More on How to Win Ecommerce in SE Asia: Toeing the Line and Facing the Facebook musicMore on How to Win Ecommerce in SE Asia: Toeing the Line and Facing the Facebook music
Last week, we told you about how you need a high-functioning mobile presence if you want to win at ecommerce in Southeast Asia. This week, we’re going to tell you about how social media is a big part of that.
Remember all those smartphone owners walking around staring at their screens? They may look isolated, but they’re not. They’re some of the most connected people in the world. The fact is that Southeast Asians are sophisticated users of social media.
Toeing the Line – Literally
In Thailand, for example, literally half of the country uses Line. That’s 33 million registered users … 33 million potential customers. In 2013, two of the top 10 most Instagrammed places in the world were in Thailand. Smart retailers are looking for ways to tap into that social vibe and convert that to sales. Retailers who aren’t already on Line, Facebook and Instagram had better get there.
As the digital commerce research firm Econsultancy said in a report:
“… (T)he ability to communicate quickly and share information almost instantly means that ecommerce companies that operate in the region will also need to become socially savvy quickly in order to earn any degree of credibility.“
Supply chain executive Scott Gillies added in a chat with Ichainnel:
“…Retailers who exceed at monitoring their online channels will be ahead of the game and will best be able to maximize their sales.“
Social ecommerce – When Social media meets shopping
In social ecommerce, social media and purchasing mesh and, ideally, envelop a shopper in an all-encompassing user experience. Friends and fans talk about stuff they like, rate, share, and sell it to each other.
Line has already turned into a formal and informal marketplace, with the option to buy groceries in Thailand as well as vendors redirecting shoppers from their Instagram accounts to Line. More than 5 million Line accounts there participate in mobile flash sales.
And more than 10,000 Facebook pages in Thailand sell products, some making as much as $100,000 monthly, according to the Econsultancy report.
This informal ecommerce trend has surged in Southeast Asia in part due to the failure of established players like Amazon and Ebay to make the necessary adaptations for the local market. This phenomenon of web behemoths having something of a blind spot outside their comfort zones in North America and Europe isn’t limited to Southeast Asia – In Australia, niche social networks such as Foodie and Polyvore may come even more into play, posing a challenge to established players like Facebook and Twitter.
Our friends at Floship hvea recently published new data (Feb 2017) regarding the latest trends in Social Commerce. Check them out here.
What you need to do to stay on top
- Establish social media presences (if you’re not there already)
- Increase and maintain credibility
- Monitor online channels and track trends effectively to see what customers want
- Create relevant content to engage your customers
- Make sure customers can click through to buy / contact you