BLACKPINK as Shopee brand ambassadors

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THE MEMBERS OF BLACKPINK at the Shopee sponsored fans meet at SM Aura on June 6. — RICHARD ESGUERRA

TRADITIONAL shoppers still prefer the touch-and-feel experience that a physical store brings compared with the mere visual evaluation that online shopping portals offer.

While virtual bargain hunting is much more convenient than traditional shopping — with no queues and relatively easier transaction process — a 2018 study by Research and Tech Lab revealed that 68.61% of Filipinos will still take time to go to a store and examine the goods.

As such, the challenge of e-commerce sites like Shopee is to entice consumers to shift from the conventional offline to the online shopping mode. And it helps to have well-known “brand ambassadors,” to encourage customers to mainly rely on their mobile apps to shop.

Shopee, which was launched in Singapore in 2015 and is popular in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, has a roster of local ambassadors, including balladeer Jose Marie Chan and most recently, Pop Princess Sarah Geronimo.

To further beef up its lineup, the online platform also recently commissioned Korean girl group BLACKPINK as its “regional brand ambassadors.”

Ruoshan Tao, Head of Marketing of Shopee Philippines, said the e-commerce platform is very happy to engage its users further by bringing BLACKPINK back in the country.

“We understand how large their fanbase is here in the Philippines and we are thrilled to be the first company to bring them back for an exclusive fan meet,” he said.

BLACKPINK was the Philippines last February for sold-out 2019 World Tour: BLACKPINK in Your Area (Manila) held at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa returned last week for their first meet-and-greet session with their local fans, known as the Filipino Blinks.

“We are happy to be back as we missed you all. Thank you for your warm welcome,” Jennie told around 2,000 select fans gathered at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura in Taguig.

Jisoo said BLACKPINK is ecstatic to have been selected as Shopee brand ambassadors not only in the Philippines but also in seven other countries.

“We hope that you guys will have a happy shopping experience with Shopee,” she said.

During the question-and-answer portion of the short fan meeting, Rosé said she had fun shooting the Shopee commercial as the company took time to make the ladies feel very comfortable. The music video-type advertisement had the women dancing to their smash hit “Ddu-Du Ddu-Du” while tinkering with the Shopee app.

“This is our second time in the Philippines and you are all so welcoming every time. We are glad to see each and every one of you here today,” said Lisa.

BLACKPINK’s fans who qualified for Shopee’s online promo won tickets to the fan meeting. Only 50 lucky fans were given the chance to meet the ladies up close and personally secured their autographs.

But unlike in a similar event in Jakarta last November where they sang three songs, including “As If It’s Your Last” and “Forever Young,” there was no performance from BLACKPINK this time. There was no press conference either. The segment with BLACKPINK, including the fan signing, lasted only around 30 minutes.

Some fans have lodged complaints with the Department of Trade and Industry on the promotion mechanics and the selection of winners, prompting the agency to conduct an inquiry.

Shopee acknowledged that the “event fell short of the high standards that Shopee users and BLACKPINK fans expect.

“We are reaching out to all those affected by this issue, and we are also taking steps to ensure that such an incident does not occur again in the future,” Shopee said in a statement.

Last week’s incident notwithstanding, Shopee said there are more initiatives lined up to make shopping a pleasant experience for its customers.

“Moving forward, we aim to entertain more consumers through a variety of in-app initiatives and other events,” Mr. Tao added.