Study: Twitterverse all in to support and buy local

Local brands have been gaining more brand love in Southeast Asia (SEA), according to a recent Twitter study. The study, which saw which surveyed more than 50,000 people on Twitter across 27 markets, showed that 83% of Twitter users and 81% of non-Twitter users in SEA are looking forward to purchase from local brands in the future. That is the highest amount of respondents showing support for local brands, when compared to the rest of the world. Having said that, the high preference towards supporting local businesses is seen across all regions, with at least 67% of respondents who said they would consume more local brands. 

MARKETING-INTERACTIVE understands that the pivot towards supporting local businesses comes amidst the pandemic, where people rallied together on social media, using hashtags and Tweet threads to show their support. Additionally, with price being an important factor during the pandemic, many consumers have started to try private label brands for the first time during the crisis. 

twitter study 1

According to Arvinder Gujral, managing director, Southeast Asia at Twitter, proximity has become as key a differentiator as quality and cost over the course of the year.  However, when it comes to visibility, local brands are often unable to compete with international names and large marketplaces.

Given more people are willing to support local brands moving forward, Gujral added that local brands should capitalise on this opportunity, by looking to social commerce to help them break through the noise. "A local brand might not have the budget to secure a big celebrity endorsement, but they'll likely have a far more acute insight and understanding of conversations happening in their market, and be able to respond in a truly contextualised and culturally relevant way," he said.

The Twitter report also highlighted the emerging growth of livestreaming when it comes to retail. It found that livestreaming has become a key facet of the virtual retail arena in 2020, particularly in Southeast Asia and China. On Twitter itself, there was a 75% year-on-year increase in live video minutes watched as of September 2020. Shopee Live also saw 120 million views in Indonesia in April this year, which marked a new record for the brand, according to Twitter.

In fact, livestreaming has become increasingly prominent in the retail experience, prompting authorities to keep a closer eye on the platforms. Most recently, China has started to regulate the livestreaming marketing in the country as some livestreamers have been accused of misrepresenting products or faking sales numbers. The Cyberspace Administration of China said in a statement last week that under new rules currently being developed, livestreamers will be required to provide real-name identification and social credit codes to the internet platforms that they use. The livestreaming platforms will in turn have to submit regular reports to local authorities, as well as monitor their content regularly and stop any illegal advertising. 

Consumers are also found to settle into higher expectations of convenience, speed and choice in their retail purchases, as an effect of COVID-19. With shoppers staying within the confines of their homes, Twitter said that artificial intelligence (AI) has been brought in to boost consumer experience. This may come in the form of chatbot, analysing customer comments, product recommendations and providing personalised services to online shoppers. Recently, delivery platform foodpanda has also begun trialling drone deliveries amid the spike in demand for food delivery.

Additionally, a recent Accenture report showed that consumers are now more attracted to immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D content. These elements can enhance consumer purchasing confidence and increase online sales for brands. 

The report revealed that 59% of Singapore consumers would better remember brands that regularly engage them with immersive technologies. It is also found that 71% of Singapore consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand that focus on better experience using immersive technologies. Should these experiences not convert views into sales, the report added that they would still help brands be at the top of consumers' recall.

Want to use consumer psychology to trigger consumer action in the digital world? Join our Powerful Principles of Psychology to Boost Your Digital Campaigns masterclass here.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

Related Articles:
Why most digitalisation projects fail: 'The explosion of data is creating a poverty of attention'
Opinion: Digital transformation is not just technology uplifts
About 3,600 jobs available in SG retail sector, 40% in sales and marketing