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Local Brands & Celebrity Tie-Ups Win Retail In An Era Of Lockdowns

Twitter research sheds light on changing shopper habits in 2020

Twitter today reveals the results of its Global mCommerce 3.0 study. From  January to August 2020, Twitter alone saw more than 1 billion Tweets from 37 million unique authors, around  shopping globally1. But what might this mean for consumers and brands in the coming months?  

How have Shoppers Changed? 

Against the backdrop of social distancing and lockdowns, shopping has inevitably evolved in 2020, flocking in  their droves to online. The study, which surveyed more than 50,000 people on Twitter across 27 markets,  showed that purchasing priorities shifted dramatically in 2020.  

Big ticket items – such as holidays and cars – were put on hold, while categories such as fashion and accessories,  takeaway delivery and beauty products saw a big up-tick in purchase intent2. Meanwhile, moving into 2021,  people expected to either maintain or increase their spending in household cleaning, health supplements and  entertainment subscriptions3.  

However, perhaps more than the change in categories was the fact that consumers were expecting more from  brands – in terms of both offering new or different products, as well as messaging. Even in regions with  comparatively fewer restrictions, consumers around the world expected they would be spending more time on  at-home activities. 

What This Means for Brands 

● An Opportunity for Local Players 

This could be a big moment for smaller, local challenger brands who have proximity on their side. The study  found that 74% of people on Twitter were planning to purchase more from local brands in the future4– rising  to 83% amongst people on Twitter in Southeast Asia. 

● The Rise of Shoppertainment 

Live Streaming too became a key facet of the virtual retail arena in 2020, particularly in Southeast Asia and  China, helping buyers connect with products and see them in (digital) action. For example, Shopee Live saw  120 million views in Indonesia in April this year – marking a new record for the brand. 

Some brands went further by bringing in celebrities to add fervour and fanfare to their virtual events.  @tokopedia, for example, indulged BTS fans across Indonesia by engaging the boy band in an exclusive  concert and interviews as part of their #TokopediaWIB show. 

On Twitter, there was a 75% YOY increase in live video minutes watched as of Sept 20205

● Accelerating A.I. Adoption 

Consumers settling into higher expectations of convenience, speed and choice will be a lasting effect of  COVID. With shoppers staying within the confines of their homes, A.I. has been brought in to boost their  experience – for example, in the form of chatbot services, analysing customer comments, product  recommendations and providing personalised services to online shoppers. For example, FoodPanda in  Singapore has begun trialling drone deliveries amid the spike in demand for food delivery. 

Embedded Tweet: https://twitter.com/kaifulee/status/1276296067898695681 

Social Commerce – Be Part of the Conversation 

Commenting on the research, Martyn U’ren, Head of Marketing Insights & Analytics, APAC at Twitter said:  “While these innovations are exciting, it does of course mean very little if your brand remains unknown. Especially  when physical options are out, being part of the conversation that’s happening online enables brands to not only  build and maintain their presence, but also build rapport with their audiences.” 

Twitter is increasing in value as a place for people to review and discuss products – with 81% of people looking  for opinions on products, services and brands on Twitter, and 71% of users sharing their own recommendations 6.  In addition, over 41% of daily Twitter users are actively looking for updates from their favourite brands 7.  

Join the conversation, and connect with the community today.

1Twitter Global Mcommerce 3.0 study, Aug 2020, N=52,650 respondents across 27 markets  2Twitter Global Mcommerce 3.0 study, Aug 2020, N=52,650 respondents across 27 markets  3 Twitter Global Mcommerce 3.0 study, Aug 2020, N=17,161 respondents across 19 markets

4Twitter Global Mcommerce 3.0 study, Aug 2020, N=52,650 respondents across 27 markets 

5Twitter Global Mcommerce 3.0 study, Sep 2020, N=52,650 respondents across 27 markets 6 Kantar News, Discovery & Influence on Twitter, Dec 2017, Global  7Twitter Global Vertical Survey 2020, Aug 2020, N=52,650 respondents across 27 markets

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