the price is right

Singapore – With Black Friday sales fastly approaching and planned by various brands, around 54% of Singaporean adult shoppers say they are willing to shop during these sale drops, only if the discounts given are ‘enough and right’, found a survey from global comparison platform Finder.

The latest survey found that Singaporean adults need an average discount of just under half price or 48% from the original price to partake in the shopping event. Furthermore, 15% say they’ll need a whopping 90% discount for them to shop the sales, while 13% say they’ll buy something in the sales if it’s half price with 8% willing to shop if it’s discounted by 25%.

By age group, the survey found that 18 to 24 year olds are much more likely to shop during the Black Friday sales, with 65% saying any type of discount could catch their eye, with 41% across 45 to 54 year olds, and 46% of those aged 65 and above stating the the same.

The survey also notes that Singaporean men are more likely than women to have their interest piqued, with 58% of men saying they’ll shop if the discount is big enough compared to just 48% of women.

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Here are the insights of Lazada’s first-ever ‘Digital Commerce Confidence Index’

Singapore – Despite the uncertainties of the global pandemic, more consumers continue to resort to e-commerce platforms, and with this, online sellers must cater to the surge in demand for online shopping.

To determine how confident online sellers and companies are about their businesses’ future growth, e-commerce platform Lazada has released its first-of-its-kind business confidence index for digital commerce called ‘Digital Commerce Confidence Index’.

The ‘Digital Commerce Confidence Index’ is a business sentiment survey that seeks to map out the perspectives of online sellers in Southeast Asia about the digital commerce industry while shedding light on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It has surveyed 750 sellers across six markets in Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as Malaysia, and Singapore in the first half of 2021.

The survey found that 52% of sellers experienced a high level of growth during the first half of 2021, with 70% expecting additional growth of more than 10% in the third quarter of 2021. Out of the 70%, about 33% of sellers surveyed were extremely confident that their sales volume would increase by more than 30% in the same time period. As a result, the overall index achieved an ‘optimistic’ score of 64, with 0 being ‘very pessimistic’ and 100 being ‘very optimistic’ on the spectrum.

Moreover, the same survey shows that a key driver of sellers’ positive sentiment could be attributed to significant shifts in SEA consumers’ consumption habits with greater diversification between online and offline purchases. With 47% of consumers reducing their offline purchases and 30% increasing their online spending in 2020, the pandemic has accelerated the expansion of digital commerce and made it a pivotal battleground for sellers looking to scale up their businesses. 

Meanwhile, the strong growth momentum was generally recorded across all retail categories, sellers from the electronics and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) categories appeared to be the biggest beneficiaries of a stay-at-home economy, with 53% reporting that their business recorded strong growth in the first half of 2021.

Magnus Ekbom, Lazada Group’s chief strategy officer, commented that they are excited to launch the Digital Commerce Confidence Index, aiming to shed more light on forward-looking indicators and sentiment among SMEs in the region.

“Many SMEs have embraced new technology and acquired digital capabilities to transform and future-proof their businesses. Despite the challenging health situation and ongoing challenges, our Index shows that sellers remain both resilient and optimistic about the future,” said Ekbom.

The survey also uncovered interesting variations in how sellers felt about the future. For example, sellers from the fashion segment made the biggest leap of faith. Even though 48% say their businesses improved in the first half of the year, 75% say that they expect business to improve in Q3 2021, and almost 40% of them anticipated that their growth would exceed 30% in the same quarter.

In addition, the survey identified sellers as key enablers of online business growth. About 52% of sellers are developing a unique and differentiated offering, while 50% are driving more user traffic, and 23% have the ability to harness data insights. 

With this, Lazada said that in a highly saturated environment, competition among online sellers no longer occurs under a simplistic framework of price wars but has evolved to take on an additional dimension where technology-driven customer engagement serves as a differentiating factor for many sellers.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Survey shows shoppers more likely to try a new brand during a mega sale event

Singapore – Sales used to be a one-off thing, or at least a seasonal event that sees it happening after a particular interval, but now, sales, in the mid of the rise of e-commerce, has now become so much more than just brands offering discounts, but has turned to be a ‘celebration’ of some sort – a celebration of consumers’ buying power and merchants’ easier access to revenue. With this, mega sales are now being held on a regular basis, specifically every identical date of the month – such as ‘7.7’ for July, or ‘8.8’ for August.

The trend on mega sales events quickly transcended online commerce, and is now being joined by offline brands as well. This then makes brands think, how is the consumer behaving amid all this hoo-ha? Short-video platform TikTok conducted a 2021 survey among over 1,800 Southeast Asian users in March 2021, where 82 percent admitted to purchasing a new brand instead of a regular brand during mega sales. 

Moreover, the same survey demonstrated that over half, 55 percent, made unexpected purchases during the said sales events, even when they had prepared a shopping list. This comes as an interesting insight as brands are in constant search of ways to attract new buyers. Adding to this, TikTok’s data also found that during this time, consumers are more open to exploring, with them shopping more across all categories. 

Consumers’ likelihood to demonstrate an adventurous disposition during these mega sales events can be chalked up to the feelings of elation that shoppers have when these special sales arrive. According to a Nielsen Global Authenticity study, likewise commissioned by the short-video platform, 67 percent of users felt ‘happy’ or ‘excited’ towards the mega sales shopping season. 

On that feel-good factor, it seems that shoppers are not only looking to the shopping event itself to ignite these positive feelings but are also expecting it at every step of the experience – becoming more inclined to engage in ‘shoppertainment’ or the fusion of entertainment and shopping. Brands themselves have raised the bar, leveraging today’s digital platforms in order to allure shoppers such as through live streams, short videos, and even augmented reality. 

The same Nielsen study shows that 83 percent of users prefer to see video ads from brands over gifs or text posts. 

Ng Chew Wee, the head of business marketing for TikTok in Southeast Asia, said that people have ceased simply searching for products, but are also searching for ‘people’. 

“This year, we are seeing a rise of Shoppertainment – a convergence of content and commerce – where shoppers expect not just to be sold to, but to be entertained as well. Instead of people searching for products, products are now searching for people. We hope these insights can help businesses own their Mega Sales moment and engage with TikTok’s community of happy users. Happy users, happy buyers!” said Ng Chew Wee.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Aussies yet to adopt Amazon as top choice for online shopping: survey

Sydney, Australia – Despite Amazon being a well-known global e-commerce giant, online shoppers across Australia still find Amazon not to be a top choice for their online shopping needs, a new survey from digital experience management company Sitecore shows.

According to their latest data, only a fifth of their overall Australian respondents say Amazon as their top choice for online shopping. Despite such findings, Amazon is mainly gaining traction from their younger generation customers. Through the platform’s online retail service, Sitecore notes that adoption of Amazon as the go-to site is higher among Gen Z, compared to older generations (31% v 21%).

This finding is strengthened by the fact that the platform’s online retail experience has resulted in nearly one in three Australian consumers finding Amazon’s shopping experience to be more personalized when compared with other retailers. On aggregate, Amazon shoppers in Australia would move to other retailers if they provided the same incentives, discounts and purchase experience as Amazon.

Amid positive notes of high trust and personalization of Amazon’s shopping experience, 4 in 10 Australians—and half of Gen Z (53% vs. 39% among older gens) – would like to reduce the amount of shopping they do on Amazon. The research also said that Gen Z in Australia are more likely to shop directly from brands online, rather than Amazon (75% vs 66%).

Part of the reason for this consumer behavior of moving away from big brands is due to the fact that many Aussies fear low-quality and/or counterfeit products, which might be more evident in the larger platforms.

Paige O’Neill, CMO at Sitecore, comments on the findings, “The battle for digital retailer brand preference is in its early days in Australia. There is an opportunity here for Internet commerce players to expand their share of the market, but it won’t be an easy win. They’ll need to offer comparable levels of service and personalization throughout the customer journey as the fight for market share heats up.”

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Technology Featured APAC

Businesses in APAC fall short on one CX facet: login tech, survey shows

Singapore – Most organizations in APAC fail to meet consumer expectations around login technology, highlighting how a login box can impact the user experience of a brand, new findings from global modern identity platform Auth0 and market research company YouGov.

According to the study, consumers across APAC want significant choices in login technologies. About 51% of APAC consumers surveyed say they are more likely to sign up for an app or online service if a company offers Multi-factor Authentication (MFA), while 52% are also more likely to sign up if a company offers Single Sign-On (SSO) – using a single ID and password for multiple related services. This was followed closely by demand for biometrics with 47%, social logins with 42%, and passwordless logins with 40%.

The study found that most APAC businesses don’t offer these login options, despite the demand, and general frustration with using traditional passwords. While 45% of businesses across the region surveyed do offer SSO capabilities, less than one-third offer MFA (31%), biometrics (28%), social logins (37%), or passwordless (22%). Across the six markets surveyed, namely the UK, France, Germany, and Australia, as well as Singapore, and Japan, about 11% of the IT and marketing decision-makers said they don’t offer any of these login technologies.

On the other hand, looking at the international comparison, APAC organizations are ahead of their European counterparts in offering technology such as social logins, biometrics, and MFA. Australian and Singaporean businesses are twice as likely to use biometric login, with 34% of IT and marketing decision-makers surveyed saying their companies currently offer customers the ability to log in with the use of biometrics, compared to Germany with 17%, France with 14%, and the UK with 14%.

Auth0 APAC’s General Manager Richard Marr commented that consumers want to use digital services, but if the login process is clunky or frustrating, they will take their businesses elsewhere. 

He further shared that with the proliferation of online threats, organizations are challenged to find the right balance between ease and security, and it’s really an ‘aha moment’ when they realize how identity management can help.

“MFA and SSO are still relatively new technologies for the vast majority of organizations, and developing biometrics or passwordless is a heavy lift. With a modern identity platform, businesses can not only offer the easiest and most secure user experience possible, but they can also experiment with different login options to find what works best for their audience,” said Marr.

Auth0, recently acquired by Okta, is an organization that provides a modern identity platform that helps organizations meet the security, privacy, and convenience needs of their users. 

‘The Login Experience Customers Want’ study was conducted online last  23 February and 1 March 2021, questioning more than 8,000 consumers and 1,200 IT and marketing decision-makers who work for businesses that offer an app/online service to customers.

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Technology Featured APAC

Nearly all of APAC business leaders admit to be challenged in using data for business decisions: survey

Singapore – Despite the critical importance of data in businesses, nearly all of business leaders in Asia Pacific admit to be challenged in using them to their advantage in creating significant business decisions, new data from a survey from data integration company Talend.

According to the global survey, 96% of APAC respondents admit to such practice, while 76% of APAC respondents admit to using it everyday, and 35% of APAC respondents admit to not using data for their business decisions.

Such practice of data usage is best manifested in the behavior of the respondents in dealing with creating data deliverables based on the saturation of data, as 45% of APAC respondents are able to create timely deliverables. For Tabled, there is a stark difference between data-saturated and data-driven. Companies have more access to data than ever before, but there’s very little way to make sense of it. Data management companies have been offering to solve these problems for years — but they’re focused on the mechanics of data like moving it and storing it.

Christal Bemont, CEO at Talend, notes that most business leaders’ relationships are deemed ‘unhealthy’, considering the fact that only 45% of APAC business leaders trust the data they are working with, and 35% of APAC respondents say that they are still making decisions based on gut instincts.

“The reality of data is falling well short of the industry’s vision. Data management, which largely focuses on moving and storing data, doesn’t take into account the overall health of data. Therefore, in trying to manage data, all companies are creating digital landfills of corporate information. This has to change. Our vision of data health is the future because it recognizes the fundamental standards that are critical for corporate survival,” Bemont explains.

In terms of data health, Talend also revealed that 13% of APAC respondents do not think that their company’s investments in data management is worth it, and 40% of APAC respondents report that there are no standards for data quality at their company.

Despite the negative light, 75% of APAC respondents state that they would like to make the majority of their decisions based on data.

Meanwhile, in terms of corporate objective, factors such as decreasing operation cost (40% of APAC respondents), monitoring performance (71% of APAC respondents), customer experience improvement (76% of APAC respondents) and increasing revenue (53% of APAC respondents) are driving forces to push APAC business leaders into utilizing significant data.

To drive such data use among APAC executives, factors such as ensuring data quality (56% of APAC respondents), making data available to the right person (47% of APAC respondents), ample skilled resources (52% of APAC respondents), and meeting security and compliance standards (49% of APAC respondents) must be met to ensure smooth process of data utilization.

Around 97% of APAC respondents agree to a certain extent that there should be cross-industry standard metrics to assess the quality of all enterprise data.

Interestingly, Talend noted that globally, sales and marketing teams are the least data-driven departments, as nearly half of sales and marketing executives (48%) make the majority of their decisions without data. Meanwhile, the finance department follows closely with 44% of finance executives reporting that they make the majority of their decisions without relying on data.

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Platforms Featured ANZ

Digital-savvy Gen Z Aussies demand higher efficiency from e-commerce channels: survey

Sydney, Australia – Being digital natives themselves, Gen Z consumers in Australia are now demanding greater service from brands online, new survey from digital experience platform Sitecore shows.

About 1 in 10 will switch their loyalty after a poor online shopping experience – most (55%) will give multiple second chances. However, Australian Gen Z shoppers have a low tolerance for browsing online stores, as most will give up after no more than 10 pages of browsing (on average, five pages of browsing).

Meanwhile, a quarter or more Gen Z in Australia also rank same or next day delivery, easy site navigation, and having items in stock as their top three criteria of shopping online. More than four in ten Gen Z in Australia say that having a free delivery option is most important to them in online shopping. However, free delivery is less important to Gen Z (44%) compared to older generations (55%). Gen Z are also more likely to say that an app or website that works well on mobile is critical to their shopping experience (60% vs 49% for older generations).

“The pandemic has tested the loyalty of Gen Z shoppers in Australia, leading them to become digital converts who show less loyalty to their pre-pandemic ‘go-to’ brands. They are also opting to shop more via mobile and direct from brands. Australian Gen Z treats online shopping as an experience to enjoy and expect highly personalized, exciting online experiences that work on mobile and can offer same-day delivery,” said Paige O’Neill, chief marketing officer at Sitecore.

In addition, despite huge patronage to online e-commerce sites, top physical retail outlets will remain attractive to Gen Z, particularly for exploring such as shopping local, socializing, and window shopping—but Gen Z shoppers said online brings the convenience factors such as advantages of availability of products, lower cost, time-saving, predetermined purchases, or just simply being able to stay in. 

Socializing as a reason to go back to retail stores and malls is particularly strong for Gen Z (47% vs. 30% among older gens). Gen Z is more likely to say their online experience with local retailers was not as slick as they expected it to be (40% vs. 26% among older gens).

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SME Featured Southeast Asia

Access to external finance a difficulty among Filipino small businesses: survey

Manila, Philippines – Despite the majority of Filipino small businesses successfully deploying digital finance gateways, access to external finance, on the other hand, may hamper their business growth, new survey from professional accounting body CPA Australia shows.

According to the report., cash flow difficulties are having a negative effect on some Filipino small businesses as 64% of respondents sought external funds last year; with 43% seeking funds for business growth, and 32% for survival.

However, only 13% of respondents found accessing external finance easy or very easy, the lowest of the markets surveyed. This may explain why respondents mainly sought funds from friends or family (21%) or personal resources (21%), compared to 15% from a bank. Only 16% of Filipino small businesses expect accessing external finance to be easy or very easy in 2021, which is lower than the survey average of 28%.

Part of this issue can be attributed to COVID-19 restrictions, with more than half (58%) of Filipino respondents reported being negatively impacted by COVID-19. However, 46% say they have already recovered or expect to recover in 2021, while 62% of small businesses grew in 2020. 

Filipino small businesses made greater use of digital technologies in 2020 as the pandemic accelerated the use of e-commerce. Around 27% of Filipino small businesses reported that they began or increased their focus on online sales in response to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, 61% of respondents received more than 10% of sales from digital or online payment technologies such as GCash, DragonPay, and PesoPay, up from 47% in 2019. About 62% of small businesses received more than 1% of their revenue from online sales, up from 50% in 2019.

According to Mark Chau, regional general manager of business development international at CPA Australia, dynamism among Filipino small businesses should help drive an economic rebound this year as restrictions are gradually eased and global economic activity returns to normal.

“The survey shows that small businesses in the Philippines are eager to innovate and engage with customers through social media. A vibrant and youthful workforce together with growing domestic demand supported the sector in 2020,” Chaus stated.

About 73% of Filipino small businesses expect to grow in 2021, with 52% intending to increase employees. 22% anticipate that revenue from overseas markets will grow strongly, while 31% say they will introduce a new product, process or service to the local or overseas markets, the second highest of the markets surveyed.

“Difficulties in accessing external finance may hinder business plans to hire more employees, invest in technology or expand to new markets. Small businesses in the Philippines should consider seeking professional advice to maximize their success in obtaining external finance,” Chau added.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Snapchat survey finds majority of users in APAC feel need to present their ‘authentic’ selves online

Singapore – A new survey by social media app Snapchat found that majority of its users, or 7 in 10 of Snapchatters highly value their authenticity online, feeling the need to be recognized, seen, and heard for ‘who they are’ and for their presence on digital media to ‘reflect their true selves’. This is compared to 58% of non-Snapchatters.

Furthermore, the study showed that the ‘Snapchat generation’ is not confined to traditional methods of communication, given the emergence of a variety of digital communication tools today.

The top five ways Snapchatters in APAC use to communicate without words are photos (78%), emojis or emoticons (75%), videos or video messages (59%), video calling (58%), and stickers (57%).

Director of Market Development for Snap SEA Anubhav Nayyar commented that they found that the Snapchat Generation is particularly unique in Asia-Pacific.

“They are identified by a strong desire for authenticity in their offline and online personas. They are also highly mindful of the social issues of today, and look towards harnessing their creativity, empathy, and digital tools at their command to impact the change they want to see in this world,” said Nayyar.

Further, the survey touched on users’ intentions toward virtual experiences. Snapchatters in the region are 1.5 times more inclined than non-Snapchatters to gravitate to immersive video and mobile games, including Augmented Reality (AR) experiences. This has manifested in how Snapchatters use AR to try on products virtually, compared to non-Snapchatters.

The biggest difference is seen in Japan, where 27% of Snapchatters use AR for product try-ons, compared to just 2% of non-Snapchatters in the country. Malaysia, on the other hand, has the smallest gap where 17% of Snapchatters and 9% of non Snapchatters are already using the technology to try products.

Snapchat surveyed more than 8,200 users across five APAC countries, such as Malaysia, Japan, and Australia as well as Indonesia, and India.

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Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Car buying, selling sees new significant changes on three SEA markets: report

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – New report from integrated car e-commerce platform Carsome showed a significant change in private car ownership and the aspect of buying and selling of cars among consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand despite COVID-19.

Malaysian and Indonesia consumers have shown a greater interest in buying cars after the pandemic lockdowns, with up to 32% and 12% of consumers respectively showing interest compared to pre-lockdown behavior.

Meanwhile, all three markets saw an increase in consumers wanting to sell their cars, with Malaysia registering a 133% spike of consumers, followed by Indonesians (up 52%) and Thais (up 15%). 

As more and more consumers are selling their old cars due to getting more cash on hand, the usage of car selling platforms, including Carsome, also became popular 55% among Malaysian respondents, 34% among Indonesian respondents and 19% among Thai respondents. 

The increase of consumers selling their cars all have primary reasons in doing so due to financial constraints brought by unstable income and lack of budget. Other reasons include selling the much older car in favor of an existing usable car in their property, savings for future circumstances, and uncertainty of the economy after the pandemic woes.

On average, most Malaysian respondents (58%) plan to buy a car in a span of 1-6 months, while Indonesians (64%) and Thais (63%) plan to buy a car in a span of 7-12 months. Those that buy a car in a shorter time span reason out that a car is urgent to carry on daily duties. 

In terms of selling their cars, all the three markets shared an equal view of selling their cars in a span of 12 months, adding up the reason for replacing the car and optimism for the economy post-pandemic on reasons why to sell the car, aside from extra finances. In addition, all markets have shared the same perception that car dealers and car inspection centers are vital in selling cars to reduce contact of COVID-19 (Malaysians, 83%; Indonesians, 92%; Thai, 94%)

More than 50% of Malaysian and Indonesian respondents have lessened their car usage, while Thais have maintained the level of car usage pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Southeast Asians think of car ownership and mobility. The need to balance socially distancing and financial stability is leading many to a conclusion that the idea of car ownership is valuable to them during the pandemic. The car industry will continue to thrive as more Southeast Asians plan their car buying and selling within one to six months, creating a significant flow of car sales in the industry,” Carsome said in a statement.

Carsome conducted the survey in October 2020 among 1,000 Malaysian consumers, 1,005 Indonesian consumers and 1,055 Thai consumers. The survey was carried out through online panels sourced by research agencies.