Consumers of today want a personalized shopping experience. Source:

Facebook provides insights to help businesses cash in on potential of social commerce

IN the run-up to Christmas, the amount of purchases made online increases at a powerful rate. Facebook provided insights into the increased purchasing behavior of consumers in Southeast Asia in Q4, and how best to utilize this information in order to cash in on the untapped e-commerce potential of the platform.

Malaysians purchase through Facebook 88 percent more in Q4 on average than the rest of the year. For shoppers in Thailand, this was 70 percent; Singaporeans 61 percent; and shoppers in Indonesia purchasing 48 percent more in Q4 than the rest on the year.

According to Nicole Tan, the country director of Facebook Malaysia, the route to growing your business is to create purchase intent rather than waiting.

“Businesses that connect with people before they even begin looking are going to be ahead in the race. This is about spotting ‘unexpected customers’ who aren’t even searching for your products and services,” said Tan.

Facebook has shared five key insights into consumer behavior during the year-end period in 2016 to help businesses better reach their audiences this time.

Mobile-first marketing

Mobile is the device of choice when it comes to online shopping via Facebook in Southeast Asia. From October to December last year, two in three online purchases through Facebook in Malaysia were made on mobile. Of these purchases, 61 percent were made by millennials. The percentage of purchases made by millennials was highest in Vietnam at 79 percent.

With this in mind, it is important your businesses marketing efforts speak the language of mobile. Research has revealed online ads targeted toward millennials have to be around five to six seconds to be effective, a sharp contrast from the traditional 30-second commercial seen on TV. In order to best grab the attention of consumers, brands should curate short and snappy content.

The early bird catches the worm

When it comes to Q4, shoppers do not hold back. As early as September, online purchases through Facebook in Singapore were 22 percent higher than the yearly average. So businesses who have built their brand and finalized marketing strategies ahead of peak shopping periods are often shown to come out on top.

Brands who have shown to have impacted conversion results through strong brand campaigns include Lazada, and Tesco Lotus Thailand.

In order to be in with a chance to lead the way among your competitors, your business should be starting brand campaigns well ahead of peak shopping periods in order to start driving sales.

Join the conversation

Brands should utilize ‘social listening’ in order to connect with consumers. Source:

The shopping journey of a consumer often involves conversing with friends and family, sharing the latest products, or even communicating with businesses. On Facebook last year, users in Singapore and Indonesia started posting more about shopping as early as October. In Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, shopping-related posts were shown to increase in November. These shopping-related Facebook posts reached a peak in the week running up to Christmas.

Your business should be utilizing the power of social listening. According to a blog by Hootsuite, social listening involves “strategically listening for the right moment to join the conversation” and presenting yourself as a solution to a current problem. This in turn, will drive sales.

End-of-year rush

The top shopping months for Facebook are November and December, so businesses should prepare accordingly. For shoppers in Vietnam, purchases made through Facebook were notably higher in these months compared with the yearly average. In November, it was 78 percent higher, with December being the most popular shopping month with 96 percent.

December 12 seems to be the most popular shopping days, with 2.7 times more online purchases in some countries across Southeast Asia, compared with the yearly average.

New Year shopping

Though shopping habits are more prolific in the months leading up to Christmas, it does not stop in December. The shopping season extends into the New Year, presenting businesses with an excellent opportunity to upsell products that perhaps complement items people have purchased or even gifts they have received. In January last year, online purchases made through Facebook were 36 percent higher than the 2016 average.

“With Southeast Asia being pegged as the new frontier for e-commerce, it is critical for consumer goods businesses to act now and start implementing the right e-commerce strategy for their brand or category,” added Tan.