#AsiaeCommerceAwards spills: Youpik's growth strategy amidst challenging times

Founded in Thailand, social commerce application Youpik aims to offer a new shopping experience to consumers under the concept of "You pick - you save - you share - you earn". It also allows consumers to share their favourite products with friends and stand a chance to earn commission once an order has been made. The integration of shopping and sharing features, as well as payment reports and learning centre on the app has been a draw for consumers. 

Youpik's efforts has since paid off, seeing it bag the silver award for Best eCommerce Campaign - Influencers at MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's Asia eCommerce Awards 2020. With the new year upon us, Youpik shares its growth strategy and plans for 2021.

This interview is done as part of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE’s winners and finalists’ interview series for Asia eCommerce Awards 2020. To find out more about the awards, click here.

What is Youpik and why should social users have this application?

Youpik: We are the social commerce application with a mission to bring marketing dollars from brands and sellers to social users when they promote the products on social media whether it’s through word of mouth, livestream or posting products online. Our app offers a one-stop solution, tools and supply of products for these social users. Everyone can download and shop for great deals but there are additional benefits for members, also known as “Youpikkers”.

The benefits are, first, getting cash back on all orders and second, earning commissions after members share or promote products on social media and transactions are completed from the links they shared. To become a member, users can just purchase first product from the app under “Youpik Choice” category and the membership is given after payment is completed. These products are everyday use items such as alcohol gel, masks, blankets, gadgets, and accessories.

We truly believe that social users can benefit from our business model. On average, Thai people spend nine hours on the internet per day with three hours on social media. This social media consumption time can be converted into commission earnings when users create content and do word of mouth marketing on social media. We see the upcoming trends globally for social users earning money online and the definition of jobs will change from getting a fix paid jobs to online viewership or online transaction based. We’re proud to be the first in Thailand.

The app integrates shopping and sharing features, commission calculating system, payment reports and even learning centre in the app. The commissions are paid to members’ accounts every week based on our billing cycle. One of the top Youpikkers earn an average of US$30,000 per month!

What’s the pandemic impact to the business and how will the business evolve post-pandemic?

Youpik: We saw an acceleration of users during the pandemic and initiated some partnership to help Thai people during that tough time. While unemployment rate increased and many jobs were lost, our app users and members grew and we are proud that these new members earned from our application and helped them during the tough time.

Earlier in the year when Thailand was under lockdown and department stores were closed, we worked with L’Oreal Thailand to onboard 200 beauty advisors to promote products online with Youpik and earn the commissions. This helped them earn during that tough economic time because the offline commission were not there. We also had a project with Getlinks Thailand #YoupikxGetlinks #Savetheunemployed where we offered free training for those looking for jobs and income.

What are some of the unique features or characters of your app?

Youpik: Key products that drive buzz, strong system and community-based engagement. We spend time selecting the right products with rich content to do campaigns. We leveraged AI technology on the product recommendations to showcase high relevancy to the users. The system learns about users based on the browsing behaviors, mapping that into patterns and recommend products that are popular or have high conversion to users. Each user will see different things when they open the app.

Currently we have more than 500 brands local and international covering multiple categories we have products from L’Oreal, Sabina, GQ, Dettol, Babylove, Mamy Poko and many more. Our learning center has courses, livestream and line groups segmented based on different stages of users. We want to create communities where members help each other, sharing their techniques and experiences.

Youpik achieved 3.5 million users in one year! What is your growth strategy?

Youpik: We focus on the power of word of mouth as our growth strategy. We created campaigns with strong promotions and fun mechanics so it goes viral and users want to organically talk about it. We also focus on content creation in paralleled. As a new social commerce application in Thailand that no one has ever done it before, we need to educate the market on what is it, how they can benefit from it and simply how to use the app.

We have “Guru Youpik” Youtube episodes that talk about the basic functions of your app and these episodes address the pain point or frequently asked questions from new users. Most importantly, we have to innovate, bringing new things and excitement to this market. For example, we had partnership with VGroup allowing youpikkers to promote cars for commission some of these car brands include Mazda, Mitsubishi, Ford, Nissan, MG, Suzuki, Hyundai and Chevrolet. We partnered with Siamese Asset allowing Youpikkers to promote condominiums and earn commissions. We also launched social mechanics like Slash it, Happy Pocket and collaboration with Titok Thailand.

How are you planning for 2021?

Youpik: Our focus now and next year is to continue to deliver good user experience through system updates, app development and campaigns so that it creates positive experience about the app and people want to tell their friends about it. We’d like to also take this opportunity to announce that we have received funding from eWTP Fund which is backed by Alibaba. We will use this investment to accelerate positive user experience making it more fun and seamless shopping and sharing experience.