Weekly Focus APAC: TV Commerce Untapped Potential for Asian Brands

In this edition of Weekly Focus APAC: TV Commerce Untapped Potential for Asian Brands; Singapore Event Tickets Now On Sale via Facebook; Thai Retail Marketing Platform Unveils Mobile Game; Singapore Tech Mall Reopens With New Retail Experience; and 7-11 Japan Customers Lose Money in Mobile Payment Security Breach. 

TV Commerce Untapped Potential for Asian Brands

Some 29% of Asian consumers may be interested in buying products seen on TV, while 40% say they are open to such concepts of ‘shoppable TV’.

With a potential market size of almost 70%, this segment remained largely untapped and could present the next revenue opportunity for OTT (over-the-top) service providers and advertisers, according to Brightcove’s annual Asia OTT TV market report. In Singapore, 61% were open to the idea of buying products seen on TV.

Conducted by YouGov, the study polled 9,000 respondents in nine markets across the region including Indonesia, India, Thailand, and the Philippines. Some 1,000 respondents were from Singapore.

Brightcove said: “For consumers, advertising taps into the power of discovery and awareness. With OTT, ads can be part of the OTT content experience. Combining the two means OTT TV commerce can form part of a dual-prong ad strategy.

“OTT service providers can serve ads during breaks, embed products within the content, and make those products interactive – providing an option to purchase products during a paused program or after the show ends. This ad strategy can help OTT service providers open up new revenue streams and diversify current ones. By marrying TV with commerce and adding interactive elements, OTT service providers can explore the measurable impact of branded content, which can give viewers the ability to either seek out more information about the product onscreen or click to buy.”

Brightcove further noted that branded content enabled OTT service providers to go beyond native OTT advertising as well as offered advertisers another way to market their product and uncover users’ buying preferences. In addition, all of these could be carried out with a trackable conversion rate, it said.

(Source: Brightcove)

According to the survey, 31% of Singapore consumers would watch ads as a tradeoff to consume content for free, though 19% preferred to pay nothing without watching any ads. Another 17% would pay a higher fee to consume ad-free content.

Some 19% in the city-state said they would definitely sign up for a lower priced monthly subscription package that served ads, alongside 58% who said they were open to such hybrid models, depending on the price point.

Thirty percent described one ad per commercial break as acceptable, while 20% would be fine with two ads per break.

Asked how much they were willing to pay for OTT services, 24% stated less than USD$1 (£0.80) a month, while 22% would fork out up to USD$4 (£3.20) a month. Another 25% would pay between USD$5 (£4) and USD$9 (£7.19) a month.

Amongst those who subscribed to multiple OTT services, 77% said they did so because content was not available via a single OTT service, while 45% wanted more content options.

Brightcove’s Asia sales head Greg Armshaw said: “Singaporeans are more price sensitive than any other consumers in the region…[which] could be due to being wary about incremental costs to subscribe to OTT services. OTT TV service providers in Singapore need to focus on not just a compelling content library, but also price plans with high level of flexibility to opt-in and opt-out of subscriptions with ease.”

Singapore Event Tickets Now On Sale via Facebook

Event organisers and attendees in Singapore can now sell and buy tickets directly through social media platform, Facebook, if they tap Eventbrite’s ticketing platform.

The global events and ticketing technology vendor extended its Buy On Facebook feature in Singapore, enabling showgoers to buy their tickets within the social media app. This integration could drive ticket sales by 20% and double the number of registrations for free tickets, said Eventbrite, citing March 2017 data from Facebook that compared conversion rates between users who remained on its medium and those who were redirected to another site to register or purchase tickets.

With millions of users on Facebook, the integration would also serve as an event marketing tool, where show attendees could more easily share information on events, said Eventbrite.

Its Asia-Pacific general manager Phil Silverstone said: “Reaching new attendees and providing a frictionless purchase experience is one of the greatest challenges event professionals face. Buy on Facebook solves both of these problems for event creators, providing a two-step native checkout experience that accelerates the conversion of browsers to buyers seamlessly.”

The Eventbrite feature is also available in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US.

Thai Retail Marketing Platform Unveils Mobile Game

HotNow has unveiled the soft launch of Evergleam Hill, a mobile game app that lets consumers accumulate credits for discounts, vouchers, and giveaways.

The Thai retail marketing tech vendor said the app had been running in test mode over the last few weeks, chalking up more than 3,000 downloads. Merchant partners on Evergleam Hill included local coffee chain D’Oro Coffee, Baskin-Robbins, and Southeast Asian e-commerce operator Lazada.

The role-playing game features a mining village where players are rewarded with branded prizes, discounts, and promotions that can be used at participating merchant stores or online marketplaces. Players can mine their gold chunks for HOT tokens by exchanging them at the game’s bank and use these to purchase in-game items.

In the near future, users will also be able to sell their coupons and discounts to other players via the game’s marketplace, according to HotNow.

Available on Google Play and Apple App Store, Evergleam Hill was designed as an in-game advertising tool and, in the past weeks, dished out some 1,000 coupons. These collectively offered a discount value of more than THB2.5m (£64,738).

HotNow’s CEO and co-founder Nithinan Boonyawattanapisut said: “By successfully bridging the worlds of gaming, retail, and virtual currencies, we’ve been able to leverage the existing synergies within these industries to the benefit of our merchant partners and users alike.”

HotNow’s group CTO Benjamin Scherrey added that the team was working on a full global launch and offer an “unprecedented” form of mobile advertising.

Scherrey said: “We are excited to be working with merchants that have taken a progressive approach to consumer engagement and we look forward to supporting them along with our community of game developers as we work to revolutionise the in-game advertising landscape.”

Singapore Tech Mall Reopens With New Retail Experience

After three years of redevelopment, Singapore’s well-known tech mall Funan has opened its doors again to shoppers, promising to feature new retail technology and customer experience.

Drivers, for instance, can book one of 36 designated parking lots a day in advance via the CapitaStar app and be guided to their allocated lots via the mall’s video-based smart car-parking facility. Access to the Makers Studios has also been automated via QR codes, according to Funan’s developer CapitaLand.

It added that the two office blocks at Funan utilise facial recognition to provide turnstile access to workers entering the building.

The mall also taps video analytics to measure and analyse footfall throughout Funan and stores within the building. Furthermore, in-store smart terminals capture transaction data that retail tenants can use to tweak their product offerings and improve customer experience.

Some 40 smart store directories placed across the mall are powered by sensors, which enable them to make product recommendations based on shoppers’ demographic profiles. Visitors grabbing a bite at the KOPItech food court can place their orders via Facebook Messenger or at the self-service kiosks, which can facilitate various e-payments including cryptocurrencies.

A click-and-collect drive-through service is slated to launch by year-end, featuring a robot-enabled shopping experience, said CapitaLand.

Its Singapore retail managing director Chris Chong said: “The reimagined Funan relaunches the mall as a social retail space for discovery, learning and shopping, underpinned by a digital layer of customer experience to enhance satisfaction.

“With this configuration, CapitaLand aims to support retailers in embracing opportunities in the brave new world of bricks-and-clicks by attracting and growing a responsive and vibrant community, powered by an ecosystem of sensors and analytics to deepen consumer insight.”

7-11 Japan Customers Lose Money in Mobile Payment Security Breach

Some 900 customers of 7-11 in Japan have lost ¥55m (£404,642) due to a security loophole in the convenience store chain’s new mobile payment service.

The breach occurred just days into the launch of 7Pay at more than 20,000 outlets across the country, during which customer accounts were hacked and used to make illegal transactions.

The security loophole was reportedly the result of a poorly built password reset function that enabled requests for password reset to be sent to any email address, instead of the one registered to the actual account owner.

Seven Pay, which operates the 7-11 chain in Japan, said it would compensate customers affected by the fraudulent purchases.