After years of creating localised short-form digital content for audiences, Singapore digital content company SGAG took a dive into the world of shopping and entertainment with Southeast Asia’s leading eCommerce platform, Lazada. The partnership, which was the first of its kind, involved a nationwide, millennial-targeted, content-to-commerce strategy and resulted in a surge of overwhelming success.
Named “KTHXBUY” – a variant of SGAG’s signature catchphrase, which is a portmanteau of OK, thank you and bye – the campaign combined retail with entertainment through fun, trendy and entertaining video content and experiences for young consumers on Lazada Singapore’s Weekly Bazaar LazLive sessions.
These sessions were hosted by SGAG’s seasoned content creators Maddy and Zina along with a rotation of special guests, and shoppers who tuned in enjoyed performances and special deals across a variety of product categories, including apparel, technology and cosmetics.
Southeast Asia Buys Into Shoppertainment
While shoppertainment has long been regarded as a pillar in China’s eCommerce market, brands, sellers and consumers in Southeast Asia only really started to experience its impact last year during the pandemic when it helped brands and sellers continue engaging with consumers virtually while allowing consumers to experience new levels of retail therapy from the comfort of their homes.
Even for Maddy, who has plenty of experience in event hosting, the Lazada and SGAG partnership proved to be “boundary-pushing.”
“We’re constantly challenged to find creative ways to weave in brand and product traits, and it has to go beyond just talking about the brand points. We’ve introduced the aspect of talking about products through games on livestream or sometimes even through character role plays to bump up the entertainment level and keep audiences engaged for livestream sessions,” she explained.
Zina added that it was critical to build rapport and trust with the audience from the get-go.
“When it comes to purchasing decisions, consumers will place more trust in people they’re familiar with, and as creators ourselves, we want to maintain that level of trust with our fans. And the only way to do it is through sustained, repeated sessions and engagement. It takes time to build that!”
The results spoke for themselves. The campaign originally ran for the three months following 12.12, and while this time is not usually regarded as a busy shopping period, awareness for Lazada’s Weekly Bazaar grew each week, driven by the deals as well as the entertaining content created by SGAG.
The surge was led primarily in the 18 to 35 age group – SGAG’s core target audience – who were drawn by the hosts and ingenuity of the content.
Creative Connections Between Brands and Consumers
For a lot of brands, the appeal of a dedicated weekly segment on LazLive conducted by SGAG’s well-known content professionals proved especially attractive since finding good on-air talent can often be challenging, and many businesses may also not be ready to run their own livestreams.
Since the campaign’s launch, there’s been a spike in clients reaching out to enquire about and engage in opportunities to participate as a key brand on Weekly Bazaar. Most expressed interest in seizing the top-of-mind recall associated with this campaign as well as the various conversion opportunities through placements on the livestreams and app interface. Homegrown bubble tea brand LiHO, for example, ramped up its participation in Lazada’s Weekly Bazaar and used the SGAG LazLive segment to drive engagement for three new drinks.
“This is a strong testament that the partnership has made an impact and hence brand partners are approaching us to be part of it,” said Shannon Sia, head of partnerships at Lazada Singapore. “This is why we are extending the partnership for another 12 weeks to bring more exciting brands into the campaign and to push shoppertainment to the next new level.”
Chua Yuxuan, head of eCommerce and partnerships at SGAG, said that his team was incredibly excited about the Lazada partnership being extended to July.
“Surveys we conducted showcased positive feedback and results, and I think it serves as a good baseline,” he said. “There’s definitely a lot more room for this model to grow, to continue tapping into the capabilities of both brands to drive a uniquely Singaporean shoppertainment experience, and hopefully soon, for the region as well.”
Lazada pioneered shoppertainment in Southeast Asia, and the success of its partnership with SGAG proves that the trend is here to stay. Whether it’s through live shows, organic social posts, sustained engagement, expert evaluations or other forms of content, creating new forms of entertainment and retail experiences will become increasingly important for those looking to connect with consumers.
Sherwin Loh is head of Singapore’s public relations team and vice president in the regional team.
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