The onset of Covid-19 has ravaged the retail industry, with lockdown measures and greatly restricted face-to-face service in stores. This has resulted in more consumers turning to online platforms to meet their shopping needs.
Shopee’s growth over the past five years can be attributed to many factors, including localised Customer-to-Customer (C2C) marketplaces as well as an emphasis on social commerce.
However, Shopee’s marketing tactics has set it apart to become one of the biggest player in the ecommerce space, beating out giants such as Ezbuy and Lazada to become the leading e-commerce growth in Southeast Asia.
A hyper-localized approach
Shopee operates in a highly diverse environment and takes a hyper-localized approach to cater to the demands of each market. In short, hyperlocal marketing is the strategy of targeting prospective consumers located in a highly specific area
From the start, Shopee saw mobile as an up-and-coming trend for the e-commerce industry. Online shopping was thus adapted to fit the changing needs of younger users who grew up comfortable with using their mobile phones. For instance, Vietnam’s millennial population of 30% use their mobile phones to shop online. To capitalize on this, Shopee launched a month-long campaign, using popular vietnamese actor Son Tung as the forefront of the advertisement. This was similarly replicated in other countries such as selected Thai-norwegian actress Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund and local celebrity Gurmit Singh or more familiarly known as “Phua Chu Kang” (PCK), here in sunny Singapore. Shopee’s chief commercial officer Zhou Junjie believes that PCK’s traits deeply resonate with Singaporeans, whilst embodying Shopee’s key values.
Love it or hate it – it’s stuck in your head.
Shopee is not adverse to using celebrities to promote their brand with unconventional and eye-catching antics. In 2019, Christiano Ronaldo was featured dancing to a remix of Baby Shark, which is said to have tripled their sales.
Once again, Shopee’s advertising team has managed to pull off another unique marketing campaign. Cringe-worthy for some, but weird enough to make you look twice.
With it’s attention-grabbing new jingle in tune with ‘Baby Shark’, PCK sings the Super Shopping Day song with gusto, paired with very eye-catching 9.9 dance moves.
Shopee’s popularity is further accentuated with its integrated marketing campaigns using a mix of online and offline channels. PCK’s face is plastered across MRT platforms, buses, taxis as well as promoted extensively to amplify the 9.9 shopping festival.
At the end of the day, what Shopee is trying to do is keep their brand names in our minds. With millions of adverts vying for our attention on the internet, advertising isn’t just about the product – videos want to be entertained. PCK’s song and dance can be seen as comical or borderline annoying. But you can’t deny it attracts your attention.
It also makes the brand distinct. Every time you hear the Baby Shark tune, or see a rerun of Pua Chu Kang, you will be reminded, almost dreadfully of the Shopi-pi-pi-pi-pi song.
The success of Shopee’s advertising campaign can be seen in the 11.11 and 12.12 versions, with PCK again as the brand’s ambassador.
Livestream like Lazada
Just like their fellow competitor Lazada, Shopee has too approached micro-influencers and even local university students to host live streams. Reaching out to smaller icons is not only cost-efficient, but are also reaching out to millions by connecting and engaging newer communities everyday.
Live streaming has allowed brands to directly promote vouchers and highlight featured products. Kind of like the TV infomercials we used to watch, but with a question and answer function. This makes buying more personal and interactive, and building a lasting relationship between seller and buyer.
Whether you love or hate the brand, you might find yourself casually scrolling through the site one day and maybe even buy a thing or to.