The year-end shopping marathon in Southeast Asia (SEA) has emerged as a supersized opportunity for retailers and brands to grow sales. But this has its challenges.
Customers in SEA — more than those in other markets — shop across multiple channels. Specifically, 76% of shoppers in SEA use five or more channels like search, video, and social media to shop during peak sales events,1 as compared with 56% in Australia2 and 58% in South Korea.3
So although retail e-commerce sales in SEA are set to grow by 18% in 2023 and top the world for the third year running, retailers and brands have to navigate a more fragmented landscape to defend and grow their share of wallet.
It doesn’t help that the shopper loyalty reset underway is pronounced during the year-end shopping marathon. Take Indonesia, for example. Of its shoppers, 67% are open to trying new brands during the year-end double-digit sales4 compared to just 59% during Ramadan and Hari Raya Puasa sales earlier in the year.5
With the right solutions, however, retailers and brands like you have opportunities to influence customers and win mindshare and sales as you ramp up for SEA’s year-end shopping marathon.
To start, take a leaf from the playbook of two leading retailers and brands, Lazada and TRESemmé. They used AI-powered marketing solutions to navigate customers’ complex shopping behaviors and win their preference across channels to supercharge sales.
Be hyper-relevant across channels, stages of purchase with AI
A critical way to rise above the fragmented shopping behavior is to show up early and consistently for customers across the channels they shop, with the information they need. The reason: 71% of shoppers now start their purchase journey without fixed ideas about what they’ll buy.6
To influence customers’ preferences at every stage of the purchase journey, whichever channel they’re on, e-commerce platform Lazada adopted an AI-powered, full-funnel marketing strategy for its 6.6 sales event this year.
Its aim: establish itself as the beauty and fashion platform of choice among female shoppers and drive sales.
Lazada’s AI-powered, full-funnel marketing strategy for its 6.6 sales event drove:
For a start, its “LazBeauty” and “LazLook” campaign creatives spelled out why it’s the go-to platform for beauty and fashion shoppers — they’d be “spoiled for choice” by its huge assortment of products. The creatives also showed how shoppers would find endless inspiration from the myriad fashion styles it stocked, and enjoy great value with fast, free delivery, stackable discount vouchers, and exclusive deals.
To drive awareness and consideration of its attractive offerings, it used high-impact ad formats like skippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, and Discovery ads. And as the sales event drew closer, Lazada ramped up its use of AI-powered ad solutions to reach customers across all channels with its relevant products.
With Search ads, it was able to dynamically show up on all new and unexpected queries from shoppers likely to buy its products. And by pairing the ad solution with Performance Max, it was able to find untapped opportunities across all of Google’s channels, including Search, YouTube, Display, and Maps, using just one campaign.
Use AI marketing to maximize collaborations with YouTube creators
Another way to build momentum and maximize sales during the year-end shopping marathon is to tap influencer marketing. Afterall, creators are key to exercising behavioral levers like authority bias and social proof, which help you win preference among shoppers.
You can work with content creators to promote your products, and boost the video content with AI-powered ads.
For haircare brand TRESemmé, integrating AI ad solutions into its partnership with YouTube creators proved a winning formula for its 12.12 sales event last year in the Philippines, where shoppers say YouTube is the No. 1 video platform in helping them decide what to purchase.7
By partnering with YouTube creators and using AI ad solutions, TRESemmé drove:
The brand, owned by Unilever, had YouTube creators review its products in their own creative styles and show how the product is part of their daily life. For example, creator Laureen Uy, who’s known for her dramatic hair color transformations and who was blonde at that time, promoted the Blonde Brilliance product that helps hair color last.
The creators' product reviews were told in long-form video and YouTube Shorts, and the content was housed directly on their channels to feel more authentic than an embedded ad. The videos were further promoted with relevant lineups so that the content would show up when people watched videos related to the brand, product, and seasonal moment.
The videos were also promoted with AI-powered Video action campaigns which added product feeds, below each video, that took viewers to the online shop directly. This meant every video became a digital storefront, moving shoppers from increased brand awareness to purchase.
Brand Performance Lead Carlos Corrales of Unilever Beauty and Wellbeing Philippines says: “Google’s AI-powered ad solutions let us tap into the influence of creators to drive consideration and performance, and close the loop to purchase.”
As the year-end shopping marathon ramps up, grow your slice of the sales pie with AI-powered ad solutions. Use them to help you win customer preference and sales across channels, throughout the funnel, and in partnership with YouTube creators.