With the rapid shifts in the Asian digital consumer journey towards 2020, it’s critical for brands to understand their digital data analytics strategy is evolving also.

To support this change, we’ve prepared a snapshot of four areas identified in 2019 that changed the way our consumers navigate digital, and with that share tips for how data analytics can leverage these areas:



With improved internet infrastructure and high smartphone penetration coupled with the entry of eCommerce companies and the development of fintech and mobile payment solutions, transaction value in digital payments is expected to show a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR 2019-2023) of 12.1% in SEA. The onset of digital payments in the SEA region has allotted great success to many eCommerce players in Asia. The likes of Lazada, Tokopedia, Shopee and Bukalapak have seen tremendous success in the SEA region with exceptional growth in revenue and sales year-on-year. 

The convenience created from online marketplaces has resulted in a consumer behaviour shift with 60% of users in mature APAC markets (Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan) claiming to spend more money on online marketplaces than anywhere else.  Large FMCG brands have started carving partnerships with these online marketplaces to sell their products and while this gave advertisers and agencies an opportunity to start using these marketplaces as landing pages for their digital marketing campaigns, there was little synergy between brands and these online marketplaces with regards to measurement of performance of their campaigns on online sales. Marketers could look at uplift as a measurement metric and request for analytics reports from these marketplaces based on UTM (tracking tags) codes. 




As the above statistics show, consumer purchase behaviour is shifting towards eCommerce with an increasing preference towards online transactions. Brands can start to effectively plot their campaign success without spending huge marketing dollars on large scale studies as long as there is a visibility through data partnerships to close the loop on the brands’ end-to-end measurement. 

  • Brands can maximize opportunities to connect with online marketplaces, as they become more collaborative with advertisers and ad platforms. 
  • In March 2019, Facebook launched collaborative ads which allows brands to track the sale of their products on selected eCommerce sites from their paid digital activities. 
  • Marketplaces like Lazada have also started to offer brand opportunities to leverage their platforms during key sales period to drive sales. 
  • In an interview with Sebastian Cruz, Kimberly Clark APAC’s Media Manager, he identified a 2X return on ad spend as a result of the “collaboration between KC, Google and Lazada.” Cruz identified their innovative data analytics strategy “as a change for us and pushes us a step further on cracking full-funnel analysis and attribution of mCommerce conversions.”

In conclusion, the increasing adoption of digital payments as the preferred method of exchange in SEA is quickly unlocking the potential for brands to not only streamline payment processes and realise cost-savings but, more crucially, enhance and streamline customer experiences too. The rise of “super apps” like WeChat and Alipay in China and, more locally, GrabPay and Go-Jek are redefining both user experiences and unlocking more purchase behaviour data points than ever – helping both brands & consumers make more efficient, better decisions at a faster pace than ever before. 

The rise in integrations with online marketplaces can only reinforce this trend providing brands with a much better understanding of cross-channel contribution and a consumer’s consideration process.  All this resulting in more relevant and effective engagement with the end consumer.



Conversational commerce is poised to grow rapidly in Asia.  McKinsey estimates that in Indonesia, the eCommerce market is around $5 billion and an incremental $3 billion is sold via social commerce. Consulting firm Bain & Co estimates that about 30% of online sales in Southeast Asia are social commerce sales.

From a consumer point-of-view, one possible explanation is  because credit card penetration is lower (10% or less in Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam), and this makes it hard for consumers to shop on eCommerce sites. The advantage of conversational commerce is that people can use either bank transfers or Cash on Delivery as payment methods. 

Other reasons for social commerce’s popularity among consumers are that they can bargain here, they trust a business more when they have been exchanging messages, and to them It feels like they have hired a “personal advisor” that will help them make the best buy. For business, there is very little initial investment needed to implement a chatbot, and they can measure ROI directly. Industry experts agree that social commerce is becoming a sizeable part of the overall commerce landscape.




After implementing the chatbot, companies need to monitor it closely. Here is where the role of analytics becomes critical. Since the expectations are efficiency enhancement, faster response, and greater conversion, companies need to define the right metrics. Brands will benefit from understanding that the metrics to measure the efficiency of chatbots can be classified into 3 broad categories: user metrics, message metrics, bot metrics.


User Metrics
  • Total Users: This is the most basic metric. It captures the number of people using your chatbot.
  • Active Users: Active users can be defined as the people who read a message in the chatbot in a defined time frame.
  • Engaged Users: Those users are the ones who communicate with the chatbot. They receive and send messages.
  • New Users: This metric captures the overall success of your chatbot promotion campaign.


Message Metrics
  • Conversation Starter Messages: This is the number of messages where you start the interaction by the bot.
  • Bot Messages: Bot messages are the total number of messages sent by the chatbot in each interaction.
  • Total Conversations: Number of conversations started and successfully completed on a given day.


Bot Metrics
  • Retention Rate: This is the percentage of users that return to using the chatbot on given time frame.
  • Goal Completion Rate (GCR): This captures the percentage of successful engagement through chatbot.
  • Fall Back Rate (FBR): This is the percentage of times our chatbot failed or experienced a near-failure situation.


In summary, chatbots are rapidly opening exciting new avenues for brands to engage with consumers whilst simultaneously expanding understanding of consumers preferences and choice. The wealth of data exposed in direct interaction with a brand’s consumer base holds the potential for greater effectiveness of marketing efforts via not only improved cost efficiencies but more importantly greater personalisation of the brand-consumer dialogue with resulting potential for greater brand awareness and customer retention.

The success of chatbots however is at the mercy of careful planning and consideration. Clear purpose,  setting realistic expectations and robust design planning & testing, focusing on careful selection of measurement metrics, is what will determine the effectiveness and longevity of AI marketing initiatives.

IAB SEA+India Analytics Committee
  • Catherine Candano, Head of Analytics & Data Partnerships, Google
  • Nikhil Bhardwaj, Marketing Science Partner APAC, Facebook
  • Rohit Maheswaran, Chief Product Officer, Lifesight
  • Victor Conkov, Head of Trading & Operations, SEA, MiQ
  • Vitya Vijayan, Account Director, M&C Saatchi Performance