Insights into Vietnam’s first AI-driven sales season

September 29, 2023 | 18:17
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Shoppers, especially the younger generation, agree that planning ahead financially for the holiday season is more important than ever. 'Mega sales' are acting as catalysts, with their promise of delivering solid bargains, entertainment and their cultural relevance.
Insights into Vietnam’s first AI-driven sales season
Khoi Le, country director for Vietnam, Meta

Clearly, these mega sales are here to stay as the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam, recorded the highest sales day participation rate last year. Meta’s Seasonal Holidays Study survey indicated that up to 71 per cent of Vietnamese shoppers shop early to get significant discounts and 65 per cent are driven to participate in mega sales by the low prices and discounts on offer, which demonstrates their caution and the importance of sales during the current economic uncertainty.

58 per cent of shoppers increased their spending during this year's Lunar New Year holiday, showing an increase in spending of approximately $30 (VND700,000) on-year.

It’s interesting to note that shoppers in Asia-Pacific are still spending despite caution around the global economy, and they’re more open to discovering new products and services during the sales season. This means businesses will need to rely on supercharging discovery more than ever.

Our survey shows that more shoppers are leaning towards social platforms for discovery and inspiration during the year-end shopping season. Offline purchasing dropped 6 percentage points, from 62 to 56 per cent on-year. Meanwhile, online purchasing increased to 87 per cent in 2022, compared to 81 per cent in 2021.

In fact, brands and products discovered on Meta technologies during the sales season are more relevant than those discovered on other platforms when 75 per cent of Lunar New Year shoppers made a purchase from a personalised ad on Facebook or Instagram. Short-form videos emerged as powerful brand awareness drivers during the sales season, with 62 per cent of shoppers discovering new brands and products through that format. This behaviour is especially pronounced in Gen Z and Millennials, with over 70 per cent saying they often browse online for inspiration, with a clear preference for short videos as discovery tools.

Our survey also uncovered some stark differences between Gen Z and Millennials. Gen Z shoppers appear to be more impulsive; 46 per cent of whom took immediate action after discovering a brand or product by adding it to their carts, whereas for over half of Millennials, online discovery led them to do more research.

Insights into Vietnam’s first AI-driven sales season

There is currently a massive opportunity for businesses to use AI that can build powerful connections with the growing ranks of Asia’s mega-sales shoppers.

Just as shoppers are planning early, marketers need to do the same if they are to offer customers value and remain competitive in a tight market, and AI can help businesses automate campaigns, analyse performance, and compare what works best at scale while driving more efficient use of resources.

This is where our mature AI targeting technologies come into play, connecting businesses with valuable audiences at scale, while respecting people’s choices on how their data is used. Meta Advantage is our suite of ad automation tools that help businesses maximise the performance benefits of AI to deliver superior campaign results.

Meta Advantage does this by allowing businesses to automate any or all of their campaigns. We invest in AI to help advertisers find, convert, and keep customers through various business objectives and creative formats that can achieve the outcomes that matter most to a specific business. Put simply, AI can drive better performance by enabling brands to surprise and delight customers by intuitively serving up products they love - before they've even considered them.

Juno is an example of a Vietnamese brand utilising Meta's marketing tools to drive substantial campaign results. Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns (A+SC) delivered a significant 25 per cent increase in offline 'return on advertiser spend' and a 20 per cent decrease in cost per offline purchase compared to 'business as usual'. This highlights the campaign's effectiveness in capturing customer buying intent and translating it into tangible sales at Juno's offline stores. By leveraging A+SC, Juno was able to experience remarkable online sales growth and significantly boost their revenue from physical locations.

Businesses can also use Meta Advantage to strategically target segments to improve engagement and personalisation. Take the segment of ‘influencer followers’ that we identified. For this segment, creators have a stronger impact than brands when it comes to product awareness, consideration, and purchase. Among the subset of shoppers who follow creators, 79% said they participated in mega sales after they saw a promotion by a creator. Overall, 53 per cent agreed that they look for recommendations from influencers to make holiday shopping decisions.

Insights into Vietnam’s first AI-driven sales season

Half of all year-end shoppers also used Meta’s business messaging tools for inquiries, updates, tracking orders, returns, refunds, payments, and to access FAQs via chat automation or a chatbot.

We are also seeing an increasing number of businesses leverage AI chatbots that provide instant customer support, guide users in purchasing decisions, and even upsell or cross-sell products, and this is all only set to grow.

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By Khoi Le

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