The promotion of digitalisation and increase in diverse payment methods have pivoted consumers towards a new wave of e-commerce, making Singapore home to approximately three million e-commerce users.
In particular, 2021 saw Singapore’s e-commerce market valuation at US$5.9 billion, with a projection to swell to US$10.7 billion in 2025.
Not only has Singapore rolled out various initiatives for both startups and retailers to further encourage a brighter online retail industry, e-commerce platforms such as Shopee are also doing more to help local businesses scale and succeed online.
At the recent Shopee Seller Summit 2022, Chua Kel Jin, Shopee Singapore’s Head of Business Development, elaborated on the blossoming e-commerce landscape and how platforms can help brands and sellers unlock new business opportunities.
“Platforms are increasingly playing a vital role in the consumer journey, with shoppers coming online to browse, shop, and even be entertained. Shopee offers an end-to-end shopping experience with our app so users can shop with ease from discovery to delivery, supported by our integrated logistics and payments,” he said.
“At Shopee, we want e-commerce to be accessible to everyone. That’s why we stay committed to innovating to adapt to the changing needs of shoppers and businesses as the digital economy continues to evolve and mature.”
Understanding the consumer purchasing mindset
Consumer journeys today are nonlinear and complex. Shopee has observed that many sellers find it difficult to develop marketing strategies that cater to new behaviours, because they lack the right insights.
Therefore, Shopee provides data and consumer insights to help brands launch effective campaigns and deliver relevant and personalised experiences to their target consumers at the right place and time.
“In recent years, people are willing to invest a considerable amount of time to discover new products, research, seek opinions, and make comparisons before making a purchase decision. This is especially so during our mega shopping season which has amassed popularity over the years,” Chua explained.
Based on a survey conducted across Southeast Asia and Taiwan among Shopee users, it was found that the majority of online shoppers greatly anticipate the mega shopping season.
Since shoppers today are more invested and start their mega sales planning early, it is important for brands to start planning early too. To maximise this opportunity, Shopee works closely with sellers to drive brand recall ahead of Mega Sales days with high impact ad formats across different channels.
Within the same survey, Shopee observed that users also actively turn to multiple channels for research and comparison to help them make the final decision.
To streamline a brand’s digital advertising, Shopee works with leading industry partners like Facebook and Google to assist brands in driving traffic from online pages into their Shopee stores. This helps businesses optimise traffic to their Shopee stores, and they can also use Shopee’s in-app tools to make sure their products are front and centre to their audiences.
Brands can also leverage Shopee Ads – either Product Search Ads or Discovery Ads – to ensure their products are visibly featured on the search result page.
Facilitating meaningful partnerships
Chua further elaborates on how consumers value authentic, third-party opinions.
Sellers should take into consideration that opinions from third-parties such as subject matter experts, influencers, or celebrities, as well as content publishers tend to play a key role on consumers’ purchases.
A consumer’s need for a relatable shopping experience guides them to make their purchase decisions. Knowing that someone else is using the product – and that it works well for them – will further accelerate their desire to make the purchase.
With the existing Shopee Affiliate Marketing Solution (AMS), sellers can also amplify their brand presence through Shopee’s network of partners. Sellers can network with affiliates, which include Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), influencers, and content publishers across multiple channels through the Shopee Ambassador Programme.
Leveraging reliable KOLs can strengthen a brand’s reputation, and in turn, increase their sales. This is also another creative way for sellers to communicate their brand story, build awareness of their store promotions, and grow their brand presence.
“I joined Shopee’s Affiliate Marketing Solution programme because I find that it’s a convenient platform for me to share products I use and earn a side income from it. I appreciate the opportunity to provide authentic reviews based on my experience, and my followers also enjoy discovering new products through my recommendations. I am motivated to help brands generate orders through the content I create and seeing my impact on their sales”, shared Valery Yeo, Shopee Ambassador Programme KOL, at the recent Brands Summit luncheon.
A case in point is when Korean beauty retailer innisfree chose to launch an online exclusive brand collaboration with Peanuts on Shopee for its Super Brand Day, Shopee was able to design a tailored affiliate strategy and tap into multiple marketing tools.
This created impressive campaign results for innisfree, with more than 100 times uplift in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), 40 times uplift in views, and 18 times uplift in visitors, compared to an average day.
Additionally, Shopee has new upcoming targeting tools to optimise sellers’ campaigns. It will soon provide brands the option of targeting all publishers or specific KOLs that fit their brand’s profile – be it fashion, health and beauty, or tech – to create personable content for shoppers.
Utilising holistic solutions for business growth
No two businesses thrive off the same combination of marketing strategy and solutions. Brands should use the right mix of solutions to achieve top-of-mind brand awareness, and drive successful conversion based on their current business needs and goals.
Shopee offers a host of tools that span across out-of-app channels, in-app engagement tools, as well as targeted programmes and features to help their sellers on their e-commerce journey.
Singapore-based online baby store, Pupsik Studio, had an aim to drive more conversions on their Shopee store with a small test budget.
Pupsik Studio chose to leverage Google Ads, ensuring that its Shopee Product Feed had clean images that complied with Google Shopping Ads Policies. Additionally, it activated the campaign for all their products, thus allowing Google’s algorithm to best select from their offered products.
To further drive its sales, it also applied the recommended Smart Bidding techniques to allow a quick ramp up – less than 10 days – for their campaigns.
By using both tools, not only did Pupsik Studio see a 13.3 percent return on ad spend, it also saw a 2.7 times increase in its conversion rate.
Another solution Shopee offers its sellers is Shopee LIVE. Livestreaming is a relatively newer initiative that many e-commerce platforms are currently leveraging to make shopping more personable for their consumers.
It launched Shopee LIVE in 2019 to cater to the growing demand for entertaining video on the go. Since its launch, it has been well-received, with participating sellers and brands in Singapore attesting to the appeal of real-time engagement and interaction with users.
Sellers can build trust with their customers by directly providing authentic and informative content. Most importantly, it allows for businesses to expose themselves to a wider audience, which in turn increases their sales.
Jamstones, a local business that sells crystal charm bracelets, was recently featured in Shopee’s 8.8 Support Local National Day commercial. Shopee first approached founder Jamaine Lim in July 2021 to conduct live sales for her brand on Shopee LIVE.
“Our customers enjoyed the live sales event and shared that it was exciting and fun. Through this, we were able to connect with customers on a more intimate level and generated four-figure sales within an hour during our first Shopee LIVE session,” said Jamaine.
Maximising knowledge resources and support
Acknowledging that navigating e-commerce can be intimidating for first-time sellers, Shopee has a strong support network in place to empower sellers and help them establish, grow, and scale their businesses with confidence.
Beyond transitional support, Shopee also provides its sellers with a wide range of online resources that can help improve their operations.
One such seller is Mark Dave Cerojales, the head of Online Sales at SL Foods. Although he has an ample background in manufacturing for almost 15 years, he faced challenges during his transition to online sales because his prior experience was limited to the offline sector.
Recognising his difficulties, Shopee helped him navigate the e-commerce journey, enabling SL Foods to become one of the most successful sellers on the platform.
Since onboarding on Shopee, SL Foods has seen a twofold increase in sales. Additionally, in the recent 7.7 campaign, it recorded a ninefold increase in sales compared to an average day.
Maximising resources such as Shopee University and Seller Education Hub can help sellers any time during their business journey, and are useful for both first-timers and experienced brands.
Sellers have access to the basics of getting their shop up and running, as well as training tools, workshops, and other resources to help them operate easily on Shopee.
To support sellers and brands’ long-term growth, the seller hub offers guides to optimising sales, as well as how to best utilise Shopee’s available marketing tools and support to improve operational efficiency.
Chua reiterates throughout the summit that for brands and sellers, having a successful e-commerce strategy means thoroughly understanding the consumers’ mindset, as well as having access to the right suite of digital tools. This winning combination will allow businesses – big or small – to scale and participate in the digital economy.
For existing Shopee sellers, he urges them to tap on the multiple features and tools Shopee has to offer in order to further grow their online presence and sales. At the end of the day, Shopee strives to not only reach consumers, but empower businesses and sellers as well.
Featured Image Credit: Shopee