On the last day of 2019, we published 5 digital marketing trends for 2020 and how companies can leverage on them. In 1H 2020. the Covid-19 pandemic has brought across much-unexpected changes and impact. For enterprise and businesses, digitalisation and transformation have accelerated out of necessity. While some of the consumers’ behavioural changes and preferences are likely to stick.
The team at Republic Asia penned a sequel update on 5 digital trends for Small Medium Enterprises (SME), retailers and organisations. Read on for how these Digital & Commerce trends have shaped and will be playing a bigger role for businesses in the months and years ahead.
5 Digital & Commerce Trends To Watch For (15 Seconds Summary)
- Experiential live streams are poised to replace physical activations
- The rise of a new breed of influencers, the key opinion consumers (KOC)
- Video-sharing social networks create authentic products reviews
- Integrate social messaging with your omnichannel touchpoints
- Revisit friction experienced by users as usage frequency increases
1. Live stream commerce provides entertainment
The total time for 150,000 Kim Kardashian West fragrances (priced at SGD 65 each) to be sold out during a Chinese market live-stream? A couple of minutes. Humans are wired to connect. Social connectivity is essential to our overall emotional and physical health. Under the lockdown and restricted movement measures, live streams provide a proxy form of human connectivity and entertainment.
Shopee in-app stream - Live Kpop Fest 2020 – Image credit: Avenue One
In the years ahead, we will see more merchants and retailers pivoting their marketing budget towards live stream activation - brand flagship events, product launches, flash sales, masterclasses, etc.
Opportunity: There is no better time to experiment with the live stream than now. Live streams can be repurposed into short demos clip and reviews that netizens can look upon 24/7. 2 tips for a captivating live stream: Entertainment and Experiential.
2. Watch out influencers, the rise of virtual influencers and KOC
In recent years, a string of scandals and errant influencers have marred the authenticity and challenged the reliability of influencers landscape. Brands like Dior and Samsung have increased their usage of virtual influencers (computer-generated models).
Beside virtual influencers, we are also seeing the rise of Key Opinion Consumers (KOC). Unlike influencers who often have paid brands engagements, KOCs are end consumers themselves that built on the expertise of product reviewing for a certain product category.
With the swift popularity of platforms like Tik Tok and Xiao Hong Shu, more consumers are increasingly vocal and proactively documenting their product experience first-hand.
Product-focused KOC - Image credit: 咚遇站长a
Opportunity: In markets like Indonesia, product demo videos help to reinforce consumers’ purchase decision. Build the product branding and packing experience to encourage sharing. Leverage on the masses user-generated contents to amplify your product across their networks.
3. Reinvent or perish? Why not partner up instead
There is a saying reinvent or perish. Businesses that retail non-essentials can either wait for normality or reinvents themselves, diversifying into a relevant product/services. We believe there is another alternative - partnership. Partnerships between brands will be a viable strategy in the 12 months ahead to capture greater market share.
On 30 May 2020, global sports giant Adidas retweeted its foe, Nike’s “Don’t do it” social media posting. In Singapore, non-essential bubble tea beverage retailer Koi partnered with essential food retailer Grain to ensure business continuity and bolster meal delivery sales.
Koi bubble tea x Grain’s online meal delivery - Image credit: Eatbook
Opportunity: Explore uncharted collaboration. Co-package or complement your offerings with other essential brands. Do not think outside of the box, get rid of the box entirely. Have a fresh perspective by bringing in an independent consultant like Republic Asia, that can help you ignite and facilitate the brands' collaboration.
4. Conversational commerce to boost sales
Earlier in April 2020, we published an entire article on the next big thing on digital marketing and how companies can leverage on social messaging to improve sales/ conversions. The integration of conversational messaging into your brand touchpoints is essential.
Today’s consumer conversion path is anything but linear. In Expedia’s research, it is reported that an average traveller consumed about 140~ media touchpoints before booking the trip online. The void of instantaneous engagement must be filled. Hence the preferred channel of social messaging to confirm orders, reschedule deliveries and replying to enquiries.
Integration of social messaging to brand touchpoints
Opportunity: As brands scramble to scale up their technology capabilities, basic tools and free platforms work adequately well initially. A simplified Google form for customers online ordering, a centralised real-time cloud drive spreadsheet for the team to keep a tab on fulfilment and keeping your loyal fanbase engaged over telegram group chat.
5. Digital engagements increased, but so does friction
Joel used to procure groceries online once a month. The cart journey requires an average of 75 taps and usually sees 3 pages of upsell options before he can complete the order. Now Joel procured groceries thrice a month and he is repeatedly been served 3 pages of upsell options, unchecking those add-ins three times more.
When frequency and engagement increases, so do the frustration experienced by the user on repeated friction.
YouTube premium ad pop-ups – Image Credit: The Verge
Opportunity: Do an audit. Diagnose the dwell time and abandonment analytics. Shorten and simplify your path-to-conversion. Physically, it may take you an hour to make a grocery run. In the online world, the same process takes a couple of minutes. Flatten the discovery to purchase journey, decrease the steps involved. Flatten the time and steps taken from discovery to fulfilment.
Training: With more >1,000 students trained in digital commerce, we are constantly on the lookout for the next wave of commerce. Download a free copy of our digital marketing module class material or enquire on our latest SkillsFuture courses.