ZALORA’s advice to adapt to constantly changing consumer demands
Based in Singapore, ZALORA is an online retailer launched in 2012 in seven markets: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines and Vietnam. It is part of the Global Fashion Group, which operates in 21 markets. This year it won bronze for best mobile payments integration and gold for e-commerce and retail at INTERACTIVE-MARKETINGAgency of the year award 2021.
In an interview with INTERACTIVE-MARKETING, Christopher Daguimol (photo), head of corporate communication at ZALORA, explained the changes he is witnessing in the e-commerce of mobile marketing, how consumer expectations have changed and his plans for the year ahead.
This interview is part of the series of interviews with the winners and finalists of MARKETING-INTERACTIVE for the Mob-Ex Awards 2021. To find out more about the awards, Click here.
When it comes to mobile marketing, what changes are you seeing?
Daguimol: While the pandemic has boosted digital adoption and appetite for online / mobile shopping and entertainment, most Southeast Asian consumers are now using at least one digital channel when shopping. While this has brought wisdom, consumer expectations have also changed, reflecting the diversity of consumers in the region.
For example, while digital payments are gaining traction among Southeast Asian shoppers, the region’s payment preferences remain as diverse as its population. As such, we see platforms offering a range of payment options to their customers – from contactless options to Buy-Now-Pay-Later programs. This helps brands improve the shopping experience for their customers through a seamless shopping journey, and also goes a long way in building customer loyalty and brand loyalty through rewards and incentives.
Examples of such benefits include exclusive and limited-time promotions, as ZALORA did when launching GrabPay and Atome on the platform. This was then linked to subsequent campaigns to promote consumer adoption – during ZALORA’s recent big fashion sale, customers were encouraged to try PayLater by Grab by offering various prizes, including 1,000,000 points. GrabReward.
Another key change to note is the rise of social and live commerce. With the gross market value of social commerce tripling between 2019 and 2020, brands are increasingly turning to platforms such as live streaming and KOL marketing to create a social and emotional experience for their customers online. This has been especially important for Gen Z shoppers who make up 69% of the region’s digital consumers, whose appetite for interactive content and experiences will continue to shape the region’s industry for years to come.
To meet this growing demand, ZALORA launched our own live streaming platform, Z-Live, in June 2021 – providing our customers with a carefully curated content platform that facilitates real-time interactions between them and ZALORA ambassadors.
How have consumers’ expectations changed this year? What did you do to rotate?
Daguimol: The events of the past year have had a significant impact on the retail industry, forcing many physical stores to close, leading to a massive shift to the online shopping space, with people passing most of their time indoors or at home. . Throughout this period, as demand has remained resilient, consumer needs and expectations have evolved over time, and we have seen this through the changing nature of popular categories and products over the years. past year.
In response to retail intelligence and consumer insights gathered through TRENDER, a Data by GFG product, we have worked to tailor our offerings accordingly and have introduced new brands and products to our platforms to meet growing consumer demand in categories such as Athleisure, Sports, and Luxury. We recently launched our annual ZALORA South East Asia TRENDER report which highlights the key trends we have seen in 2021, while revealing our predictions on what will happen in the fashion and fashion retail scene. lifestyle in 2022, based on consumer transactions and research data.
Likewise, the stronger consumer sentiment about the importance of sustainability has led to an increase in demand for sustainable products over the past year, with 60% of our customers indicating that they would be willing to pay more for such products. In response, we launched a sustainable collection of our own private labels – Origin by ZALORA and Earth by Zalia for our modest clothing offering, as well as the launch of our Earth Edit category, allowing our customers to shop from a wide range assortment of sustainable fashion items, including pre-beloved assortments, while also allowing us to make significant progress towards the goals set out in our five-year sustainability strategy.
Mobile is one of the key priorities for brands today. What advice would you give to brands to get rid of the clutter?
Daguimol: Customer focus remains the key to attracting and engaging with customers, and brands should look for ways to tailor their offerings to meet the ever-changing tastes of consumers. For example, the cell phone became the medium of choice for millions of Southeast Asians after the start of the pandemic, as people were confined to their homes and unable to shop in person. Therefore, brands have worked to reinvent their mobile apps and websites to improve the shopping experience for their customers, whether through leveraging existing assets or introducing entirely new features.
That said, the focus should always be on quality rather than quantity.
Rather than introducing a whole host of features or content that may not match consumer preferences, brands should strive to create deeper engagement with their customers by cultivating touchpoints and organized content that resonates. with what they represent.
ZALORA introduced new content offerings in 2021, ranging from interactive live shopping through Z-live to initiatives such as the launch of its podcast series, ZALORA Talks, which explored trending topics in the fashion industries and lifestyle and provided an opportunity for the community to listen to ideas. industry experts and KOL around topics close to their hearts.
What are your plans for the coming year?
Daguimol: Next year is a BIG year for ZALORA – we celebrate our 10th anniversary in March! ZALORA will always embrace the limitless mindset and with it lies our passion for innovation and for delivering mind-blowing moments to buyers and our partner brands.
First, ZALORA will continue to bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences through the integration of innovative technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. For example, our Virtual Dress Room feature provides customers with the traditional in-store experience from the comfort of their own homes, which is particularly useful as social distancing measures remain standard practice. Such tools not only improve the overall shopping experience, but also pave the way for our partner brands to leverage expensive technology at a scalable rate.
Second, ZALORA recognizes that social commerce is here to stay and will therefore continue to organize and create personalized content for our audience through Z-Live. This enables constant real-time interaction between ZALORA and our customers, while complementing the company’s existing suite of customer-centric features including Get the Look, Follow the Brand and other hyper-personalized offerings.
Third, ZALORA will continue to champion sustainability in fashion across all touchpoints in our business, to make a positive difference in the way we operate. We recognize our unique position in the market which allows us to influence consumers and the fashion retail industry to operate more responsibly. Our aim, therefore, is to help shape a conscious fashion ecosystem, while connecting people to the limitless world of fashion.
Finally, we will continue to develop our marketplace activities and complement our extensive portfolio of more than 3,000 local and international fashion and lifestyle brands, providing customers with even more offerings that match their needs and preferences. We are also looking forward to being an e-commerce enabler for some of the world’s largest brands, who can leverage our wealth of business intelligence and data-driven offerings to help capture the boom in demand in the world. region, while simultaneously navigating its complexities.