MeltwaterA new report from Meltwater, titled E-commerce in SEA: Supercharging Holiday Sales Through Social Media, analyzed consumer sentiment during the year-end shopping period last year to help ecommerce companies better reach their audiences.

The report found that Christmas shopping pulled in 56.6% of chatter, while Black Friday represented 22.5% of buzz. Fast-growing Singles’ Day – a shopping holiday started by internet company Alibaba in 2009 – is credited with kicking off the nearly two-month shopping period and accounted for 20.9% of social media conversations.

Within the region, Indonesia drove the highest volume of conversations (57%), which isn’t surprising considering the country’s increased internet penetration and smartphone usage in recent years. Philippines and Malaysia represented 30% and 12% respectively, while Singapore brought in 1% of the buzz.

While the top brands varied from country to country, it’s clear that the marketplace model emerged the real winner. In Singapore, Amazon dominated social media with 51% of online conversations; Shopee led the buzz in Indonesia; Qoo10 was the most talked about in the Philippines; and Lazada emerged triumphant in Malaysia.

Most importantly, the report holds useful tips for marketers that help to fulfill consumers’ high expectations, stating brands must:

1. Leverage data: Holiday shopping can be stressful and leave consumers feeling overwhelmed. Thankfully, technology has made it easier for consumers to research, discover and purchase products from the comforts of their homes. However, there are challenges here, too, such as slow website loading and clunky point-of-sale systems that ruin the customer experience. According to research from the Boston Consulting Group, businesses in Asia Pacific are losing vast amounts of business to the tune of US$325 billion each year because of this. To reduce friction in ecommerce, brands must leverage cross-device data to stay on top of shoppers’ needs and foster even deeper connections.

2. Start holiday marketing early: Meltwater’s data shows that consumers start discussing their holiday shopping well in advance. The brands that captured the most share of voice and positive sentiment are those that reached shoppers as early as October with targeted offerings and promotions. There’s a lot at stake for retailers during the holiday season and leaving advertising till the very end could cost dearly.

3. Focus on personalized promotions: We already know that one size does not fit all. According to Epsilon Research, 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company if it offers a personalized experience. By leveraging data, retailers can better understand individual shopper behaviors and attitudes to make personalized and relevant offers, which will move the needle on their business.

4. Reward loyal customers: In the quest for new customers, do not neglect loyal ones. Satisfied consumers are more likely to bring repeat business. Using purchase history, online and social behavior, brands can engage and reward customers, resulting in deeper loyalty and genuine one-to-one relationships.

Since the festive e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is worth billions of dollars, we can just recommend trying to meet your consumers’ demands and expectations, besides considering Meltwater’s simple tips.

By MediaBUZZ