2020 is a flourishing time for the eCommerce industry. The outbreak of Covid-19 in the beginning of 2020 has shifted consumer buying behaviour from offline to online shopping and accelerated the growth of the eCommerce industry. With more companies entering the market, brands need a powerful marketing strategy to differentiate themselves from the rest, build loyal customer relationships and drive sales and traffic for their sites.
It’s no secret that Influencer marketing is a powerful marketing strategy to help brands obtain valuable leads. There are various advantages when brands partner with social media influencers, including the ability to capture the attention and build trust among their followers. In fact, a lot of eCommerce players have made significant investment in influencer marketing as their core strategy to reach out to online customers and establish dominance in this competitive market.
In this article, let’s take a look into successful influencer marketing campaigns in the eCommerce industry and find out what are some takeaways!
Since its launch in 2015, Shopee has grown into one of Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platforms.
This year, the platform kickstarted the year-end shopping season with its 9.9 Super Shopping Day. Alongside with a massive line up of deals and promotions, Shopee’s localized influencer marketing strategy achieved considerable success in capturing the preferences of each market country.
For the Singapore market, Shopee Singapore partnered with a huge number of local influencers in different tiers to expand their presence and reach on social media. The brand also announced its partnership with cultural icon Phua Chu Kang – its first brand ambassador for Singapore. This decision marks another milestone for the platform as it continues to build on a hyper-localised approach.
The 9.9 Super Shopping Day was also a major success in Thailand. Alongside with more than 100 influencer posts on Instagram from the 1st to 11th September, Shopee Philippines attracted huge engagement from redirecting followers on social media to their app. Special highlights include a countdown and live streaming marathon with local celebrities to celebrate the Super Shopping Day. The number of hours spent watching Shopee Live streams increased 3 times from an average day, with 2.5 times more items purchased during live streams.
At the same time, Shopee Vietnam partnered with famous Vietnamese singers to perform at the countdown party which is shown exclusively on Shopee Live. By focusing their marketing efforts on celebrity endorsement, Shopee was also able to reach a much larger audience in Vietnam.
Takeaway: With the localized marketing campaigns, Shopee was able to engage their local customers and achieved considerable success in their target market. Taking time to learn about your target market and customizing your campaigns is a powerful tactic your platform targets different markets with distinctive needs and purchasing behaviors.
It is not surprising that Indonesia is a hot market for eCommerce players as the industry is expected to reach an impressive compound annual growth rate of 34.6 percent by 2021, driven by the use of the internet and a growth in GDP (Gross domestic product). With several big players in the country such as Shopee, Lazada, Bukalapak, Tokopedia found its own way to get their brand noticed.
Unlike many eCommerce players that run their influencer marketing campaigns all year round, Tokopedia’s strategy is to push their marketing effort at the most suitable time. With the outbreak of Covid-19, early 2020 witnessed a surge in online shopping in Indonesia due to social distancing. From March 2020, Tokopedia launched their influencer marketing at scale in a bid of dominating social media in Indonesia in this special period. They partnered with hundreds of Indonesian influencers to promote their platform and spread the word for a variety of promotions such as free shipping, flash sales and cashback to urge customers to shop on their website.
According to our Influencer Marketing Report, Tokopedia was among the most active brands on social media in Indonesia in the first half of 2020. Their hashtags #tokopediabebasongkir (Meaning: Tokopedia free shipping) and #friendsofTokopedia were among the top trending hashtags in Indonesia in 2020. While other players such as Lazada and Shopee also pulled off their marketing campaigns during these times, Tokopedia managed to gain the most attention by using influencer marketing campaigns.
Takeaway: Tokopedia’s campaign is a good example of choosing the right time to launch their campaign. For startups or small businesses who have limited marketing budgets, it is important to determine the right timing to push your marketing effort so as to stand out against competitors in a crowded market.
With 35.4 million online shoppers and the growth rate of 30% year-on-year, Vietnam is another attractive eCommerce market in Southeast Asia. Among many influencer marketing campaigns launched by local and foreign players, Tiki, a strong Vietnamese-owned eCommerce platform, managed to stay ahead of the curve with its unique influencer marketing campaign.
Starting from May 2019, Tiki officially launched its campaign “Tiki Di Cung Sao Viet” (Meaning: Tiki with Vietnamese artists). With the purpose of increasing brand awareness via Youtube and reaching out to Millennials and Gen Z consumers, the campaign banked heavily on sponsoring more than 50 music videos produced by popular Vietnamese singers. All the videos have Tiki’s logo in the beginning and scene of Tiki staff delivering a blue gift box to customers. Among the music videos they sponsored, there were 37 videos on Top Youtube Trending and 16 music videos on Top 1 Youtube Trending!
Within a year, Tiki’s blue gift boxes and its brand name appeared in more than 2 billion times, reaching 300-400 million users. According to Tiki’s representative, Tiki’s blue gift boxes and its brand name appeared nearly 600 million times on YouTube which is 20 times more effective compared to other regular forms of advertising in this platform. The success of the campaign helped Tiki’s average access reach over 33 million, ranking 2nd nationwide after Shopee in the second quarter of 2019.
Takeaway: One of the factors contributing to this campaign’s success is the right choice of social media platform. According to Vietnam Internet Statistics 2019, Youtube was the most active social network in Vietnam in 2019, followed by Facebook, Zalo and Instagram. While other players such as Shopee and Lazada focus their promotion efforts on Facebook and Instagram, Tiki made the right choice by leveraging Youtube as their main marketing channel.
Another lesson we can learn from “Tiki Di Cung Sao Viet” is the hidden message behind their campaign. By sponsoring to help Vietnamese artists create high-quality music videos, Tiki claimed its position as a Vietnamese platform in the local eCommerce market. They care about the community and are willing to take action to support its local culture and values.
Zalora is a fashion eCommerce platform that has a strong presence in the eCommerce industry in Southeast Asia market. Part of their marketing success lies in their innovative and dynamic marketing campaigns that successfully engage with young audiences. A typical example of such a strategy is their TikTok Hashtag Challenge to drive awareness and new shoppers during their fashion festival held in Singapore in 2019.
In September 2019, Zalora ran a 6-day hashtag challenge called #Zstylenow. The challenge invited TikTok users to make a “Z” signal with their hands, which would trigger the guise of an instant outfit change. The challenge was spread widely in the TikTok community as it is easy to follow and participants had a chance to show off their fashion styles to the followers. The campaign also involved the participation of many hot TikTok influencers such as bunnyleehyorin, jaylyn_shuting. According to TikTok’s report, the challenge garnered over 990k views, 1.1K+ user-generated videos and 19.75% brand takeover CTR.
Besides driving many app installs and new shoppers, the #Zstylenow challenge succeeded in attracting a lot of people to visit “ZALORA Fashion Festival” and to share the event on TikTok.
Takeaway: Trendjacking is the recipe behind Zalora’s successful campaign. Back in 2019, when there were not many brands in Southeast Asia paying attention to TikTok, Zalora was among the first brands to adopt the TikTok Hashtag Challenge. The ability to spot and quickly adapt to new trends has helped Zalora become a popular eCommerce platform, especially among young consumers. It is important for brands to anticipate and quickly respond to new trends in order to engage and generate conversation with online audiences.
As Instagram has recently released its newest feature, IG reels, check out How Is It Different From TikTok and How Brands Can Run Successful Campaigns with It.
One of the most effective ways to enhance a customer's shopping experience is live-streaming. While most of the live-streaming platforms these days focus on game and entertainment, the integration of eCommerce and livestream has already become a hit in China a few years ago.
In 2016, Alibaba officially launched its eCommerce live-streaming channel Taobao Live. In the next 3 years, Taobao Live became a hit with a rapid increase in the number of users and revenue. According to Taobao’s representative, in 2019, there were 60,000 live-stream shows hosted daily by Taobao influencers or Taobao shop owners. One of the hottest influencer partnerships ever seen on Taobao Live is the collaboration between Viya Huang and Kim Kardashian.
Last year, American media personality Kim Kardashian partnered with Viya Huang, Chinese’s top Taobao livestreamer, to introduce her beauty brand KKW Fragrance to the Chinese market. All 15,000 bottles were sold out within minutes of live streaming, according to the Alibaba report.
Takeaway: In the future, live-streaming will continue thriving in China with the entry of new platforms such as Red Live-streaming, Kuaishou (Kwai), the second hottest video app in China, and WeChat.
Apart from Chinese platforms, Amazon has also decided to enter the live streaming space with the launch of Amazon Live as live streaming is an effective way of enhancing online shopping experience. Facebook is also currently trialing its new feature, Facebook Marketplace Community, which enables merchants to sell items on a livestream. With that in mind, live commerce is definitely an emerging trend we can expect to change the landscape of the world’s retail industry.
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