Crea targets brands with online savvy

Crea targets brands with online savvy

Venture eyes youth, beauty industries

Mr Meana (left) and Mr Piscini believe Crea can help brands market to youth online.
Mr Meana (left) and Mr Piscini believe Crea can help brands market to youth online.

A company founded by former Lazada executives, Crea, is touting its e-commerce expertise to help brands market to young people online.

The company seeks to capitalise on Thailand's US$5.5 billion (173 billion baht) beauty and personal care market as well as the estimated value of the country's growing internet economy, some $43 billion by 2025.

"The digital commerce business model is evolving rapidly and requires a new skill set for brands to reach their customers, particularly digital-savvy millennials and generation Z, or people under 40," said Aimone Ripa di Meana, co-founder of Crea and former chief operating officer of Lazada Group.

Mr Meana said the company offers integrated online marketing strategies for brands as well as assistance managing brand presences over multiple marketplaces like Shopee or social commerce like Line and Facebook.

Crea uses data analytics to provide brands with insights to predict which products will sell well on which sales channels and compare products with rival brands.

"This will help brands to utilise their marketing spend efficiency," he said.

The internet is becoming more relevant for brands both in terms of sales and direct communication with customers. It is not just another channel of sales, but a new business mode, said Mr Meana.

Businesses can now launch a new product over Facebook Live and get immediate feedback from consumers.

Crea will focus on the local beauty and personal care market, of which 50% is from cosmetics, a segment that records annual growth of 7-8%.

Thais have a history of spending freely on beauty and personal care, with the highest ratio of spending per GDP within Asean. Thais spend 1.24% of GDP on personal care per capita compared with Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia, which register at 0.6%, 0.17% and 0.17% respectively. Even South Korea only spends 0.62% of GDP on beauty and personal care.

Thailand's online retail makes up 8% of total retail, compared with 25% for China.

Mr Meana said Thailand has 51 million social media users and 57 million internet users. Around 50% of online consumers shop via social media such as Facebook and Line.

Crea is an independent service provider backed by global investors like Angle Capital Management, Picus Capital and Founder Fund Pathfinder, which helps brands access talent and new technology.

"The future of digital commerce is about personalisation, while brands communicate directly with users more emotionally," said Alessandro Piscini, co-founder of Crea. He was chief executive of Lazada Thailand the past seven years.

Beauty products is a fragmented and competitive segment, with price wars likely to continue among brands, said Mr Piscini. Companies using creative content to connect with customers can differentiate themselves, he said.

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