Ecommerce has tremendously grown in the last two years, driven by lockdowns, social distancing, and remote work. A couple of years ago, only 17.8% of global sales were made from online purchases. That number is expected to reach 21% in 2022, a 17.9% increase over two years and hit 24.5% by 2025, according to e-commerce platform Shopify.
In the Philippines, consumer behavior likewise dramatically shifted to online. Fifty two percent of Filipinos shopped online through apps and websites for the first time during the pandemic and 43% of them made their first online purchase using social media channels, according to Visa’s latest Consumer Payment Attitudes study.
In addition, online shopping activity has also increased during the pandemic based on the study. About 9 in 10 Filipinos have increased their online shopping activities on websites or apps, while 7 in 10 are shopping more on social media channels. More than half of the consumers are also more inclined to shop from large online marketplaces (53%) and home-based businesses (61%).
With these developments, Philippines’ e-commerce revenue is projected to reach $20.182 million in 2022 and post an annual growth rate of 17.45% until 2025, according to Statista.
While consumers are now consumers digitally engaging with brands across multiple channels to get information and shop i.e., website, social media, marketplaces, the challenge for marketers is knowing the precise moment and messaging that will convert a target audience into a customer. Not only that — in today’s hyper-social, digital world, pinpointing this vital information can seem hopeless. As a customer traverses the online and offline world, he expects a seamless interaction with the brand; but with multiple channels and data silos, there is always a marketing vacuum that makes it impossible to get a unified picture.
This is where marketing technology (also known as martech) is seeing a coming-of-age as consumers and customers migrate online. Gartner define martech as a set of software solutions used by marketing leaders to support mission-critical business objectives and drive innovation within their organizations.
Martech solutions focus on content and customer experience, advertising, direct marketing, marketing management and marketing data and analytics. Marketers use martech to collect customer data, create customer personas, communicate with customers, distribute, and schedule content across multiple platforms, identify and nurture leads, monitor customer service and feedback, and track campaign success and predict key segments to focus on.
Forbes listed five criteria marketers should look for in a martech solution.
• First is the capability for integrations. A martech solution is “a series of integrated tools that work well together,” Look for solutions that have APIs that integrate with your core technology like your CRM, marketing automa-tion, website optimization and analytics platform.
• Second is the capability to provide the single source of truth for data. “To maintain data integrity and limit confusion, look for a single source of truth, or a centralized data collection stream that offers a complete customer view.”
• Third is the capability to provide real-time information. “One of the benefits of a martech is the ability to get real-time customer information and act on it. This kind of data-driven marketing gives brands a competitive edge as they work to meet the needs of customers faster and more efficiently than others.”
• Fourth is the capability for data to provide attribution. “To make sure you’re getting the best ROI, you need access to data that tells you where your money is best spent. In other words, you need data that attributes your suc-cess to a specific marketing initiative. Make sure your stack provides this kind of insight so you can spend your budget wisely.”
• Fifth is the ability to reach customers anytime, anywhere: Your martech solution “should include tools to help you engage customers across multiple channels.” You want to create a holistic, omnichannel experience for cus-tomers that provides the right information at the right time on the right platform.
One martech player that recently achieved unicorn status is Insider, a business-to-business software-as-a-service (SaaS) martech firm headquartered in Singapore. Following a $121-M Series D with $1.22-B valuation, Insider is enabling more than a thousand leading brands like Avon, PUMA, Lenovo, Etiqa, Philips, Toyota, Watsons, Burger King, IKEA with its personalized, cross-channel customer experience platform. Insider’s AI-powered platform brings together the most extensive set of personalization capabilities with emerging messaging channels like WhatsApp, Facebook, and SMS. It coordinates all offline and online data into a unified platform that allows enterprise market-ers to connect customer data across channels and systems to reveal interests and preferred touchpoints; predict future behavior with an AI-powered intent engine, such as which customer segments are likely to convert, buy, and churn; and orchestrate and deliver individualized, optimized experiences to customers.
“We’ve been blitzscaling remarkably in the past three years and achieved 3X growth. In the same period, our global team grew by 300%, and our customer base continues to increase,” said founder and CEO Hande Cilingir.
It’s an opportune time that we are holding a virtual “CX Forum with Southeast Asia’s Unicorns” on April 21, 2020, where speakers from Unicorn companies will their insights on humanizing customer experience with the power of personalization through martech.
Marketing and CX practitioners who are interested to join can send me an e-mail at email@example.com.
REYNALDO C. LUGTU, JR. is CEO of Hungry Workhorse Consulting, a digital and culture transformation consulting firm. He is the chair of the ICT Committee of the Financial executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is fellow at the US-based Institute for Digital Transformation. He teaches strategic management in the MBA Program of De La Salle University. The author may be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org