Unilever Philippines on Sustainable Digitization
2020 has been one of the hardest years for most of us, starting the year off with environmental issues and politics but one thing that has the biggest impact on everyone around the world is, of course, COVID-19. The pandemic spreaded around the world in a very short period of time, causing all our lives to be changed in a whole different way. We had to stay inside, working from home since most places were shut down for a while, including shopping malls, where all the retail businesses make money.
Unilever Philippines is one of the businesses that got affected by such situation, with travel restrictions in the Philippines, people were not able to leave their houses and buy the household products. Seeing opportunities in such obstacles, Unilever came up with a solution to help their business and their chain-store partners, NCCC Supermarket, find an online solution that allowed people to place orders, choose flexible payment options, and quickly and simply schedule delivery, using an AI solution.
A Sustainable AI-powered Social Commerce Solution
In order to achieve the objective, Unilever Philippines and NCCC Supermarket collaborated with Facebook Marketing Partner Shoplus, a social-selling service with the necessary expertise to build an experience for Messenger. NCCC Supermarket built an automated Messenger experience that included an e-commerce store with over 1,000 products, order placement, multiple payment options, and delivery scheduling.
Once the shoppers feel like they need assistance during the purchase journey, Shoplus provides a seamless handover protocol into the automated flow, so that a customer service representative could interact with people through Messenger.
The grocery store continued to work on their AI-powered solution to enhance their Messenger experience by adding more product options, payment methods, discount codes and a “click-and-collect” method for shoppers who wanted to collect their purchases from the store rather than have them delivered, even when the restriction ended.
With Shoplus’s help, Unilever Philippines and NCCC Supermarket launched an automated experience for Messenger that helped people shop for groceries and daily essentials online. After the campaign ran for six weeks between May–June 2020, the retailer saw the following results:
- 17,000 new Messenger connections within a week of launching the business experience on Messenger
- 78% decrease in the cost of sending one online message, as compared to a single offline engagement
- 4.9X return on ad spend
“When the COVID-19 pandemic began to spread in the Philippines and lockdown measures were enacted, the team at Unilever wanted to ensure that essential products were easily accessible to all Filipinos. Together with Facebook and Shoplus, we built and pioneered NCCC Supermarket’s ecommerce store on Messenger, allowing Mindanaoan shoppers to order and receive groceries and essentials safely.”
ULP Omni Retail Group Director,
“The team at Shoplus wanted to do our part in helping Filipinos facing difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic by assisting retailers looking to redefine “new retail” with fast digital transformation. We were happy to partner with Unilever and Facebook to create a supermarket experience for Messenger that was convenient and easy to use.”