01 June 2023 22:05



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Mobile shopping growth is dialing up in Asia Pacific’s emerging markets, outpacing their more developed counterparts, according to the latest Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey.

Consumers in the Philippines (53.5 percent) and Malaysia (55.6 percent) top the region with the highest year-on-year growth in mobile shopping, recording increases of 12.6 percent and 10.1 percent respectively.

Meanwhile, consumers in India (75.8 percent) retain their crown as the region’s top mobile shoppers for the second consecutive year, having made at least one purchase through their mobile phones in the three months preceding the survey. China’s mobile shoppers remain a close second at 71.4 percent, followed by Thailand at 65 percent. On the flipside, more advanced markets like Japan (31 percent), Australia (26 percent) and New Zealand (26 percent) are keeping their mobile purse strings tight.

Asia Pacific’s penchant for mobile shopping has also fueled a steady increase in digital wallet adoption, with more than one in five consumers (22.3 percent) using such payment methods. The region’s consumers are also embracing QR code payments. Over one in ten consumers use QR code payments with the most avid users hailing from China (42.6 percent) by a wide margin.

“Consumers in many of Asia Pacific’s emerging markets are mobile-first users, having leapfrogged the traditional payment evolution. Their governments are making significant efforts to push the development of the e- and m-commerce landscape as well as its supporting infrastructure, which has in part contributed to the growth we’ve seen in the latest survey results,” said Benjamin Gilbey, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments and Labs, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

“Today’s consumers have shifted from simply being one-device users to one-app users, as they demand more seamless payment experiences. This calls for greater collaboration between public and private sectors and industry players, to facilitate interoperability among the plethora of payment options available today. Recent progress made in this direction, such as the standardizing of QR-based payments in India and Thailand, has been encouraging. We see many opportunities for further growth and remain committed to working with industry partners in enabling commerce for every device,” noted Mr. Gilbey.

Key findings from the Mastercard Mobile Shopping Survey:

Over the past five years, shoppers in India tracked the largest increase in mobile shopping by 45.5 percent across Asia Pacific. Following closely were the Philippines with a growth of 32 percent and Malaysia with 30.2 percent.

While shoppers in India (45.5 percent) and China (38.2 percent) lead the pack as the region’s most avid digital wallet users, Malaysia recorded the largest growth in usage with a 14.8 percent increase from 11 percent the previous year.

Majority of consumers across the region (53.6 percent) cite convenience as a key reason for shopping on their mobile devices, particularly those in China (70.9 percent), Thailand (60.8 percent) and Taiwan (59.2 percent). Contrary to the rest of the region, majority of consumers in Malaysia cited the ability to shop on the go as a key reason, as opposed to convenience.

Clothing and fashion accessories (34.9 percent), personal care and beauty products (21 percent) and movie tickets (20.2 percent) are the top purchases made by Asia Pacific’s mobile shoppers. Interestingly, this was not the case for mobile shoppers in Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan, whose top purchases include books, CDs and DVDs; toys and gifts; and personal and beauty care products, respectively.

Consumers in China (27.8 percent) and Korea (26.8 percent) lead the region when shopping for items from supermarkets and superstores via their mobile devices.

Preferences for in-store shopping continues its steady decline across Asia Pacific, dropping to 45.9 percent from 48.6 percent two years ago. Consumers in India record the sharpest decline of 10.3 percent from 54.7 percent in 2015, likely due to the significant progress in developing the country’s e-commerce industry and supporting infrastructure.

WPP announces that its wholly owned global digital agency Wunderman has acquired a majority stake in Pierry, Inc. (“Pierry”), an industry-leading marketing software integration and solutions company specializing in optimizing campaigns on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Pierry’s revenues were US$14.5 million for the period ended December 31, 2016. Clients include LifeLock, Louisiana Tech University, Major League Soccer team the San Jose Earthquakes and YETI Coolers. Pierry is based in Redwood City, CA, with offices in New York City, Kyoto and Boulder, CO. It employs approximately 100 people and was founded in 2008.

A recognized leader in creating technology-driven consumer experiences using Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Pierry’s mission is to help companies optimize their digital marketing initiatives through a unique combination of technology expertise and creative excellence. Utilizing its proprietary MaaS™ (Marketing as a Service) approach, Pierry helps clients design, develop and execute customized marketing programs that dramatically improve efficiency, impact, and increase ROI. Pierry is a Salesforce Platinum partner and was ranked #6 in the “2016 Fastest Growing Companies” by the San Francisco Business Times.

The investment continues WPP's strategy of focusing on three key areas that differentiate the Group's offering to clients: technology, data and content. WPP's digital assets include companies such as Acceleration (marketing technology consultancy), Cognifide (content management technology), Conexance (data cooperative), Deeplocal (innovation studio founded as a spin-off from Carnegie Mellon University), Marketplace Ignition (Amazon-focused ecommerce), Medialets (mobile ROI measurement), Salmon (e-commerce), The Cocktail (digital consultancy) and Hogarth (digital production technology). WPP also has investments in a number of innovative technology services companies such as Globant and Mutual Mobile, as well as ad technology companies such as AppNexus, Celtra (creative management platform), comScore (data investment management), mySupermarket, Percolate, ScrollMotion and Within Unlimited (VR/AR).

The Group has invested in digital content companies like Russell Simmons' All Def Digital, Fullscreen, Gimlet, Indigenous Media, Imagina (a content rights and media company based in Spain), MRC, Mic, Mitú, Refinery29, Uproxx Media Group and VICE. WPP's roster of wholly owned digital agencies include AKQA, Blue State Digital, Essence, F.biz, Mirum, POSSIBLE, Triad Retail Media, VML and Wunderman.

Adventure has always been a well anticipated respite from the humdrum of daily affairs. Hence, the popularity of adventure sports have grown by leaps and bound, be it for bungee jumping, sky diving or others, with people accepting such activities as a regular rejuvenator. Especially in a land that is as conservative as India, where the norm was more concentrated cultural diversity and not risk taking activities.

The bond India has with sports goes back to the age of the Vedas. In prehistoric India, physical exercise was an indispensable feature of the lifestyle of the people. Yet the modern Indian demands for activities that are more challenging, to add a sense of validation and accomplishment in completing them. With globalization, the mindset has shifted to trying newer things in search of that rush of adrenaline.

Additional to this, the rising Indian GDP gives substantial increase in the amount of readily dispensable cash, leading to people splurging on such engaging outings.

One can contribute the endless scope of adventure tourism in India to its diverse topography and climate- factors that have been famed for drawing in tourists. On land and water, under water and in the air, one can enjoy a veritable bouquet of adventure, fit for personal levels of thrill. It can be considered as one of the greatest opportunities to leave all inhibitions behind and just let go.

This has brought a great deal of economy to even the remotest regions like Himachal Pradesh. In fact, the hilly districts of the nation have received additional boost from the advent of such activities. Regions like Rishikesh have aced the adventure sports wave by hosting a plethora of diverse activities in its serene environs.

Today, business tour combined with active sports has become a highly popular trend across organisations; this is now a global corporate strategy for employee entertainment and well being. Moreover, rise of national and international championships such as Cricket World Cup, Soccer World Cup, Wimbledon, Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi have lead to a hike in sports, encouraging the government to take a note of this emerging industry.

The government enabled initiations have done their fair bit in uplifting the cause. The ministry of tourism and culture have added weightage to the cause through their campaign- ‘Incredible India!’ A campaign that promotes the diversity and quirks in Indian culture. This has given a tremendous boost to adventure tourism in India, through its bespoke advertisements urging people to take India as a place to experience life. This has further led to an increase in curiosity from both, locals as well as international citizens to witness all this at a firsthand basis.

Therefore, it won’t be incorrect to say that, India has limitless potential when it comes to adventure sports. However, with all the opportunities attached, India comes with its share of shortcomings as well. Lack of safety, infrastructure and awareness are the key inhibitors of the same. India, being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, should focus attention more on promoting adventure sports as a way of life. To bridge this gap and harness the power of endless opportunities, I have come up with Jumping Heights, a revolutionary platform to take adventure sports to its original glory.

Written by Rahul Nigam, Founder and Managing Director of Jumpin Heights

Saturday, 23 September 2017 00:00

5 Social Media mistakes you need to avoid

These days, brands in all shapes and sizes are posting actively on social media sites, trying to get their market’s attention. If you’re launching a new brand or business, you need to prepare to fight for some of the social user’s precious browsing time. Get ready to use your digital space the right way.

Social media marketing goes far beyond sharing photos, streaming live videos, or posting news. Even a combination of brilliant timing, insightful knowledge, and sharp wit cannot always guarantee success. So, if competition is tough, careful planning is necessary.

Here are five of the most common misguided marketing practices on social media today:

Misunderstanding Your Target Market

Take the case of Dove’s marketing team, for instance. They thought it would be a good idea to ask women to pick the right shape of soap bottle that matches their body type. The campaign drew a lot of flak from social media users. Dove misunderstood its market, because it failed to consider what women don’t want: being categorized and labelled.

The same thing applies in social media marketing. Knowing the market demographics means barely scratching the surface of your market profile. It is necessary to study your targets market’s principles and goals. Understanding your market means knowing what they value and why.

Sharing Fake News

It’s bad enough that the internet is teeming with fake reports and alternate facts, but we live in a world where social media users are too lazy to verify the accuracy of a ‘shocking’ news before spreading it out. If you have to share news and current affairs, do it methodically. Run a bit of research. Study the reputation of the publication that originally published the story. You will lose your market’s trust if they cannot trust you to sort fact from fiction.


Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other accounts are probably followed by the same readers. So, instead of posting the same thing across all channels, think of ways to make your post unique for each platform.

Some digital advisers would even advise against having accounts in all the social media channels. For your market to stay close to you, you should really focus on them one social channel at a time.


If there’s a developing story (say, you’re reacting to a live broadcast or a big news), your series of relevant tweets and status updates would be acceptable to some extent. On normal days, however, stick to a minimum of three posts a day, with a maximum of six.

Social media users generally log on to their social accounts around brunch, lunch, and dinner time. These are great timings for posting new updates. Even if you’re posting just three items a day, your reach will be good enough as long as you follow the right schedule for posting stories.

Poor Support Communication

Being on social media does not only mean you would be promoting your brand. It also means you will be opening your door to anyone who can leave a comment on your page. Make sure you can reply to the comments right away.

Should you receive some form of complaint on your page, make sure you could address the issue in a calm and professional way. This way, other followers could see that you are able to handle concerns in a professional and timely manner.


Written by Manish Agarwal, Brand Head at Zee Entertainment Enterprises and a Digital and Social Media Strategist from IIM Calcutta.

Apple celebrated the 10th anniversary of the iPhone with both updates to its existing product lineup and the opening of the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA on its new campus with the much-anticipated doughnut or spaceship building.

Apple generates its revenue from selling hardware or products with most of the revenue from iPhones. Convincing consumers both to upgrade and adopt new products is challenging. Moreover, experiences with products are ever more dependent on its ecosystem of partners for content and services. Apple (as always) did an outstanding job of showcasing the experiences consumers can have with its products. It also dropped the price on older (yet still very new) devices to make them more affordable.

Here’s my take on Apple’s three big product announcements of the day:

Series 3 Watch: The Apple Watch has already overtaken the Rolex as the number one selling watch in the world. With the Series 3, Apple continued to build out health and fitness capabilities, and this year’s enhancements focused on the heart – the monitor, EKG’s and more. The combination of fitness apps, GPS, waterproofing, seamless syncing with apps and more makes this a compelling fitness device. Apple also added a cellular radio to the Watch to allow consumers to make/receive phone calls, use Siri, and access the Internet to stream music, for example. The Watch will share a phone number with the iPhone. What isn’t yet clear is if it will demand extra service charges from the carrier.

The Watch keeps getting better and the fitness enthusiast in me can’t wait to get the Series 3. I’m completely hooked on the magic of the existing use cases such as paying, tracking speed and swim laps, getting notifications and more. I look forward to leaving both my wallet and smartphone at home. However, these experiences are unlikely to offer a compelling enough experience that the Watch crosses the chasm from “nice to have” to “I can’t leave home without it” for the vast majority of consumers. Apple needs that to happen to turn the Watch into a substantial revenue stream.

AppleTV: The new AppleTV will have 4K including apps for live sports with personalization features. Apple will also upgrade users’ content libraries free of charge. Apple experiences depend more and more on the quality of content and services from its ecosystem partners. Consumers will be more willing to pay for content whether it is an app, music, video and more if they can use it seamlessly across their own ecosystem of devices in the home, car and on-the-go. The more components or devices a consumer owns, the less likely they are to switch brands. The open question will be the role of apps and how ubiquitous they become across platforms. In addition to Google, Apple competes against Amazon as well as both content and service providers in the home.

iPhone X: The updates to the iPhone 8/8S was the appetizer – and everyone in the audience knew it. After discussing the usual updates, Tim Cook then announced the ‘future of the smartphone’ and key new features weren’t far from the press leaks. Apple’s iPhone X new features include more advanced cameras, FaceID, an AI chip to make the magic happen on the hardware, and more gesture or swipe-based controls. These features will have the most impact on how consumers use the phone for photography (the technology will make us all look like professionals), communication (Animoji), finding/opening apps and gaming. I’m in love with portrait-mode photos and selfies – now portrait-mode selfies – killer. And, finally, Apple introduced its users to wireless charging.

Each time the price increases on the smartphones, we question whether consumers will ante up for new devices. Is there enough new there? Apple has a loyal base of users who will – its customers are accustomed to paying a premium and appreciate the quality of the experience and the seamless integration with other devices they own.

Apple excels at demonstrating the experience consumers can have with its devices. Getting consumers to upgrade devices isn’t easy, and experience improvements will be more subtle as we go forward and are more dependent on AI. Consumers won’t pick up the new iPhoneX necessarily and think it is so much better, but in 2019 they will look back at the iPhone7 and earlier models and think to themselves, “This experience is so much better than the one I had before.”


Written by Julie Ask,Vice President, Principal Analyst at Forrester


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