This post is sponsored by InMobi.
October through December marks the onset of one of the biggest shopping periods in Southeast Asia (SEA), with a bunch of events, including Singles Day on 11/11 (especially popular in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, in addition to China); Doubles Day on 12/12; Black Friday; Harbolnas; Christmas; and New Year’s.
These events, some of which are a fairly recent phenomenon in the retail sector, have become increasingly popular in Southeast Asia with nearly 40% of sales generated in the last three months of October, November and December.
What makes this period different from five years ago is the reliance of consumers on their mobile devices to learn about, explore and buy new products. Mobile is the universal companion for SEA consumers across their shopping journey.
What should Southeast Asian e-tailers do during this end-of-year shopping extravaganza to win customers? Here are five key consumer trends and marketing tactics for e-tailers to maximise their ROI this holiday shopping season:
Trend: The holiday season shopping journey begins and ends with mobile.
Tactic: Stay top-of-mind of consumers through in-app advertising
Here’s a modern Zen paradox for you to consider: If a brand offers a great deal, but no one knows about it, then did it even happen at all? Stay top of mind of consumers using mobile, as online shoppers spend 90% of their time in apps in the build-up to a sale.
Communicate unique benefits for different audiences to drive interest and consideration while they are discovering and researching. For instance, communicate about the availability of a diverse catalogue to fashionistas, launch premium brands on the platform to high spenders, and deals across categories to bargain hunters.
Trend: Video is a holiday shopper’s best friend, helping them learn, explore and buy.
Tactic: Leverage mobile video to reach, engage and convert online shoppers
Tap into this enthusiasm and leverage video for engaging and converting the consumer along their journey with your brand. Drive higher engagement using end cards on your video and mobile-first shoppable ads that drive the consumer directly to checkout and buy on your app.
Trend: Consumers are constantly researching and comparing across e-tailing platforms.
Tactic: Engage the consumer along their shopping journey through in-app re-marketing
Leverage in-app re-marketing and location-based targeting to recapture consumer attention at critical moments along their path to purchase, and drive them back to your app. Utilise the rich, in-app customer signals to segment audiences in real-time based on their state along the shopping journey. This will help improve conversion rates through increased recency and relevancy of your communication.
Trend: Personalisation is key for last-mile conversion
According to a study by Salesforce, nearly 60% of consumers ranked personalisation as an essential factor in their purchasing decisions.
Tactic: Inspire consumers to take action through personalised and immersive creatives
Personalise your creatives using dynamic creative optimisation during this time of the year. When done right, creatives tailored to the individual can inspire them to not only complete the purchase, but engage with the brand time and again.
Trend: The holiday shopping season is about the experience, not discounts.
Tactic: Drive consumer advocacy by delivering on their expectation of a great experience
Create experiences that inspire the consumer to spread the word and advocate your brand. Drive a consistent experience across the mobile web and app. Deep-link your app to drive consumers to the relevant product page and/or sections within the app from the information source.
The last months of the year are critical for e-tailers in SEA and getting the customer experience right is paramount. And, this should not be difficult if brands are listening intently to the consumer.
Thinking mobile-first, leveraging video, in-app re-marketing and dynamic creative optimisation are key to delivering an effortless and seamless holiday shopping experience to consumers.
The writer is Vasuta Agarwal, managing director, Asia Pacific, InMobi.