There is no doubt that the huge paradigm shift undergone with our latest technology has paved way for huge boost in online E-commerce, upsurging consumer procurement trends, as well as their retail experience. The Singapore territory has capitalized hugely on the online shopping festivals as well as livestreaming that have currently emerged as the latest trendsetters for core E-Commerce players.
As observed through the Consumer and Competition Commission Singapore (CCCS), it has been detected that the E-Commerce podiums have gradually kickstarted off as a solitary player within the single market segment, as well as incrementally enlargement into other similar market arenas. Along the pathway, these podiums face core roadblocks in attaining grave mass of numerous client base on board.
Few of the strategies being in active is inclusive of complementing online industries with physical brick and mortar stores, utilization of online reviews and ratings, feedback systems for clients, inclusive client defence policies, and incorporation of offline expertise into online understandings to restructure client’s assurance and trust in the platforms.
Moreover, the platform user survey conducted by CCCS revealed that while the clients exhibit a confident degree of podium loyalty due to non-price factors and strategies employed by E-Commerce platforms, budget endures to play an imperative role in appealing and retaining clients as a noteworthy number of clients currently practise multi-homing.
With this, E-Commerce podiums device utilization of acquisition strategies engaging in hard work to adapt offline clients into online clients.
These findings can be decisive in rebuilding the retail industry amidst deteriorations in retail sales.
Recently, SingStat has conveyed an 8.6% fall in retail sales in October 2020 on a YoY basis, marking an enhancement over the 10.7% YoY decline recorded in September 2020. The assessed total retail sales value in October 2020 was about $3.3b, of which online retail sales made up a projected 10.5%.
Despite where the segment stands at the instant, there have been noticeable efforts made by brands to ricochet from plummeting in retail sales.
Capitalizing on Digital Ecosystems
Livestreaming and online shopping festivals have also become a trend this year, partially because of community boundaries and physical isolation measures imposed to alleviate the spread of COVID-19.
One of the firms that cantered on this trend is E-Commerce and technology specialist Alibaba Group, which started its 11.11 Global Shopping Festival in November 2020 with emphasis on serving more merchants tap the outpouring in Chinese customers’ mandate for cross-border online shopping as an outcome of the enduring global travel limitations.
As, according to Alibaba Group chief marketing officer Chris Tung stated that: “We have designed this year’s 11.11 festival based on this understanding of consumer behaviours and preferences, optimising the kinds of products being offered to shoppers, as well as developing more innovative ways to engage our shoppers.”
The event was prolonged to 11 days this year to provide merchants exaggerated by the pandemic a longer period to interact with and create up relationships with a superior audience.
As Alibaba endures to cater to newer clients in providing a better fetching shopping understanding, livestreaming shop took the centre stage of this year’s 11.11. About 300 celebrities and 400 firm executives held distinct livestreaming sessions for the initial time during the festival, in calculation to sessions hosted by top livestreamers.
According to a report by KPMG and AliResearch, livestream spending has already taken firm roots in China’s E-commerce countryside, with the nation’s livestreaming E-commerce market assessed to expand to $204.48b
Tung cited the appeal of livestreaming lies in the faith between merchants and clients, and how clients can have authentic reviews of the merchandize on the spot.
“Livestreaming e-commerce adds value by its ability to showcase products in more detail, and offers consumers a better shopping experience than through the usual static online browsing,” he said.
A report from Knight Frank also distinguished that establishments have been progressively looking to hire influencers or opinion leaders to retail them merchandize online, with some investing in their own in-house ecosystem of live streamers to create a hybrid online marketing platform.
“Brands that can amuse and interrelate effectively with their clients online through entertaining and witty banter, livestream explanations and data- sharing, are perceived to be more dependable and in tune with their followers as compared to those which use digital platforms purely for commercial transactions,” according to the report.
Recently, CapitaLand and Sea Group, the parent company of E-commerce giant Shopee, has also accumulated the Alliances for Action whose objectives to pioneer new operating models to help Singapore retailers digitalise, expand their revenue streams, and export their brands overseas.
This is done to address ever-evolving client preferences in the existing COVID-19 landscape.
Adapting to the shifting trends
Both participating for the initial time in the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival, brands Irvins and SecretLab distinguished that they fared well in the event. Both companies witnessed that their sales surpassed their potentials as more clients turn to livestreaming studios to make their procurements instead of just looking the online store, which has opened novel doors for merchants like them.
SecretLab saw a gigantic surge of 13x in their 11.11 sales associated to a regular day. Its co-founder and chief executive officer Ian Alexander Ang stated that many customers are investing in home workstation upgrades which include a relaxed and loyal chair amidst work from home arrangements being the norm globally.
Meanwhile, Irvins’ debut witnessed their sales double and clients triple as compared to Tmall’s 618 mid-year sale earlier this year.
“Livestreaming helps to drive deeper brand awareness and product storytelling. Most importantly, it brings a strong level of credibility to our products, which translates to more buyers and sales,” stated the Irvins general manager Raymond Lo.
Irvins stated that with more minor and medium enterprises and global brands being introduced into mainland China, it requires to endure maintaining close ties with its platform managers to outline unique selling points and develop differentiating strategies that will extend their brand exposure.
“We need to be agile and be flexible in our branding and marketing strategies, be open toupgrading our digital skills and product showcases, and be aware of consumer trends and adapt to them accordingly,” Lo added.
Despite this evolution, an American Express survey showed over half of resident shops in Singapore are apprehensive of that their corporate cannot stay open for more than six months if their sales do not recuperate to pre-COVID levels by end-December.
In addition, nine out of 10 of those surveyed also stated that their commercial sustainability is likely to be discreetly to severely impacted if tourists do not return by mid-2021.
With this, the survey noted that three business model changes are probable to continue beyond the pandemic, which include interaction to clients via social media (83%), providing digital and/or delivery options (81%), and compliant to more payment types (80%).
Staying at the top
Amidst a more digitized retail industry, retailers are commended to renovate their trades in order to stay on top. An Accenture survey revealed that 71% of Singapore clients would be more likely to buy from a brand that focuses on better experience using immersive technologies such as augmented and virtual reality and 3D content.
Moreover, about three in five (59%) felt they would better remember brands that regularly engage them with immersive technologies. With brands and clients also generally having a positive experience in the 11.11 festival last November, innovations introduced in the event will likely to endure.
Over 470 brands each generated more than $204.47m (RMB100m) in GMV in the event, a sign that merchants have adapted well to the changes and the value creation facilitated by the event’s digital transformation. As more brands transition to selling online, Alibaba believes that this form of E-Commerce will become even more popular in the coming years.