26 January 2016

Online browsing on the upswing before Chinese new year: Criteo

The window display at Shanghai Tang, Raffles City, Singapore, ahead of the year of the monkey on February 8, 2016.
The window display at Shanghai Tang, Raffles City, Singapore, ahead of the year of the monkey on February 8, 2016.

· Criteo data reveals that e-commerce transactions spiked by 40% two weeks before Chinese New Year in 2015, and three in 10 of the transactions were completed on a mobile device.

· More than 45% of online transactions in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan are now happening on mobile

· Mobile optimisation, a ‘click-and-brick’ approach to consumer engagement and instant delivery services key to improving sales before, during and after Chinese New Year in 2016

Criteo, the performance marketing technology company, has released seasonal data in anticipation of Chinese New Year, to help e-commerce businesses better engage consumers during the festive season. The company’s deep dive into consumer browsing and buying activity revealed that in the two weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, consumers browsed retail products more actively than before – a 25% increase in items added to shopping carts.

The results also showed a 40% increase in e-commerce sales during the same period, of which, three in 10 transactions were completed on a mobile device. For companies focused on attracting and retaining consumers during this time period, Criteo advises that online advertising campaigns should be fully optimised across desktops, laptops and mobile devices.

The findings are based on an analysis of 174 million online transactions in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Vietnam before, during and after Chinese New Year in 2015.

“Due to the traditional practice of wearing new clothes to symbolise a new beginning, consumers are doing a tremendous amount of online shopping two weeks before Chinese New Year. Based on 2015 data, sales on mobile, in particular, have also hit record numbers. This spending period presents retail companies with a huge opportunity to engage consumers through personalised and relevant online advertising,” said Yuko Saito, Managing Director, Criteo Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan.

In its eCommerce Industry Outlook 2016, Criteo shares three additional trends that will impact Asian shoppers during the Chinese New Year season:

Smartphone shopping will continue to gain ground

Smartphones are the first point of Internet access or brand interaction for many consumers and are therefore playing a key role in driving e-commerce growth. In Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, India and Taiwan, on aggregate, more than 45% of online transactions are now happening on mobile, compared to 29% in the second quarter of 2015. Indonesia was the highest at 56%, followed by Singapore at 45%.

Retailers will see a high web influence on their in-store sales

With the majority of consumers now researching online before or while visiting a store, understanding a shopper’s online activity is vital. According to Google, eight out of 10 shoppers with a smartphone are using it inside the store to help them with product research and price comparisons, with most of them eventually completing a transaction at the physical point of sale (POS). Retailers can acquire a better view of the customer’s shopping journey by connecting with them via branded apps or beacon technology, before matching each customer’s email ID with loyalty programmes at in-store POS terminals.

Instant delivery services will become common

Order fulfilment will be a big focus for retailers in 2016, with many offering delivery options to match Amazon’s Prime Now service. Prime Now, a service via mobile app that is available to Amazon Prime members, offers free delivery within two hours in selected areas, seven days a week. Both online and “click-and-brick” retailers will be trying this strategy through specialised third-party e-commerce logistics providers. Faster delivery at lower charges will also drive growth of cross-border shopping as consumers will not mind buying from other countries to save money.

“During special occasions like Chinese New Year, we observe instances of intensive, last-minute shopping, where consumers take less time to consider a purchase and require products to be delivered on short notice for personal use or gift-giving. Taking a three pronged approach – engaging consumers on the mobile web or on mobile apps, leveraging consumers’ web browsing data to deliver personalised in-store and mobile shopping experiences, and investing in instant delivery services will be crucial to increasing sales conversions,” said Saito.


Read more about Criteo’s Seven Big eCommerce Trends for 2016

Read the TechTrade Asia blog post about Criteo's State of Mobile Commerce report for Q315