Text: Rico Chan, Co-Head, Verizon Media, APAC
The prize just got bigger for retailers in Southeast Asia (SEA) this holiday season. E-commerce is on a spectacular growth trajectory in the region, with Alibaba-owned Lazada clocking a record Singles Day this year. As the shopping season gathers momentum — all the way to the Lunar New Year 2020 — standing out online has never been more critical for retailers in SEA. To unwrap the opportunity ahead, marketers have to offer experiences that surprise and entice shoppers, matched by the value and benefits that they expect online.
Keep the joy of shopping, update the experience
The most savvy retailers know that to win in the holiday season, they have to inspire shoppers, add a layer of convenience, while keeping the joy of holiday shopping intact. Experiences and information have to be delivered in a way that hooks and entertains the consumer. McKinsey 2019 holiday research revealed that one of the top issues for customers is not knowing what to buy — they are looking for ideas and inspiration. Brands that can guide them to the right choices, will, according to McKinsey, be "well-positioned to convert undecided consumers and secure sales." Innovative shoppable experiences like gift guides, lookbooks, and videos can be useful to showcase your products, inspire users, and ultimately lead to a purchase. These experiences work well to drive awareness, facilitate discovery and accelerate the customer journey. Gift guides can take the form of listicles, sponsorships, or video integrations, with custom content that heroes your products with shoppable links for instant action. Video ads are particularly effective, with a 1.6x greater transaction rate, over static images. Videos are not just a nifty tool to boost traffic, but can be a means to drive conversions. Finally, by thoughtfully choosing the right sponsorships, brands can take a step closer to their audiences when and where it’s most effective, by aligning with their intention.
Add convenience to the experience, make every mobile moment shoppable
Customers today are empowered and spoilt for choice, but strapped for time — especially during the busy holiday season. Brands have to be able to deliver experiences that are helpful in the moment, instant, and actionable. With shoppers increasingly on their mobile phones at all points in the customer journey, it is both a challenge and an opportunity for marketers to shift mobile audiences from browsing to buying. With versatile mobile native ad formats, advertisers can meet shoppers on their devices with the right message at the most optimal time. Dynamic product ads (DPA), for instance, allow you to retarget consumers based on each person’s unique shopping history, serving them products they’ve already shown interest in. What makes them highly relevant during this season, is that you can use DPAs to give customers a helpful reminder, a nudge delivered at the right moment. Customers meanwhile value the experience because DPAs feature the very products consumers are actually interested in — wrapped in a deal that offers them greater value! Mobile wallet ads can also be handy, transforming your message into valuable coupons that can be added to a user’s digital wallet instantly. In SEA, which is seeing a surge in m-commerce, mobile devices are being used beyond researching brands and products, to make purchases in real-time. Marketers have to capitalize on this shift in shopping behaviour by thinking through how to make every mobile moment shoppable and easing the path to purchase.
Gift consumers enjoyable experiences through innovative ad formats
Advertisers can tap into the potential of immersive mobile native ad formats that bring in the fun, while also being immensely useful. Like Extended Reality (XR) ads, that work hard while wowing the user. When consumers research gift ideas on their phones, for instance, Augmented Reality (AR) ads can help them interact with the product in a completely new dimension. Consumers become more confident about their purchase decisions when they can visualize exactly how a product looks in their own environment (without jostling in a mall). Our research shows audiences feel better about their purchase decisions after exploring AR ads, with 64% of shoppers gaining more confidence after using the feature. AR ads can eliminate ‘mistakes’ and time lost for shoppers — useful in the time-bound holiday season — while driving conversion and minimizing returns for retailers. Retailers can also look at shoppable billboards – with interactive features like carousels, coupons, countdowns, 360-videos, and touchpoints. They work well to highlight product details, take the excitement up several notches for users, while driving purchases. Countdown ads, for instance, are ideal for flash sales and daily deals during the season, increasing urgency and conversion.
Ahead of the 2019 holiday season, PwC asked consumers in the US what they wanted most in their shopping experience. Two-thirds of shoppers said they wanted 'easily accessible, convenient shopping above all else.’ Sounds like a familiar ask even in our part of the world. To win in the busy holiday season, advertisers have to delight customers with breakthrough experiences, but just as importantly, deliver these with the convenience that digitally-savvy SEA customers now can’t do without!
Put these creative best practices into play with your next campaign during this season by contacting Verizon Media. Verizon Media’s full funnel solutions support both acquisition and retention goals to help retailers reach their KPIs — drive reach & scale for a promotional event, generate awareness for a new product launch, build brand love to increase preference, or ultimately drive sales.