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Global Selling in a Digital Age: Unpacking SHOPLINE’s Re-Imagine Summit Highlights

SHOPLINE is recognised as Asia's leading modern commerce platform. Offering an extensive suite of native technologies, resources, and strategic partnerships, SHOPLINE is dedicated to empowering merchants to achieve success. With SHOPLINE, brands and retailers have access to robust omnichannel solutions encompassing ecommerce, social commerce, and point-of-sale.

On 5th October 2023, SHOPLINE held their first Re-Imagine Summit in London. At the summit a variety of topics were discussed from SHOPLINE’s vision to its product roadmap. A notable highlight was the panel discussion that featured industry experts Emma Jones from the DBT Department, Jennifer McCloskey from Google, Imran Khan from Meta, Lucia Pesce from Mastercard, and Pollyanna Ward from Flight Story. Their panel centred around global selling, and here are the key insights:

The Digital Revolution: The Dawn of AI and Social Commerce

We live in a mobile-centric era. Our smartphones aren't just communication devices but gateways to a vast digital universe, transforming how we search, interact, and most importantly, shop.

A key shift in this digital evolution is AI's influence. Meta’s announcement of integrating AI-centric tools into their global ad products highlights this very change. The introduction of the Meta Advantage Suite, an AI-fueled tool, streamlines the entire advertising spectrum, making the process more intuitive for marketers. 

For instance, the Meta Advantage+ Shopping channel has led to:

  • A 32% surge in Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS)
  • A 9% boost in cost-effectiveness in app campaigns

The dawn of AI in advertising paints a future where decisions are data-driven, strategies are outcome-focused, and scalability is a given. We transitioned from the age of space-buying – dominated by TV spots and posters – to a more dynamic programmatic era. 

It's not just about reaching the masses anymore; it's about reaching the right individual with the perfect message.

Decoding the Modern Shopper

In today's fast-paced, digitised world, understanding shoppers' expectations is paramount for any brand's success. The shoppers' experience is no longer linear or confined to a single platform – they expect seamless transitions.

“Frictionless shopping” is the key to creating an efficient, smooth, and hassle-free buying experience. This term refers to the streamlining of the buying process to remove any hiccups or barriers that might deter a customer from making a purchase. It's not just about technological integrations like one-click purchases or AI-powered recommendations. It's also about creating holistic experiences that blend the tangible world of brick-and-mortar stores with the convenience of digital shopping. 

Blending the realms of digital and physical offers shoppers the best of both worlds. Dubbed 'phygital experiences' these are not passing fads but the future of retail. With the advancement in AR technology, customers can now virtually "try on" products before purchasing. This blend of physical and digital gives customers a full experience, merging the realness of stores with online convenience.

The Digital Revolution Accelerated by COVID

The Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the landscape of digital commerce. It wasn't just about health and safety, it was also about security, convenience and choice. 

As the digital payment landscape rapidly transforms, Mastercard leans into AI, not just for advancements but as a means to safeguard consumers. With the rise of cyber threats, Mastercard has innovatively employed AI as a protective shield for shoppers. Beyond security, the emphasis is on enhancing the customer's journey, whether it's through accelerated checkouts or seamlessly integrating online and offline shopping experiences like shopping via WhatsApp. 

For businesses, it's not just about catching up anymore, it's about staying ahead. The message is clear: in the future of commerce, consumer-centricity, shaped by the triad of safety, convenience, and choice, reigns supreme.

Lucia Pesce from Mastercard at Re-Imagine Summit 2023

The Power of Short Form Video

The media landscape is continually evolving, and the rise of short-form video stands out. It's not merely a new format; it signifies a shift in how content is consumed and shared, presenting a dynamic mix of entertainment, personal connection, and new ways of discovery. 

Short form video isn't just about watching anymore, it's about participation, and platforms like Instagram’s Reel are at the forefront of this revolution. This format is more than passive consumption – it fosters active engagement, sharing, and personal connections.

Reels has seen its share explode over the last six months:

  • People share about a billion Reels daily via WhatsApp and Messenger. 
  • This surge in popularity means that 20% of time spent on Instagram is now dedicated to Reels with the platform showcasing around 140 billion Reels daily. 

The success stories around Reels are compelling. In some cases, brands have witnessed a 6x to 7x lift in brand recognition. Moreover, sales metrics have shot up by 9x when Reels are in the advertising mix. But it's not just about numbers. Reels ads have been highly performant, contributing to a whopping $3 billion run rate on Instagram and Facebook.

To conclude, SHOPLINE's Re-Imagine Summit shed light on the dynamic landscape of global selling touching on technology, primarily AI, emerging not just as a facilitator but as a revolutionary force. As brands try to navigate this rather complex terrain, the future is fairly clear – we need to understand the ever-evolving consumer, harness the power of emerging formats like short-form videos, and deliver seamless, enriched shopping experiences.

At SHOPLINE, we're honoured to play a role in the AI-driven transformation of the e-commerce sector. We take pride in empowering our local sellers by enhancing their business revenue with our intuitive and scalable solutions. The next era of e-commerce has arrived, and we stand prepared and excited for what's to come.

SHOPLINE Team at Re-Imagine Summit 2023

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