Weekly Focus APAC: EY Taps Blockchain for Wine Distribution in Asia

In this edition of Weekly Focus APAC: EY Taps Blockchain for Wine Distribution in Asia; Retail Ads Share Dips in AU; Most Singapore Consumers Opt For E-payment; Digital Fuels Growth for Vietnam Retail Group; Two Partners to Facilitate Singapore-Hong Kong Cross-Border QR Payments; and Marketplace Optimisation Agency Launches in Vietnam.

EY Taps Blockchain for Wine Distribution in Asia

EY has built a blockchain solution that will enable Blockchain Wine to assess the quality, provenance, and authenticity of new and vintage wines that are targeted for sale in Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand.

Tapping its own OpsChain Solution, EY developed TATTOO Wine Platform that had been deployed at Asian wine cellar, The House of Roosevelt, which would use the blockchain-based e-commerce platform to sell wines directly from vineyards to hotels, restaurants, cafes, and customers.

TATTOO, which stands for Traceability, Authenticity, Transparency, Trade, Origin, and Opinion, will eventually contain more than 5,000 labels including bottles from France, Italy, Australia, and South Africa.

It will also facilitate the use of tokens to buy and sell wine, schedule and track shipments, monitor warehousing and delivery, and arrange for and track insurance coverage of wine shipments.

For instance, the traceability functions in the TATTOO Wine blockchain allow participants to track each batch of wine and monitor as well as verify the authenticity and handling of the wine. Each bottle of wine will be “tattooed” with its own unique QR code. By scanning the QR code, participants can access information such as vineyards’ names and locations, details such as the types of fertilisers used to grow the crops, and how each batch is transported for processing and delivery.

The smart contract capabilities also provide a decentralised system for agreements between producers, logistics operators, and insurance providers, cutting down on time and certifying all data was available to participants.

Retail Ads Share Dips in AU

Retail accounted for 8.2% of general display ad revenue in Australia for the first quarter of 2019, down from its 11.3% share in the previous quarter.

Automotive, Real Estate, and Finance led the spending in general display ads, contributing 37% of the market value, according to IAB Australia’s Online Advertising Expenditure Report. The three sectors grew their share for the first quarter, climbing from 33.4% in the previous quarter, as did the Government segment, which accounted for 5% of general display ad revenue in the first quarter, up from 3.1%.

Overall online ad revenue in Australia grew 4.9% year-on-year to hit AUD$2.2bn (£1.2bn) for the quarter, fuelled by growths in mobile, video, and classified advertising at 26%, 15%, and 7% respectively.

In keeping with previous trends, online ad spending dropped 4.3% from the previous quarter, following higher seasonal demand in December.

IAB Australia CEO Gai Le Roy said: “There is little doubt the advertising market is tough across all platforms, but within the breadth of digital advertising there were still bright spots. The classifieds sector again had a strong March quarter and the display market saw an increased share for government/political spend which will continue into the June quarter numbers. Yet again, video continues to gain share in the display sector.”

Search directories contributed 44% of overall online ad spending to hit AUD$977.6m (£532.86m) for the quarter, while general display accounted for 36% at AUD$799M (£435.51m) and classifieds accounted for 20% at AUD$426.2m (£232.31m).

Advertisers preferred tapping media agencies when purchasing display ads viewed on content publishers’ inventory, with 58% of such ads bought via agencies either through an IO or non-programmatic method.

Fewer Singapore Consumers Choosing Cash for Food Delivery

Less than 5% of Singapore consumers opt for cash-on-delivery when they order via food delivery apps, with more than 60% tapping their credit cards.

Another 28% would choose in-app wallets, which was the second-most popular option, according to a survey released by PayPal. Conducted by SurveyMonkey, the study found that seven out of 10 would place a food delivery order at least once a week. The survey polled 154 Singapore respondents.

Where e-government services were involved, again, credit cards were the most popular payment mode at 55%, followed by 21% who chose digital payments. Another 12% preferred GIRO (General Interbank Recurring Order), with less than 10% going for cash.

PayPal’s Singapore country manager Rakesh Krishnamuti said: “We believe that as the nation digitalises and e-government services become more integral to the lives of Singapore residents, cash can be gradually phased out. We are also observing that digital payments are on the rise, not only in Singapore, but in many parts of the world where increased mobility is driving the adoption of digital payments.”

He urged digital payment providers to work amongst themselves and with government agencies to improve interoperability for consumers and businesses.

Krishnamuti said: “With the rise of the superapps catering to everything from transport to shopping to food, and consumers looking for seamless, one-stop-shop experiences, it is even more important for payments to disappear into platforms.”

Digital Fuels Growth for Vietnam Retail Group4C Insights DTC Daily

Vietnamese retail management group Seedcom has attributed its 520% revenue growth over four years to its “new retail” model, in which it aims to help traditional small and local business operations embrace digital technologies and omnichannel customer engagement.

Citing figures from Deloitte, Seedcom said online shoppers in the country spent an average of USD$250 (£196.83) each last year, almost doubling that of 2017. The local e-commerce industry was expected to grow further, with online business-to-consumer sales reaching USD$10bn (£7.87bn) by 2020 and accounting for 5% of total sales in Vietnam.

To support local companies through these market changes, Seedcom said its new retail model looked at adapting technology and best practices in their operations, with the aim to deploy a new platform that facilitated omnichannel customer engagement, inventory and supply chain management, and payment services.

Seedcom’s technology arm Haravan will also be introducing a new advertising platform next month, called Hara Ads, that is touted to use artificial intelligence to help businesses advertise their products and services across multiple websites, including social media networks Facebook and Google.

Two Partners to Facilitate Singapore-Hong Kong Cross-Border QR Payments

Liquid Group and Joint Electronic Teller Services (JETCO) have teamed up to enable cross-border QR payments between Singapore and Hong Kong, supporting such payment apps of both vendor’s partner banks used in both markets.

With the partnership, customers of Liquid’s partner banks will be able to pay for their purchases via their respective QR payment apps at participating merchants in Hong Kong. Similarly, customers of JETCO’s participating banks can also make payments using their QR bank apps at participating merchants in Singapore.

The two partners will offer additional value-add services to help their respective member banks deliver new services to their customers. In addition, the QR platform would enable merchants in Singapore and Hong Kong to launch marketing and promotional campaigns with participating payment apps, without the need for verification at checkout.

Marketplace Optimisation Agency Launches in Vietnam

RED2 Digital has launched its marketplace optimisation consulting and digital marketing services that target e-commerce operators based in Southeast Asia.

The consultancy said brands needed a clear strategy instead of simply listing their products online and waiting for customers to appear. “They need a tailored approach that specifically targets Southeast Asia’s largest marketplaces Lazada, Shopee, Amazon, and many of the local players such as Tiki in Vietnam,” RED2 said.

It noted that these marketplaces, similar to search engines, applied sophisticated algorithms to show customers what products their peers were searching for.

Using traditional SEO practices and specialised marketplace optimisation techniques would be best approach to gain a competitive advantage, RED2 said.