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Worth Watching: Online marketplace domination, live streaming and social commerce

Source: straitstimes.com

Formerly an uncharted territory for many retail businesses, the online space is quickly becoming the place to be. As pandemic lockdowns shut brick-and-mortar stores in phases globally, shoppers moved their consumption of goods and services online. E-commerce players turfed out physical retailers, with each reporting major spikes in platform and user growth. 

For Lazada Singapore, the platform’s monthly sales hit nine figures for the first time in June and saw its highest traffic in September. It broke new records in November with more than one million visitors on Singles’ Day on Nov 11 – the world’s biggest sales event – alone. Regionally, it saw more than 100 million users access the app in July. 

Fellow online marketplace, Shopee, saw users here spend more time in-app with an average of 40% more a week. Direct engagement between brands and sellers also rose, with over 200,000 messages sent daily on average; and a hike of 40 times in the number of Shopee Live streams from brands and sellers. 

Over at Zalora, more than two million users downloaded its app, with the share of new consumer contribution to revenues jumping by more than 100%. Growth in online shopping in Singapore also “skyrocketed by 109%”, according to Zalora’s December Trender Report. Consumers are now more confident and open to buying things online, a habit they developed during the lockdown. 

Regionally, Shopee observed an increase in live streams of up to 70 times. During its 12.12 shopping festival on Dec 12, the platform clocked 2.7 billion plays on in-app games and 450 million views on Shopee Live over three weeks. 

It is predicted that influencers and content creators will continue to shape shopping behaviour. These new influencers — normal people who built their own brands through stimulating content on social media — are more relatable than traditional celebrities. About 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase online based on social media referrals. 

In general, creating an engaging and personalised experience for the shopper is critical to standing out in a crowded marketplace. This is because today’s users are more social and they demand a more meaningful and entertaining online shopping experience.