E-commerce and social media will continue to fill the gap left by the loss of in-store retail as the return to post-Covid ‘normal’ will be a slow process, said Arthur Altounian, the vice president of client strategy and growth at INCA in the Asia Pacific.

Social commerce has become the second-most dominant form of shopping in South East Asia and is set to be worth $2.6 billion within two years. Influencer marketing once dismissed as an add-on to a digital strategy, now drives billions of brand conversations and generates millions in sales, and marketers must evolve and shape their influencer investments aggressively.

Here are what brands can include in their influencer marketing strategy to stay ahead of their competition.

1. Immerse in the metaverse.

The metaverse has the potential to transform lives and could reshape social media. According to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, users will be fully immersed in the interactive digital space of the metaverse content, possibly opening up a whole world of interaction and communication for influencers.

Influencers can recreate their real life in a parallel virtual world, enabling brands to flex their creative muscles and pioneer new ways of speaking to consumers. Influencers will be the natural candidates to attract consumers to a brand’s virtual space.


2. Purchasing in-platform.

In-platform purchasing on social media is set to skyrocket to a $3.37 trillion business globally over the next eight years. It is no surprise that Meta/Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest are all heavily investing in creating more paths to purchase on their platforms. TikTok World, for instance, is launching upcoming features, including ‘Instant Pages’ and ‘Pop-up Showcase’, which could drive customers’ purchase decisions.

According to R3, South East Asian consumers value hyperlocal marketing. Celebrity and micro-influencers in each regional market can generate more trust in their brand recommendations and drive online sales.


3. QVC goes digital

The 1980s and 90s in-home shopping experience may be making a comeback through social media. In China today, live stream shopping accounts for 9% of e-commerce sales. While Southeast Asia is yet to see this take off, there are some key innovations for marketers to be aware of.