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Why social commerce is at the heart of Campari Group’s digital transformation journey


By Shawn Lim | Reporter, Asia Pacific

May 24, 2021 | 5 min read

Amid a generally gloomy economic outlook, online shopping has been one bright spark for the retail sector, and this new reality has forced businesses to look deeply at how people are experiencing their brands. We look at how Campari Group has fundamentally changed the way it engages and interacts with its customers.

In 2020, Italian beverage company Campari Group embarked on a digital transformation journey. It aimed to grow its direct-to-consumer footprint in Asia Pacific to bring its brand strategy to life in the region and boost conversions by creating new consumer pathways that focused on direct and personalized engagements.

Campari was keen to tap into the social shopping trend that has been picking up pace in recent times, particularly in markets such as China where social commerce makes up a good proportion of e-commerce sales and accounted for over $180bn (1.285tn RMB) in 2019 alone.

The beverage company worked with Accenture Interactive to roll out a digital transformation journey that revolved around experience and strategy. Its leadership team had sat down with the consultancy to conduct an in-depth marketplace and competitor analysis to determine the ideal e-commerce platforms for their flagship online stores.

“With Lazada and Shopee being the two major marketplaces in Singapore, they wanted to pilot their first two flagship store set-ups in these marketplaces. They also looked to capitalize on campaigns that would enable them to tap into pre-existing large online userbases. Participating in mega campaigns turned out to be their biggest revenue drivers,” explains Alessandro Puccio, the senior manager for Singapore at Accenture Interactive.

“One such example was Lazada’s 11.11 campaign, which helped Campari Group achieve a 4.3 times revenue increase month-on-month with a 24% increase in average consumer basket size. Their overall launch into online marketplaces was a huge hit too – from September to December 2020 alone they saw an average revenue growth rate of 299%.”

Puccio adds Accenture Interactive also supported Campari Group on content creation, particularly in developing and executing digital campaigns that were meaningful and curated for specific market nuances.

To ensure Campari Group was being as effective as possible in creating assets, Accenture Interactive adopted a consistent brand environment across platforms and shared content assets created for one marketplace across different platforms to significantly reduce go-to-market time and achieve greater efficiencies within the team.

He stresses that Campari Group never compromised on localizing the shopfronts to provide for the varying consumer expectations and needs in the different markets. Catering to the differing consumer trends across markets remains a key priority for the group.

“We worked closely to place a greater focus on the experiences they were providing to their consumers. This included helping consumers create great cocktails at home using Campari Group’s products, educating consumers via video content, and offering the right e-commerce bundles,” he explains.

“Establishing a strong presence on social channels and platforms through curated content was key. An omnichannel marketing strategy helped us create multiple touchpoints across all their channels such as social media, affiliate initiatives, chat applications, and pop-ups to create an authentic connection with their consumers at scale.”

Thomas Mayr, the marketing director for Asia at Campari Group says the company's move to place more importance on the digital economy comes at a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has seen an ever-increasing smartphone and internet penetration in Asian countries in 2020, as users rapidly adopt digital platforms for purchasing goods and services.

According to Mayr, a majority of Campari Group’s sales have historically been offline, and operating in a highly-digitalized region meant that there needed to be a shift from a largely physical to a primarily digital way of working.

With each market at different stages of their pandemic response and consequent lockdowns, Mayr explains it was important to be present on platforms where consumers are, with growing importance being placed on offline and e-commerce channels. The approach in each country needed to be suited to the local climate and demands.

“By moving the APAC headquarters to Singapore, we became closer to its core spirits markets, and that emphasized a few trends they had already been observing. The average consumer’s motivations when picking Campari Group’s beverages were unique in Asia,” he says.

“The drinks were often pegged to occasions that were status-led. The cost was somewhat of a lower priority compared to the importance of having a unique and personalized experience. Campari Group’s offerings needed to be tailored to the expectations of their Asian consumer base – quality products alone were no longer enough. It was important to offer a truly unique consumer experience, highlighting the brand’s heritage, unique liquid credentials and storytelling.”

He continues: “Asia is truly diverse as a region and the multitude and richness of the different cultures only adds to the mix. No two countries in Asia are alike when it comes to consumer preferences, digital habits, or views around spirits consumption. It was crucial to appreciate the importance of developing targeted strategies to suit the differences of each market.”

Mayr adds that Accenture’s research shows that online transactions and revenues grew exponentially, with consumers spending approximately 198% more time online during Singapore’s circuit-breaker period alone.

“Every business has been forced to become an e-commerce business and in the coming months and years, this trend will only continue to grow. For consumers, online shopping is no longer just a channel – it has become a way of life,” he says.

“There is an expectation that on-premises partners will come back with a pent-up demand post-pandemic. Even as online channels continue to stay at the forefront, real-life experiences will continue to play an important role for consumers.”

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