Green Asia

Commentary: Retail festivals like the Great Singapore Sale have lost their relevance – it was a long time coming


The good news is that 93 per cent of APAC consumers still plan to treat themselves to at-home and out-of-home experiences, products and services across general categories including clothing and apparel, wellness and leisure in the next year – a clear indication of strong demand for commerce, according to research from professional services company Accenture. With the year-end shopping season upon us soon, it’s time for businesses to refresh their shopper engagement strategy for the long term.

First, maintaining relevance for today’s consumers means aligning offerings with their purpose in ways that are authentic to the brand. Look beyond a purely transactional relationship and engage and understand customers differently. Brands must shift from a linear concept of the customer journey to a life-centric one.

The beauty category is especially successful in this regard. The digital-native beauty brands have great design, purpose, creativity and personalised experience. Every point of the consumer journey is curated and planned. From in-store experience beauty tutorials to live streaming events, it is as if they are selling to a specific individual.

Kim Cattrall’s Netflix comedy-drama Glamorous aptly captures what brands need to realistically consider. Cattrall, known for her portrayal of Samantha Jones in Sex And The City, plays a beauty mogul trying to transform her legacy beauty brand in Glamorous. The show has admittedly gotten mixed reviews, but the themes it expounds on – mobilising multiple channels such as social media, offline activations, live streaming and influencer engagements – provide some lessons for retailers.

Second, use technology and creativity to bring back the fun in shopping.

Shiseido tapped shoppertainment, live streaming and product innovation to better engage consumers to strengthen brand experience while at the same time engaging in promotions such as China’s 618 shopping event. At a store opening in Hong Kong, Shiseido used mini-games to deepen engagement with consumers, allowing them to diagnose their skincare conditions and learn about its new serum. The company also partnered with well-known department stores such as Isetan Japan to reach consumers shopping from their homes via live streaming.

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