With the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro less than a month away I was inspired to write this post on how South East Asian brands can win part of the huge haul of Gold that is available on Messaging Apps & Social Media.
Let me explain:
WeChat leads the way
There has been much written about the methods that WeChat uses to Commercialise their platform & drive revenue opportunities for the brands who utilise WeChat to interact with their customers. Connie Chan from US investment firm Andreessen Horowitz wrote in 2015 one of the best summaries of WeChat that I have seen – When One App Rules them All: The Case for WeChat and Mobile in China.
This article by Connie is an excellent introduction to WeChat and the different features of the platform & I would highly recommend this article to anyone that is interested in where Messaging in general is headed. One point however, really caught my attention & that is that the ARPU (Average Revenue per User) for WeChat is estimated at $7 USD per user. Now to put that into perspective with 697M users worldwide as of April 2016 this equates to 4.879B USD worth of Commerce (Gold) that is being transacted over WeChat each year.
How much Gold is there with Facebook Messenger?
With all the talk about WeChat, the two dominant Messaging Apps worldwide are actually WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger who are both owned by Facebook. With 1B & 900M users respectively their market share is much bigger than WeChat & is still growing strongly. Although, neither has found a way to drive Commerce like WeChat just yet but there is no doubt that this strategy is in Facebook’s plans with the launch of Facebook Messenger for Business.
Now, whilst the lofty heights of $7 USD ARPU might be out of the realms of possibility for Facebook Messenger at the moment, let’s take a more realistic goal of $2 USD ARPU. With this figure there would potentially be $1.8B USD worth of World Wide Commerce up for grabs on Facebook Messenger. In South East Asia there is estimated to be approximately 240M Facebook Users. So in SE Asia the Gold haul is potentially $480M USD.
How do you win the Gold?
So how do Brands in South East Asia get their hands on some of the Gold available on Facebook Messenger?
On behalf of Facebook, I recently ran a 30-min Webinar on How South East Asian brands can leverage Facebook & Facebook Messenger to increase sales and customer Satisfaction. In this webinar, I discussed some of the interesting nuances of Digital Consumers in South East Asia and how these consumers are better adapted to utilise Mobile Digital channels and Messaging than their counterparts in other parts of the world.
During the webinar, I referenced a very interesting paper that was produced by Bain & Company entitled “Can Southeast Asia Live Up to Its E-commerce Potential?”. Bain partnered with Google to survey more than 6,000 consumers in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. Some of the more interesting facts to come out of this study were:
- >80% of Consumers in South East Asia use Social/Messaging to research & engagewith Sellers
- Social makes up 30% of all digital sales in South East Asia
- Consumers are highly interactive over Social with Brands in South East Asia
- Price is not always the winner – it is the Customer Experience that counts.
In Summary, those Brands in South East Asia that Engage over Social & Messaging with the right tools/processes are the ones that will walk away with the Gold!
Is there a secret training plan to win Gold?
So is there a secret training plan that South East Asian Brands can utilise to engage with their customers over Social & Messaging?
YES, there is. It’s called the Definitive Guide to Social Customer Service. This is an excellent vendor agnostic guide to this space & what brands should consider before rolling out a Social Engagement strategy. If you are a South East Asian brand wanting to get a piece of the Gold on offer in Facebook & Facebook Messenger, then I would strongly recommend this guide as your first step in the planning process.
So if you want the Gold in the South East Asian ecommerce Olympics, don’t forget to engage with your customers over Social & Messaging. The secret training plan may give you some good pointers and perhaps you may start to push your own ARPU to Olympian heights!
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