CapitaLand and Shopee turn IMM into virtual mall amidst plan to help retailers digitalise

CapitaLand and Shopee have joined hands to help Singapore retailers digitalise, diversify their revenue streams and export their brands overseas. Under the partnership, CapitaLand's IMM outlet mall will be Shopee's first virtual shopping mall, offering retailers with more online marketing opportunities that will benefit in-store sales at IMM through enhanced branding under one roof.

A landing page will feature IMM's most popular stores and discounts on Shopee Singapore's and Malaysia's websites. Participating retailers will enjoy marketing subsidies and incentives from CapitaLand and Shopee, and those who are eligible can receive additional support from the Ecommerce Booster Package provided by Enterprise Singapore. Meanwhile, IMM retailers which are authorised brand distributors in Malaysia will be given support to set up their storefront on Shopee Malaysia.

At the same time, both parties have launched the CapitaLand x Shopee 11.11 campaign, which integrates online and offline shopper engagement to drive sales, traffic and engagement for six CapitaLand malls - Bugis Junction, Bugis+, Junction 8, Plaza Singapura, Tampines Mall and Westgate - through gamification. Participating brands include Skin Inc, Zaffron Kitchen and Linen Gallery. Shopee Singapore is offering up to SG$4 million worth of shopping, dining and accommodation perks in the Slice game on its app. Players can also win complimentary stays and discount vouchers, as well as earn points to redeem Shopee Coins and discount vouchers from the 45 participating retailers at the six malls.

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In a statement to MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Shopee Singapore's head of marketing Tiger Wang, said consumers today want more than just a transactional shopping experience. Increasingly, they search for more personalised, engaging, and social shopping experiences online. 

"To engage shoppers on a deeper level, we partnered with CapitaLand to co-create a new version of Shopee Slice, one of our most popular games since its launch in August 2018. Partnering with CapitaLand on a new version of Shopee Slice allows us to create a tailored experience for our users, in line with our hyper-localised approach to connect with local audiences," he added. The campaign was conceptualised and executed by Shopee's in-house creative and production teams, in collaboration with CapitaLand.

While Shopee is unable to share the monetary value of the partnership, Wang said it is confident that this partnership with CapitaLand will accelerate digitalisation for retailers and empower them to reap the benefits of eCommerce.

When asked why Shopee chose to kick off the partnership for 11.11 and not earlier, Wang explained that its 11.11 Big Sale is one of the biggest year-end shopping festivals in the region. He added that this partnership is a timely step forward in its efforts to make it easy for sellers and brands to establish and scale their businesses up online, by deepening engagement with consumers.

"With this partnership, both Shopee and CapitaLand aim to increasingly ramp up digitalisation efforts for retailers, building upon ongoing initiatives aimed at helping brands transition online seamlessly, connect with shoppers in new ways, and optimise their eCommerce operations, especially during this challenging time," Wang added. On the ROI expected for the partnership, Wang said each partnership and campaign "is carefully designed to provide an unmatched experience for consumers and businesses alike". 

Besides the latest partnership with CapitaLand, Shopee also recently partnered with South Korean beauty brands distributor VIRVICI to roll out a pop-up store in CapitaLand's Funan mall. Funan was chosen because of its vibrant location with many trendy stores that draw the younger crowd, which is in line with Shopee's and VIRVICI's target audience.

CapitaLand Singapore's MD, retail, Chris Chong, said as part of its commitment to help its retailers adapt to the new normal, it is focused on creating a holistic retail ecosystem integrating offline-and-online sales channels. In addition to operating its twin digital platforms eCapitaMall and Capita3Eats, Chong said the company is pleased to join forces with Shopee to offer its retailers more opportunities to engage with their customers digitally, while driving footfall to their physical stores through online marketing.

"By combining expertise and sharing resources with Shopee, we are confident of creating a mutually beneficial retail ecosystem that drives value creation for retailers and delivers differentiated customer experiences for shoppers," he said.

ECommerce trends that are here to stay

With consumers no longer seeking merely transactional experiences online, Wang said the need for engagement, entertainment, and social interaction in a marketing strategy has never been more compelling as consumers increasingly value shareable interactive experiences. These trends have undoubtedly been accelerated and amplified by the pandemic this year. Brands thus need to ensure that they elevate the customer journey by integrating these elements into marketing as we move into 2021, to cater to an increasingly demanding consumer base, he added.

"It is extremely important for brands to understand that as consumer demands continue to shift and evolve, so must marketing strategies. Successful marketing strategies are often the ones that are nimble and adaptive, complementing changing business models that aim to address evolving consumer habits and demands," Wang said.

Citing its in app features Shopee Live and Shopee Feed as examples, he said since the start of the pandemic, Singaporean users have spent 40% more time in-app per week. Also, the number of Shopee Live streams from brands and sellers have increased 40 times as they look to connect with consumers virtually. In Singapore, its in-app games were played over 60 million times and 1.6 million plays from 1 Feb to 24 April 2020 alone.

Meanwhile, Shopee Feed addresses the social nature of online shopping today where users can share content on what they are listing, buying, and selling with the community, receiving real-time updates from their friends, as well as sellers and brands.

"These results speak volumes of the success behind Shopee’s strategy of creating personalised, engaging, and social experiences. In the eCommerce of today, developing a deep understanding of current user needs and curating shopping experiences that correspond to these needs is crucial," Wang explained.

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