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With e-commerce growth has accelerating during the pandemic, retail brands are bringing the discipline out of its silo and pursuing an integrated approach. Olay tells The Drum how it solved the problem by way of a partnership with Shopee.

With a lethal pandemic on the loose and a historic global recession incoming, there‘s a lot of adult fear going around. Which is why skincare brand Olay and e-commerce platform Shopee have been reassuring millennial customers that they can at least help them deal with the small stuff, with a campaign called ‘Adult Fearlessly‘. 

The campaign seeks to reach and engage with female consumers across South East Asia, encouraging them to take on the challenges of ‘adulting‘ – and invest in skincare products. It‘s the second collaboration between P&G-owned Olay and Shopee, following the launch of Olay‘s Retinol24 product line in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, and is part of a wider regional team-up between the two organisations.

“With the sheer amount of brands and products competing, it is no longer enough to be available on e-commerce platforms. An entire marketing ecosystem to support e-commerce has been built that involves capturing the attention of consumers to making it easy for her to purchase,” says Lucy Moran, the senior e-commerce director for Asia Middle East and Africa at Olay and Personal Care.

For Olay, e-commerce remains a key strategic channel for growth in the upcoming years with the relevance of e-commerce continuing to increase as consumer behaviour shifts from offline to online. 

Moran says the brand wants to continue to support and innovate on these digital channels such as e-commerce as consumers turn to these platforms for their everyday needs. Its partnership with Shopee has given it access to the latter‘s expertise selling at scale in Asia Pacific. 

She adds: “The campaign surpassed targets by almost double due to Olay and Shopee‘s hyper localised marketing strategy, enabling us to reach the right audiences. ‘Adulting Fearlessly‘ aims to continue Olay‘s growth in e-commerce with a digital-led campaign leveraging Shopee‘s marketing tools and core engagement features, such as Shopee Live and Shopee Games.”

Moran lists a few of the lessons learned: “Some key elements include; having a strong consumer back insight that is the foundation of all the communications in the entire path to purchase; making sure the shopper can see you easily online; and ensuring sufficient media support to drive conversion.”

“Our communications in platforms surrounding e-commerce have also evolved to continue to reflect the changes in our consumers‘ lifestyles,” she adds, noting that the brand pivoted to emphasise skin hydrating products to account for consumers spending more time indoors and more time wearing protective masks. 

Meanwhile, bringing Olay on board helped Shopee boost its popular skincare range with a trusted name. Ian Ho, regional managing director at Shopee, says skincare and beauty products are among the top-performing categories on its platform, and that in Singapore beauty products have performed exceptionally well during major e-commerce events like Super Shopping Day and its 11.11 Big Sale.

“Having established brands like Olay onboard has definitely helped us broaden our beauty category offerings,” Ho explains.

“We expect ‘Adult Fearlessly‘ to resonate particularly well with millennial users. This collaboration demonstrates how we have helped brands accelerate the growth of their online business amid the slowdown of retail. This also helps us gain the trust and confidence of our consumers and build an even stronger presence as the go-to e-commerce platform to address their health and beauty needs.”

He adds: “While we grow accustomed to this new normal, we know that our consumers still want to look and feel good despite staying home more often.

“We believe that as more consumers in the region turn to e-commerce and trust Shopee to fulfil their daily and lifestyle needs, the demand for authentic mass consumer and premium beauty products will continue to grow as well.”