Rahul Sachitanand
Dec 4, 2020

Pandemic an opportunity for local brands to shine online: Twitter survey

TOP OF THE CHARTS: As consumers demand more variety from brands online, homegrown labels can muscle into markets such as household cleaning and personal care.

Pandemic an opportunity for local brands to shine online: Twitter survey

With ecommerce playing an increasing important role for consumers and brands during the pandemic, a study from Twitter seems to suggest changes are afoot in the way this transition rolls out. As people get more comfortable purchasing online, they are not only spending more online, but also demanding more choice from brands, in terms of price and messaging.

As these changes take hold, there are also changes taking place in consumers' brands preferences. This could be a big moment for challenger brands who have proximity to consumers on their side. The study found that 74% of people on Twitter are planning to purchase more from local brands in the future- this rises to 83% amongst people on Twitter in Southeast Asia.

This shift comes at a time when a recent survey with more than 50,000 people on Twitter across 27 markets showed that purchasing priorities shifted quite dramatically in 2020. Big ticket items - such as holidays and cars - were put on hold, while categories such as fashion & accessories, takeaway delivery and beauty products have seen a big up-tick in purchase intent.

And as we move into 2021, people are looking to either maintain or increase their spending in household cleaning, health supplements and entertainment subscriptions. Consumers are expecting more from brands - in terms of both offering new or different products, as well as messaging. Even in regions with comparatively fewer restrictions, consumers around the world anticipate they’ll be spending more time on at-home activities. 

As e-commerce goes mainstream, consumers are also embracing different ways of interacting with consumers. For example, retail live-streaming is becoming an increasing staple.

Twitter saw a 75% increase in live video minutes watched as of Sept 2020. Ecommerce platforms such as Shopee Live saw 120 million views in Indonesia in April this year - a new record. Some brands have gone one step further by bringing in celebrities to add fervour and fanfare to their virtual events. Tokopedia, for example, used BTS' army of fans across Indonesia by engaging the boy band in exclusive concert and interviews as part of their #TokopediaWIB show.

What's more, 41% of users actively look for updates from brands via social media platforms, and 81% look for reviews for products and services from others online.

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