With the pandemic still looming over the minds of consumers, mentions about safety made up almost 50% of all online conversations related to top concerns and priorities in the Asia Pacific region according to a new report from Digimind.

Even when governments began announcing an initial easing of lockdown measures locally, the study found that 77% of consumers in APAC still prefer staying at home as opposed to heading out.

Mentions about “staying home” exceeded mentions about “going out” by between 1.4 - 6.2 times in the Asia Pacific region. Social mentions around “staying home” were boosted by both consumers adjusting to the “new normal”, and brands capitalising on the stay-home trend in APAC. Most mentions related to “staying home” focused on ways to maintain a certain quality of life despite being deprived of the usual routine, while also preserving mental wellbeing during this unique time.

With the “new normal” underway, consumers are choosing alternative solutions that allow them to be at home while supplementing their past schedules and fixes, be it shopping, socialising, or seeking entertainment. This trend is expected to continue for months to come, as consumers remain wary of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Likewise, brands have started marketing and repackaging products and experiences as something that can be replicated “at home”, in a bid to stay connected with customers.

When discussing availability (19.0%) and price (15.5%), consumers still expect a standard in product or experiences that justifies the amount spent, pandemic or no pandemic.

Social media and streaming channels key to bridging gaps

Analysis by Digimind of brand-related mentions, as well as posts around online entertainment and media streaming, revealed Flipkart, Lazada, and Shopee as some of the standout brands during the period studied. These are the companies that managed to continue connecting and engaging with their customers in the absence of large-scale, physical events:

Motorola’s launch of #TheUltimateOne on 16 June was done exclusively on Flipkart. The tech brand’s announcements on Facebook helped build anticipation among followers, as well as increased reach and mentions on 15 June.

G2A, an e-retail site specialising in gaming products, used Twitch, a streaming platform popular with gamers and eSports enthusiasts, to host a “meme” stream which earned over 140,000 views, and around 1,400 likes.

Riding on the wave of customers turning to e-retail for their shopping needs, Lazada launched the #LazadaSGGreatestSale and #10MillionVouchers to entice more customers to shop on Lazada in the absence of physical sales promotions.

Shopee Philippines leveraged two things near and dear to their audiences: K-pop and live streams. The e-commerce platform held a week-long event in partnership with local influencers to feature content based on a K-pop theme. This live stream of content catered specifically towards K-pop fans earned almost 5,000 social interactions on its announcement post on Facebook.

Olivier Girard, head of APAC, Digimind said that as the new normal looks to linger for the foreseeable future, businesses are forced to adapt to new consumer and consumption trends that have emerged.

“Firms who have lagged with digitalization are now finding themselves struggling to keep up with the pace. For example, a newfound emphasis on consumer engagement via live streaming emerged as a way for brands to stay top of mind and sustain interest and drive sales in the absence of brick and mortar stores,” he added. “Being extra vigilant in understanding consumer needs, capturing new concerns that have surfaced during the pandemic, and acting swiftly on them, will be key to not only surviving 2020, but thriving beyond it.”

The Finding Certainty in Asia Pacific’s “New Normal” with Consumer Trends and Top Brands on Social report analysed key trends in 653,428 mentions around the COVID-19 pandemic and lifting of lockdown measures, as well as additional data around post-lockdown activities, perspectives, and consumer brands. Brands studied include Disney+, Flipkart, Lazada, Netflix, Nike, Puma, Shopee, Taobao, Under Armour, Viu, and more. 

Sourced from Digimind