SHEIN shares SEA marketing plans, explains importance of social and UGC

Online fashion e-tailer SHEIN has recently landed in Southeast Asia with the forming a new hub in Singapore, appointing Mercury Marketing and Communications to manage PR duties. Although the brand declined to share further details of the appointment, its spokesperson told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that it plans to create a standalone website for shoppers in Malaysia. As part of its marketing strategies in the region, SHEIN will still focus on its niche, digital and influencer marketing.

In addition to the current OOH and TikTok ads, the e-tailer is also in the midst of planning pop up events in Singapore where consumers will get a chance to physically see, touch and feel its products and learn more about the brand. It is also leveraging its SHEIN X designer programme to work with local design talents in Singapore and Southeast Asia for collections. 

According to multiple media reports including the South China Morning Post, SHEIN was founded in a city in eastern China known as Nanjing and has exploded in popularity among American teams. This month, Bloomberg reported that SHEIN topped Amazon as the most downloaded shopping app in the US, ending the eCommerce giant's 152-day streak. Despite its Asian roots, SHEIN's branding and user interface is more Westernised, with the brand using mainly Western or pan-Asian looking models in the online catalogue and ads. It also has plenty of product reviews from users globally. 

The spokesperson explained that America was one of the first regions it expanded into and hence, naturally, Western models were used for these campaigns. "With the expansion over the years to other regions, the models we had fronting campaigns shifted to different nationalities as well in order to ensure market relevancy. Part of the brand’s identity stems from values like inclusivity and diversity and we are committed to the philosophy that everyone can enjoy the beauty of fashion," the spokesperson explained.

Importance of social media and UGC

As an eCommerce brand, SHEIN's spokesperson said it focuses more on social media as they are channels that can help the brand capture its target audience who are on social media. When asked why it is focusing on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok, in particular, the brand said social media is the main source of where most consumers get their information from in this day and age and it helps to shape their purchasing decisions.

Aside from social media, user generated content such as SHEIN hauls is also another main channel that has been effective in raising awareness among consumers. SHEIN hauls allows consumers to give feedback on its products and the buyers hail from different backgrounds and markets. Their reviews are also made available on SHEIN's website and social media channels, making it accessible for anybody worldwide. "This has formed a community globally where conversations about their hauls are naturally generated, increasing brand awareness," the spokesperson said.

SHEIN is known to be a fast fashion brand and according to SCMP, it adds about 5,000 new items daily. With sustainability being all the rage nowadays, the brand is also mindful of ensuring no raw materials go to waste. "When manufacturing new products, only 50 to 100 pieces are produced to ensure that no raw materials are wasted. It is only when a particular item reflects a high demand then large-scale production is implemented to meet them," the spokesperson reiterated. Currently SHEIN is pushing sustainability efforts by using environmentally-conscious technology in its manufacturing and optimises its supply chain to minimise waste and reduce carbon emissions. It also has ongoing initiative with NGOs to plant over 600,000 trees.

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Fast fashion brand SHEIN enters SEA with new SG hub