10 January 2023 — Zac Faelnar
8 minute read
E-commerce is growing in Southeast Asia and this can be linked to the rapid rise in influencer marketing campaigns as well. Let’s take a look at two countries with the most activity and find out how they are achieving e-commerce influencer marketing success.
By this year, 2023, e-commerce is projected to reach, if not surpass, 100 billion dollars signifying an approximate 20.6% increase in growth in Southeast Asia. This makes the region the global leader in e-commerce with the Philippines ranking first, and Indonesia ranking third in terms of growth rates. This is according to a report on Yahoo News that expounds on the e-commerce growth phenomenon in Indonesia where online shoppers number to 138 million people, which is close to half their entire population, and 60% of transactions are on e-commerce platforms. There is another platform where e-commerce is driven through social media called social commerce which accounts for the remaining 40% of online purchases.
E-Commerce Companies that Utilize Influencer Marketing:
In an article in the Bangkok Post, the Flash Group offers an express delivery service that is currently ranked No.1 in Thailand. Its chief executive, Komsan Lee, says that this year, their company is focused on the Philippine market which demonstrates a strong e-commerce growth rate. Flash Delivery, which is partnered with TikTok, is already available in the Philippines, and it looks like the company will be expanding in the country also because of the large population.
On the other hand, while a more familiar platform, Lazada, has seen incredible e-commerce success, James Don, its chief executive officer, is encouraging small and medium business owners to be their own influencers. The Philippines takes the lead in e-commerce where 79 percent of consumers who were surveyed shop online, and the biggest spending season last 2021 was attributed to the November 11.11 sales and the December 12.12 sales. Just as in Indonesia, the Philippine e-commerce market belongs significantly to the Generation Z who use social media platforms for shopping. This is worth noting for achieving e-commerce influencer marketing success.
September has proven to be a good month for another online giant, Shopee where the successful 9.9 Super Shopping Day in Thailand was replicated in the Philippines for their year-end event. The shopping season’s event included live streams where more items were bought making it a very successful e-commerce engagement with its customers. Shopee focused on their target market and designed their campaigns to suit the purchasing habits of their consumers.
Shopee in Singapore built strong partnerships with strong brand influencers including a popular icon who serves as their brand ambassador, Phua Chu Kang. Their strategy is to focus much on building and supporting the local market.
In Southeast Asia, this Vietnamese-owned e-commerce platform enjoys over 35 million shoppers, rising in 2019 to 2nd place in the nationwide ranking next to Shopee, especially because of unique influencer marketing. Their target market is Generation Z and the Millennials who enjoy Vietnamese music. Their strategy incorporates popular singers as their brand influencers on YouTube, with music videos numbering to as many as 50, each video containing the Tiki logo. There is a signature scene in their campaign, called “Tiki Di Cung Sao Viet”, and that is a featured Tiki staff carrying a signature Tiki blue gift box for delivery to a customer. These videos were such a big hit that they even reached the Top 1 trending spot on YouTube. This campaign was launched in 2019 but already had a reach of over 300 million. The Tiki brand name and signature blue gift box appeared on YouTube close to 600 million times. The secret to their success was a genuine, all-out support for the local culture and Vietnamese values through their local music industry.
In an article in the Jakarta Post, last year’s winner for the “Most Trusted E-Commerce Platform” from a survey of 1,200 participants last December 2021. This result indicated that consumers were more particular about “security and quality”. Tokopedia put consideration into the needs of their shoppers. They carry two trending hashtags, one that signifies their service of free shipping, through #tokopediabebasongkir and the other hashtag called #friendsofTokopedia. They began high activity on social media in 2020.
The difference between Tokopedia and other e-commerce platforms is that they choose specific, strategic times to go all out with their influencer marketing. At the onset of the pandemic, when online shopping saw a spike, that’s when Tokopedia took advantage and launched their campaign, partnering with countless brand influencers to promote their products and flash sales on their merchandise, as well as services which included free shipping and money-back offers for their online shoppers.
Live streaming has become very popular for e-commerce. One channel that has seen success with this platform is Alibaba’s Taobao Live. It was launched in 2016 and rose quickly to total 60,000 shows in 2019. The live-streamed shows were hosted by its brand influencers which also included celebrity influencers like Kim Kardashian and Viya Huang.
One of the strongest e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia is Zalora. Last 2019, as an influencer marketing strategy, they held a “6-day hashtag challenge” for new shoppers in Singapore. Called “#Zstylenow”, the challenge was run on TikTok and consumers took to it by storm following big influencers, forming the letter “Z” with their hands for a quick outfit transformation. Theirs is probably one of the most innovative and successful e-commerce platforms. It catered to a niche market from the fashionable set.
In the Philippines, Zalora came up with the mobile pop-up, “Z-Train” for their e-commerce activities in December last year just before the Christmas shopping rush. The influencer marketing of Zalora is called “trendjacking” and the brand has been quick to jump on the trends as early as 2019 when TikTok was not as fashionable and known in Southeast Asia as it is now. They had that innate predictive ability which helped their high engagement with consumers.
So from delivery services like Flash, to fashion and lifestyle platforms like Zalora, e-commerce has gotten exciting, creative, and innovative. And in countries in Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines and Indonesia, the e-commerce platforms are very engaging and their influencer marketing is designed with a good understanding of the consumer market.
Now, let’s digress a little bit. What’s the latest with the top app, TikTok? They have also gotten their feet wet in e-commerce with the TikTok Shop launched in the US and in some Southeast Asian countries. In a recent article, the CEO and co-founder, Eric Dahan of the influencer marketing firm, Open Influence, stated,
“The social platforms are allowing for purchases to happen within their apps, and creators are now able to tag products directly.” And that’s exactly what TikTok did when it offered “an innovative new shopping feature which enables merchants, brands, and creators to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, TikTok LIVE(s), and the product showcase tab.” It is also what they have to offer to compete with Amazon.
TikTok’s global director of Business-to-Business (B2B) communications, Laura Perez, explained that the US had a very strong e-commerce market that bought into TikTok’s persuasive influencer marketing strategy and it was through this market that things first went viral. This was evidence of the powerful influence TikTok had on the consumer market.
The pandemic accelerated social commerce and saw a spike in online shopping. And live stream shopping is quite a popular trend that brings brands and brand influencers together for a unique collaboration. It won’t be long before it all hits the Southeast Asian region with a smash.
Drivers of E-Commerce
According to recent reports, 93% of social media influencers post on several social media platforms. Because of this wide reach, their content should create that personal connection with the audience. The consumers “expect a personalized shopping experience” which brands and brand influencers should create through influencer marketing and brand strategy using social media. This is how influencer marketing will continue to be a driver of e-commerce and social commerce.
Because of this, the content that brand influencers create is very important and should support e-commerce as a way for brands to receive a return of investment (ROI).
Recommended Read: PopStar’s Checklist for a Successful Influencer Marketing Campaign
5 Basic Strategies for Success with E-Commerce Influencer Marketing
It’s time to review the basics, now that you know how the big players in e-commerce have managed to get to the top and enjoy a winning streak.
You would really want to partner with the right influencers and have a good reach among your target market. That’s why it’s very important to get the right brand influencers. Influencers usually have a niche market and so you should consider this when working on your partnerships. The most practical type of influencer for your e-commerce influencer marketing would probably be the Micro influencers who have at least 10,000 followers. You need to try and capture your market loyalty among consumers who have already been patronizing your brand. Just as with Shopee that focuses on their consumers’ spending or purchasing habits, you can also have the same focus and find the partnerships among influencers who understand how to work around this
One sure-fire way that your brand influencers can galvanize your e-commerce activities is with the use of their creative content. Brand influencers know many ways to interact and engage with the consumer market through social media. They can write blog posts and comments and enjoy high engagement in order to boost sales on your products and services. There are several tools that they can use in the form of virtual tours, quizzes and game-like approaches so that their content is more interactive and fun. The virtual tours allow consumers to see the actual products while the quizzes are a good way to find out consumer wants.
Live streaming is also becoming very popular and effective.
Visualization is always effective. And for your brand’s influencer marketing, one great example of applying good visuals is through the use of infographics. Social media has created an evolution in how the audience spends time on the internet. This is one of the reasons why TikTok became a phenomenon. Your brand should also consider what medium they choose to get their information. More often than not, they would prefer to get things straight and simple, and so infographics work out very well this way while still being an engaging way to communicate with consumers.
4. Personal Messaging
Remember that having a connection with your market is most effective when you get personal. When you are able to communicate with your consumers with personal messages in the form of SMS, then that’s a very direct way to send and receive information. It also makes for an effective way to build a database of who your customers are and what their preferences and interests are.
5. Free Gifts
Your brand strategy should always include free gifts as part and parcel (pun intended) of influencer marketing. These freebies can come in the form of an actual product or service by your company. And they can be offered to your target market as a sample of what you have to offer. It’s a great marketing opportunity for your brand and your brand influencers would be the first to be excited about promoting it for you.
Need more advice on how to run a successful Influencer Marketing Campaign. Check out PopStar Blogs for more articles like this.
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