Ecommerce in Southeast Asia (SEA) is heating up. Google Shopping Ads recently launched in Singapore, with plans to expand across the region. Amazon is similarly making headlines for an upcoming regional launch and new advertising solutions. Alibaba is also already in the market, with its latest move of putting 400,000 products on Lazada through Taobao Collection.
Google Shopping ads are ads that include richer product information such as product image, description, price, promotion and merchant name. They offer a richer ad experience resonating well with shoppers resulting in highly qualified clicks. They also include a direct click to purchase.
Swiping to shop is second nature for Southeast Asia’s growing number of mobile-centric consumers. In fact, the lucrative market is projected to surpass US$25 billion in growth by 2020, according to eMarketer.
Despite being slated as the new growth frontier for e-commerce, Southeast Asia faces challenges unseen in any other major region. In mature common markets like the United States and Northern Europe, you can log onto Amazon or search Google and instantly access 90% of the region. But in order to sell across Southeast Asia’s borders, retailers need to be converting product data and currency from Peso, Baht, Dong, and Rupiah, while translating Mandarin, Vietnamese, Bahasa or other languages. The challenge is incomparable to other markets.
Smooth scaling isn’t just a matter of moving a store online; it’s about being agile enough to move at the speed of the consumer and being reactive and proactive to every whim.
Here are some major roadblocks to conquering Southeast Asia and what you can do about them.
Mobilised and motivated by Alibaba, China’s Single’s Day (11.11) shopping frenzy is spreading to Southeast Asia this year. In 2015, the 11.11th drove US $14.3 billion in online sales in China. In comparison, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, sold a mere $5.8 billion in the United States.
Whether you are a merchant, reseller or marketplace, here are some tips that can help maximise returns on the busiest sales day of the year:
1. Partner up
Stick to what you’re good at. There is no way one platform or merchant can do everything. Take Lazada for example. During key sales periods last year, the company saw its revenue uplift by six times on November 11 and December 12. Not to mention, there was a 55% spike in orders on Black Friday and a 45%.
Due to the growing consumer base, the company has changed approach over the years. Instead of trying to do everything in-house, the platform has moved to a partnership model of eBay and Amazon to work with specialist partners who can help everything from creating content, recommending photographers, to fulfilment and logistics partners. Spend on partnerships that exist to do all the heavy lifting for you.
As the e-commerce war in Southeast Asia heats up between platforms like ‘Alizada’, Pomelo and Zalora, brands hosted across these online malls have a challenge of their own. They might be sitting at the front door of a market with the highest mobile penetration in the world, but the window shopping needs to be made easy.
In the brick and mortar world, that means pulling a SS/17 pencil skirt over a mannequin. In the online market with millions of customers actively hunting for products in real time, this equates to clean product descriptions, data mapping and synchronisation anywhere the product is displayed live. If this type of information is inconsistent or logged incorrectly — also known as ‘dirty data’ — customers won’t
be able to find the item and they will move on. In fact, an optimised product detail page is the new content marketing since clean data improves search rankings.
Boost your sales via Instagram
This dynamic remarketing feature allows you to promote the right products to the right person at the right time. When someone visits your website or mobile app, then scrolls through Instagram app after, an ad showing multiple related products (up to 5) from the ones they were browsing on your website in their Instagram feed.
Instagram dynamic ads works the same way as Facebook dynamic ads. You can read our Facebook dynamic ad post here.
Multi-channel marketing automation increases eCommerce revenues by over 90%!
Mamadoo is an Australia based Shopping destination for Super-Mums and Bubs! Mamadoo brings together multiple shops for mums and children into one website, giving mums a one-stop destination to choose a wide range of products from.
Challenges faced by Mamadoo
Mamadoo was looking at new digital marketing channels to help drive their online sales. With over 10,000 products from over 75 stores, along with pricing and stock levels changing on a daily basis, combined with limited marketing resources adding new channel was challenge.
Improve productivity, sales and efficiency with eBay
Attendees came from a variety of backgrounds – start-ups, established eCommerce companies, agencies, marketing and IT amongst others. The focus of the seminar was to help companies identifying ways in which to improve productivity, efficiency and sales in the months and years ahead. eBay demonstrated how using online market platforms – such as eBay and eBay Global – can help companies in Singapore reach both a local and global audience:
- Maximising revenues and sales through an elevated marketing platform.
- On-line sales in Singapore have gone from $1.1 billion USD in 2010 to $4.4 billion USD in 2015 with no sign of stopping.
- Globally, the figures are expected to top $2.3 trillion USD. Using an on-line market-place can help companies to tap into this marketplace with relatively ease.