Today’s episode features Indonesia’s GoTo Group, which is the largest digital ecosystem in the country.
This Group is a publicly-traded company, and it combines on-demand services like ride hailing and food delivery, as well as e-commerce functionality and financial services under various brands.
Their first platform is the first one in Southeast Asia to host these three essential use cases in one ecosystem, and it already captures a majority of Indonesian consumer household expenditure, which is even more impressive when you realise that Indonesia also enjoys the fourth largest population of any country on the planet!
In 2022, the GoTo Group appointed Henry Christian as their SVP Head of Loyalty, and today he joins us to share the amazing opportunities and of course challenges of driving profitable behaviour change for such an exciting business with so many internal and external stakeholders to delight.
Henry is truly a “global voice of loyalty”, so listen today to hear my conversation with Henry Christian from GoTo Group, all about driving loyalty for the largest technology brand in Indonesia.
1) GoTo Group
Paula: Welcome to Let’s Talk Loyalty, an industry podcast for loyalty marketing professionals. I’m your host, Paula Thomas, and if you work in loyalty marketing, join me every week to learn the latest ideas from loyalty specialists around the world.
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Visit go.mastercardservices.com/ltl to learn how Mastercard can help you build stronger relationships through smarter engagement.
Hello, and welcome to today’s episode of Let’s Talk Loyalty which features the GoTo Group, which is the largest digital ecosystem in Indonesia. The GoTo Group is a public company and it combines on-demand services like ride hailing and food delivery, as well as e-commerce functionality and financial services under various brands.
It’s the first platform in Southeast Asia to host these three essential use cases in one ecosystem, and it already captures a majority of Indonesian consumer household expenditure. Last year, the GoTo Group appointed Henry Christian as their SVP Head of Loyalty. And since then I’ve been waiting in anticipation for the opportunity to chat with them about the amazing opportunities and of course, the challenges of driving profitable behavior change for such an exciting business with so many internal and external stakeholders to delight.
Henry is truly a global voice of loyalty whose ideas and insights I regularly enjoy on LinkedIn. So I really hope you enjoy my conversation with Henry Christian from the GoTo Group, all about driving loyalty for the largest technology brand in Indonesia.
So Henry Christian, welcome back to Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Henry: Thanks, Paula. I’m so excited to be back.
Paula: It is incredible. We just said, you know, the fact that it’s been a year since we did our last conversation, when you are independently doing some incredible loyalty consulting work and had a secret new job, which you’ve obviously now been, very excitedly developing and growing. So wonderful progress in the last 12 months.
So we’re gonna talk all about loyalty in the GoTo Group, throughout this conversation. But before we do that, of course we always like to start to really discover your current, favorite loyalty program. So I’m thrilled with the one that you’re gonna share with the audience today.
It was Reddit last year, which I have to say I’ve still resisted because I know it’s one that once you start, I think it’s a bit like TikTok. You get addicted, and I don’t need any more of that in my life. But tell us now, Henry in 2023, what is your current favorite loyalty program?
Henry: It’s, it’s always interesting. It’s like I, it, it’s, it’s always before, going into your show, I, I, I start thinking and I start asking myself like, so what loyalty programs do I like? Right? And I think it’s really difficult to pick one, especially for someone who is in the industry because you, you know, I tend to be super critical, about anything and everything, right?
So I ask myself that, what is the one service that I’ve been, or one product, one brand that I’ve been super loyal to, so I’m redefining your definitions of loyalty programs, right?
Paula: Sure, sure.
Henry: So I’m learning the German language now on Duolingo. And I would know, I want to talk a little bit more about Duolingo. How powerful it is to actually create loyalty, creating habit me as a user, as a learner.
Going into the app every morning, really justly just to collect the gems and then double my points. And then in the evenings, I’ll do it again. The use of gamifications, leave the bot like guide or me, you know, hang, trying to compete with my friends, going up to Leader Bot.
It’s so powerful because that makes learning. I’m not the most diligent student back in the day, but I must tell you that your Duolingo has definitely made the whole experience of learning a new language really, really fun.
Paula: That’s absolutely amazing, Henry. I am using Duolingo. I am an incredibly loyal member, user and student like you.
I am on day 77 and it’s amazing to me that I know that like the whole concept, the power and the structure of this application is absolutely mind blowing. So I totally agree with you. From the day I started, I immediately understood, first of all why gamification is such a popular mechanic, of course, in our industry.
But I had tried so many different ways Henry, to learn French. My husband is Swiss as, as some listeners may know. I have been to Alliance Francaise. I tried an online French coach. I did. I dunno what, but Duolingo is the first thing that actually has kept me sticky. And I think what I like actually, it’s like the fact that it’s like I only need to do three minutes and then I get my gems for the day.
I get my streak. I think that’s the most powerful feature. But then as you said, if I go in a second time, then I get extra celebrations. So, so tell us, like, do you think, I mean, it’s, it’s honestly the most powerful gamification platform, but what’s your favorite part of it? Is it the simplicity? Is it the fact that it gets gamification? What’s the, the core underlying insight?
Henry: I’m, I’m such a nerd for loyalty, right? And, I actually studied the behavior, like the whole customer journey of Duolingo. I actually resign up all over again just because I want to like, oh, what? Wait, wait a minute. I’m hooking to these platforms. I wanna do it all over again.
I want to understand why and what, what is it they did? Right? I think many, actually, many loyalty programs operators, overlook the importance of onboarding. You know, and, and Dualingo does it really, really well. And they actually, you know, we talk about personalizations all the time, right?
But, but, but very often when brands talk about personalizations being included, we talk about, you know, once a member’s are in the system, we start collecting their, their, their data, and then we start personalizing our communications. The whole experience, right?
But Duolingo does it right upfront. So when you sign up for a Duolingo app, I, because it’s been what day? 74 now, right?
Paula: 77 for me.
Henry: There you go. 77.
Paula: Super proud.
Henry: Absolutely. And you should, you know, you, they ask you like, you know, what’s your intentions of learning a language? How many minutes do you, are you gonna dedicate learning a new language? Right? And, what’s your level, what, what’s your existing level of fluency of the language, right?
And, and I like the fact that, you know, the whole exp onboarding experience is so personalized to you as an individual. And, and, and from then on, well, once you are in the system, they just create a whole journey that you, that it makes you feel that it is really tailored and catered for you. Right.
And what I love that, that, what I love the most about it is that we, we know as a loyalty practitioner that it is important to get you know, new member, new user, to start transacting, to start using your service, your product as soon as possible, because otherwise, you know, they’ll, they’ll forget about your product, right?
Paula: Yeah. For sure.
Henry: And Duolingo does it by asking is like, okay, let’s make it easy. How many days off strict are you gonna commit? Right? We talk about streaks all the time. You know, yours is on the, on the 77th, right? So at first I was thinking like can I, like, I’m not, I really am you know, not a diligent student back in the days, should I even like, commit to like a lot?
I say, okay, I’ll, let’s spend seven days. And I started really small, right? And, and, and because, you know, seven days I want to come, I want to have that seven day streak. You know, it really makes me like, put in the effort every day. I’ll just like, you know, on, on my way to work, in the bus, on the train.
I would just pop up my phone and, and, and start learning German on the app, right? And then seven days. You know, I, I reach seven days. Then they ask you that, hey, camp seven days, how about now? You double it up to 14 days, right? And that habits actually creates a super powerful effect because I feel that it’s not daunting, right?
Because if, if you, if we go to a language class, right? You there, there is one size fits all. Right? This is the curriculum. This is what, this is what we’re gonna learn this week. And that’s it. I like the fact that personalizations was done upfront, right when I sign up for the programs. That is so powerful.
Paula: And I think that word, you know, and that insight around it not being daunting is exactly what I feel because maybe it’s because I’m a, I’m an adult trying to learn something that I’m so unfamiliar with, but the idea of speaking, you know, an unfamiliar language in, in, you know, even with my husband or his family or my friends, I get really embarrassed.
So I have a limiting belief around my ability to speak French, but the fact that I have the freedom to speak to my phone. And it’s only a machine that’s listening, actually just makes it beautiful. And then they tell me whether I sound, you know, okay or not. And you get all of the, the visual affirmation.
And I think that’s another piece. I think your insight around onboarding. And the fact that you went and re-signed up is absolutely genius. So again, guys, you heard it here first, make sure you re-sign up for your own programs.
Henry: There you go.
Paula: And of course, plenty of others to perfect the onboarding process. But the other piece, and, and I guess it’s particularly relevant because it’s a gamification strategy is, I love the, the characters. So you know, the little owl he spins around. You know, I have a favorite girl who, you know, honestly I feel like she’s my friend. You know, when she says, woo-hoo, I love this look on you, and I’m so happy.
So it really is genius and I’m gonna give a shout out to Pooja now to make sure she goes to find somebody from Duolingo, cause we need to have them on the show. So, great case study.
Henry: I, I would love to have, like, I would love to hear from them, like, you know, what was the thought behind it? I think it’s really like, it is really a true, people talk about gamifications all the time. Very few actually get it right. They actually really use gamifications not, not, not just like a feature, but really, you know, as, as means to help the users study and achieve the goals. Right. You know, help the, the, the users be better achieve, realizing the goals that we set for ourselves. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s really powerful.
Paula: Exactly. And it, and it taps into, I suppose, the human psychology as well. Because as I think about my streak and how proud I am when I achieve that every day. It’s this idea about loss aversion. You know, I have a streak, I have 77 days, so there’s absolutely no way I’m gonna stop and start all over again on day one. So , they, they’ve absolutely nailed it.
So listen, with all of that said, Henry, I think that one’s going to continue, behind the scenes hopefully for us, cause I’m gonna follow you now in Duolingo and we can start to, to connect with the community side of what goes on in that business.
But, we’re here today to talk about your incredible role with the GoTo Group in Indonesia. It is an absolutely incredible business, but one that a lot of our listeners, I think particularly, perhaps in the western world, may not be too familiar with. So will you first of all just introduce the GoTo Group Henry, so we get a sense of the scale of your business?
Henry: Cool. I’ll, I’ll, you know, I, I hope I’m doing justice. So just before this, I have to read up like the facts of, of, of my website cause you know, like, I just need to do this properly. So the GoTo Group, is, is the largest, digital ecosystem player in Indonesia. And of course digital ecosystem sounds, sounds a mouthful.
But you know, what we served is, you know, there are three big verticals, of GoTo Group. The first is on demand services. That’s your ride-hailing and food delivery. And, and the second one is e-commerce. And the third is, GoTo Financial, which is financial service, which is, you know the lending, e-wallet and payment. So those, those three verticals underpins the GoTo Group.
Just to give you a sense that GoTo Group, you know, we make up about the 2% of, in the nation’s GDP. We serve about 270 million people in Indonesia. I’m not just talking from a customer’s perspective, but also drivers, sellers, merchants who are, who are, who are, who are hosted, on our platform, on our ecosystem.
And I think another fascinating thing, two third of Indonesian’s household expenses actually flows through GoTo ecosystem. So that’s the scale of GoTo Group itself.
Paula: That’s incredible. And the first time I came across the group, and it was before it had been listed as a public company, was back in 2018 where again, I think some listeners know I was lucky enough to get to spend a couple of months in Bali. One of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia. And the ride-hailing service, particularly these scooters that, you know, you can just hire a Gojek and literally go anywhere for about 50 cent if absolutely was I, I think a life highlight. I did dare to say, because I was so excited about that service. And then the food delivery, for example, we used to order the whole coconut and literally get it delivered again.
I mean, it was just such a beautiful experience and I know it went public and absolutely amazing that you guys are contributing. I think it’s up to 2.2% of Indonesia’s GDP in a country of 270 million people. So, what I even love more though, Henry, I’m going to say the role that you’ve been hired for Senior Vice President Head of Loyalty has a very clear purpose, and I don’t wanna put words in your mouth in terms of my understanding of that.
So maybe you’d explain your actual role again. I know it’s about a year now. So what is the purpose of your role with the GoTo Group?
Henry: Interesting. We might make more, we might need more than an hour to explain exactly what I do, but for the purpose of these sessions. So I was, I was really hired with, to the CEO, you know, when we, I spoke to the CEO is sounds like a simple one liner, but you know, it carries, it, it, there are a lot of layers behind it. Basically he told me, and he said that I want you to reimagine what loyalty is for a GoTo Group. That’s it. One line. And I was like, reimagine loyalty for the GoTo Group. That’s interesting, right? So, so, so there are currently a few, if you would like to call it a traditional loyalty programs that exists.
Loyalty structure that exists within the group. You know, , FinTech, and they have one e-Commerce. They have one ride-hailing there, there’s another one. But it’s always between the company with the customers directly, which is what a traditional loyalty, construct is, right?
But, but, but we are not. We, we are, we are bigger than that. Our ecosystem consists of drivers, food sellers, digital goods sell, merchants. And the customers itself, right? So how do we, you know, imbue a sense of community, right? And, and taking on the role of an orchestrate. So that, you know, there, there is a loyalty that is created between sellers with the customers directly, food merchants with the customers directly, and, and, and the, riders maybe with their, with, with the users directly, right?
So, the, my, my job really is to understand how we can actually reimagine the concept of loyalty in a digital, digital ecosystems. Where it is, where, where in itself, if, if, if we manage to unlock, if we manage to empower, for example, a sellers to win the loyalty of their end customers who are also sitting on our platform.
Eventually, GoTo will stand to benefit because seller see a value of why they should be of it should be our sellers, not our competitors. The customers has the reasons to stick around using our service because they’re building, they’re being valued, they’re being recognized for their engagement for, on the platform itself.
So, sounds massive, which is what it actually is. That’s my day-to-day life. Really trying to understand that, you know, what is, what does it take for us to actually, build a, win loyalty in a sustainable way? Because as you know, in the last 12 to 18 months, the tech industry has been disrupted a lot.
We’ve gone through a lot. We are, you know, we are, we are no longer able to just, spend incentives on our customers, right? Giving promos, coupons, just like that. As, as an customers loyalty, we are forced to really understand double down to, you know, double down to understand our customer’s barrier.
What is it that they need? You know, what, what, what is it that you, Paula, what do you like about, about, about Go Chat. Right? Maybe it’s not about the, maybe it’s not about the 50 cent rights that you like. Maybe it’s because the fact that when you want to drink a coconut right, someone is able to deliver it to you as quickly as possible, right?
If that’s the case, you know, you, you, we don’t need to spend that coupons on you, right? We just, we just need to ensure that, you know, whenever you place an order, you get it as quickly as possible. So, really, in a, in a, you know, in an ecosystem that caters to 270 million people, right?
How do we really sounds like a mammoth task, but that’s what that, that’s what keeps me excited. That’s what keeps the team excited. How do we actually redefine what, what is loyalty to each of these 217 million people who is sitting in our ecosystem.
Paula: Perfectly well explained, Henry, and absolutely it does sound like a mammoth task. And what struck me as you were describing the existing loyalty propositions is. Almost the fact that it would be much easier if you didn’t have any existing loyalty propositions for the individual services and businesses that you offer.
So the fact that you do have to reinvent, you know, and particularly as you said, to bring in all of the other stakeholders. Where I’m not sure how much data you have on them or what their level of let’s say, maturity is around loyalty propositions in a professional capacity. Like it’s almost mind-blowing to me that you, you really need to think about their needs.
As well as consumer needs. So it’s the B2B, the B2C, and I’m guessing employees are part of the mix as well. I mean, why wouldn’t they be? So it really seems that you do have one of the most exciting loyalty jobs on the planet.
Henry: I, I call that job security. I hope so. I think so. But I think you said it very well.
You know, the business needs of a, of ride-hailing is different of that, of a food business. It’s different from that of an e-commerce. Definitely different from a, a, a FinTech. A, a human company, right? So, so is it even possible to have one common value propositions that binds them all?
Maybe we don’t have to have a one, a common value propositions as long as we are able to actually create, the, create a stickiness, on the platform, which is what we want. And once you are sticky on the platforms, right, it gives us an opportunity also to actually drive cross sell, right?
Because these are three big users, three big businesses that sits on the platforms, right? And, and I actually see that as a, is more intelligent way to grow the business. Rather than in the, you know, in the past, I guess, you know, we, we’ve been guilty of that as well, where we tend to, acquire new customers from com, from our competitors at the very, at the rate that today we can’t afford it anymore.
Right. And I guess it’s no secret because like, you know, we’ve been talking about, you know, wanting to, well, all tech companies have been talking about, wanting to achieve profitability, right?
Paula: Of course. Yeah.
Henry: So for us to achieve profit profitability requires us really to understand,you know, How much LTV life, customer lifetime value do we believe that we can get from, from, from a user?
And therefore, how much customer acquisition costs that we should, we should be spending on a customer. Right? But the thing is that, like I said, we have, we do have a big enough users, customers sitting on our, sitting on our ecosystem. Why should we try to acquire new ones to join to, to, to, to join the ecosystems?
Why don’t we just encourage cross-selling as means to actually, you know, which is, which is a cheaper way To grow the business. And that’s what, that’s what really keeps me excited being in this, being in this role.
Paula: Yeah, and it comes through so clearly as well Henry. I was reading the, the most recent results, which are incredibly positive for the group. And as you said, profitability takes time. but it’s very clearly on a path to achieving that. And what I loved is in several places in the latest results announcements. You know, it’s very clearly articulated.
Our focus is on high quality, profitable customers, and there’s absolutely nothing there about, you know, scale and, and growth from, from outside. So it certainly sounds like you are not thinking about the old-fashioned points and stuff that we, you know, we’ve all grown up with in terms of, you know, driving that cross sell.
Particularly, it’s not going to be a mindset around, you know, a currency, for example, or any of the propositions. So will you just briefly talk us through the existing propositions as well, Henry? Because it would be interesting just to see what, what are you starting with in terms of what are the customers of the different businesses experiencing as the propositions?
Henry: So I think they, you know, there is, there is, there is a huge opportunity for us to actually, and to grow what we call, multi-service users right? To users who actually use the different services within, within, within the organizations. So we enable them multi-service users. And, and, and, and you know, just like what the literature has said, multi-service users are more valuable, more profitable to the business.
Right. I mean that’s, that’s a fact. That’s been chat in the public as well, right? But to grow this, to grow these users, it’s not as easy as like, oh, okay, you are, ride-hailing users. You’ve never purchased anything from my e-commerce. And then I’ll, you know, please Paula, use my e-commerce. I’ll give you $10 off.
It doesn’t work that way. It might work for the first time. Right. But if you don’t like it, you don’t like it. Right. If you don’t like a product that I sell, why would you use the $10? Right? And if you use, if you do use the $10, the chance is you might not written the next time if I don’t give you the $10.
And that’s not a smart way to actually grow, right? So, a way that we actually do it is really to understand that, for example, the heat, if, if Paula, all this a coconut, juice, in Bali. And Paula is waiting for her rider to arrive at her nice villa. Right? Can I infer that Paula is in holiday mood? Can I infer that Paula might probably is like somewhere on the side of a swimming pool under a sun. Does Paula need a sunscreen? And maybe what, maybe what Paula is actually, you know, looking at where is my rider? And monitoring the map. Looking at the map, but waiting for the arrival of your coconut juice. An app just pop up and says that, hey, there is a sunscreen nearby. Would you like to purchase it? Right.
These are some of the, you know, these are, this is, this is one example as to how we are actually testing the power of data. Of course, we have to infer a lot. We run a lot of experiments.
Also, the power of advertising, digital advertising. Because that’s where, that’s where and, and also picking the right moment to actually reach out to you. Right? Because I might, you might need a sunscreen. But if I push it to you while you are at a breakfast table, you’re gonna ignore it, right?
But I know that you’re waiting for your drink. For your coconut juice, right? And very likely you’re looking at your phone, right? Maybe impatiently. Right?
Henry: And, why don’t you purchase this? Right? So, immediately if you do need a sunscreen, you purchase a sunscreen, right?
And immediately that, you know, you become a multi-service user, from our perspective, right? And in your eyes, I’m not trying to bright you to purchase sunscreen from me. You know, I, I want to make you feel that I really know you. I really can anticipate what you need.
And I market it in a not so intrusive way because you’re not doing anything. You’re waiting for your drinks, right? So, these are some I would call, this is not even the strategy. I would call this tactics that we are experimenting, as part of the group.
As the power of a GoTo as an organizations, because in the past, you know, project is one, CEDIA is another, but now we have, we have, we have common platforms where we can start doing cross-selling in a sustainable way.
Paula: Absolutely. And that, of course is, is very smart, you know, consumer behavior tactics as you, as you’ve said.
Do you also ask them to opt into programs like, specifically and explicitly maybe for extra permissions or, or subscription type propositions? Or is it purely, you know, GoTo Group has, you know, 300 million or who, who knows, pardon me, 150 million, 200 million actual customers. So do we automatically continue marketing to them or is there a separate step in terms of a loyalty proposition that they sign up to?
Henry: Interesting. So, that’s, super interesting. So be, you know, we’re, because it’s a three different business legal entity, but if you just sign up from one program, very likely, you, you, you, you’re only giving consent to that one particular business entity.
So yes. So we, we do ask for, well, we do wanna make sure that, you know, we actually collect your explicit consent. Before we actually start marketing to you. But we know that the challenge has a lot of practitioner. As marketers, the challenge has never been just to collect your consent, right?
It’s knowing when I should actually push the offer to you and what you actually need before you actually make your first transactions. Right. Once you make your first transaction one you make your second transactions, then I start collecting your data. It’s easier for me to understand, you know, build a profile of what you like.
Right. But just to answer your questions, consent is definitely a key thing. We’re a public company, definitely something that we take very seriously.
Paula: No, makes perfect sense. And, and I do love that absolutely where there is a, a delineation of what they are already a customer of and what you can do.
And then explicit permission, as you said, for, for the other businesses. So again, cross sell almost sounds quite easy when you have a business, the, the scale that, that you are operating. But of course, nothing is ever as easy it looks at on, on the, on the outside. So, so super interesting.
And I know with this brief then from the CEO Henry, you are thinking about re-imagining what loyalty might look like for the group.
Again, bearing in mind all of the other opportunities, if we call them, you know, the, the, all of the various stakeholders. All of the various business units and really this focus on high quality, profitable customers. So will you tell us a bit about how you’re thinking about what the future could look like and what kind of insights you’re leveraging as you start to build you know, different ideas?
Henry: I’ll give a, like a, a sneak preview of what they know, what’s cooking, what, what we are experimenting. So, we, we, if you, let’s just use, let’s just look at the ride-hailing, as an example. There is one loyalty programs for the consumers. There’s one loyalty program for the drivers, our drivers partners. Right. That’s, that’s demand and supply in the platform business. Right.
But because it’s so hard to, to, to, to secure driver partners and without driver partners, then you know the supply’s not there. The waiting time is long. It gets expensive, then you won’t get customers. So everything is interconnected, right?
So we ask ourselves that, if that’s the case, why is our loyalty programs one-to-one? Why don’t we create something that connects the driver partners with the consumers? And, and because, because these are the two players in the ecosystems, right?
So, today, our, our, our, our loyalty programs is pretty, I mean, it’s phenomenal, right? As users, yes, you spend more, you climb up the, you climb up the tiers, and of course there are special privileges waiting for you as at the top tier. Likewise as a driver partners, you know, if you clock in X number of X number of hours driving, and you know, you constantly get, you show good behaviors, on the road and therefore you climb up the tier as well, right?
But our research has shown because we are really, I don’t use the word lightly, but we are really a customer obsessed organizations, right? And when I say customers, both the drivers and the end users. We know that, It’s really important for the drivers to, to the drivers have had, you know, care about the quality of passengers that they get, because sometimes passengers behave unruly, because sometimes the passengers like, you know, make them make, take the longer route, whatever that doesn’t make, that doesn’t make it a, an appealing, experience, for the drivers, right? And if we let that bad behaviors, if we just let that behaviors, bad behaviors go, right? Then the driver that, you know, the drivers will get turned off, you know, automatically from, from, from the platform.
Doesn’t matter how much, how much incentive we were giving the drivers, right? So now can we say that as part of loyalty programs, we want to reward the passengers, the customers. You get points for showing good behaviors. So, for example, right? Maybe don’t make your drivers wait more than three minutes, five minutes when they arrive. Which is really important. Right? Tip your driver, right? if you have, so in Singapore, you know, if you have a child under, I think five years old, you need to have a baby chat, babysits, install in. So, you know, you should bring one on your own. Right.
So can I encourage good behavior from the passengers so that it benefits the, the, the drivers and therefore the drivers are happy. The drivers are loyal to, to, to, to go check as the platforms. Because the dynamics between the drivers and the passengers are good.
Well, Right. So that is one example that where we are trying to reimagine how the players in the ecosystems can actually interact with one another. Nurturing the loyalty between them. That will eventually, of course, benefit GoTo as a platform.
Paula: Of course. I really love that. You know, I’ve often thought about the drivers, and I know there’s loyalty programs certainly in this region for that, that group of people. But my understanding is, and it’s possibly quite wrong, was that it was all focused on, you know, Here’s a way to get your car serviced or you know, basically helping them do a better job on a very maybe transactional level.
But what you are describing, and I think I knew at some level that they did rate my behavior, but now I’m really gonna be thinking about, about how well I behave. But I really hadn’t thought about how important it is for them to only pick up the type of passengers who are, you know, professional and, and, and charming and, and respectful.
Because again, I guess it, it’s probably like airports and stuff as well. It probably tests all of us. A little bit in terms of their stressful situations and, and people who do behave badly then are not good for your business because it’s not good for their business. So I love that holistic thinking, and it really is, again, respectful is the word I’m thinking of for those drivers.
And I’m sure it’s the same from merchants and stuff as well. Have you got propositions for, for the other businesses?
Henry: So for, for our e-commerce business, so if you are, the role of e-commerce is all about discounts, discounts and more discounts. That’s, that’s the fact. But then, you know, we ask ourselves, what differentiates us as a platforms as compared to our competitors, right? So we know that the, you know, it’s easy to ask our merchants to say that give me mark coupons so that I can distribute to the customers. Right. But then if I were the merchants, I would then ask back, whose loyalty are we building, you know, towards? The sellers who is actually funding this or GoTo as the platform, right? So how do I, how do I like, you know, part as my task, how do I empower the merchants to target their own end users on our platforms on their own? They choose and define which segments that they want to target and nurture. Right.
And give, and give and personalize the right rewards that they want to, reward the, their end customers. Right. Of course, in the beginning we’ll help them. We’ll run POC with them and, and we’ll help them understand. But then, you know, that’s, that’s, that’s the thinking, right?
And, and, and eventually we’re thinking of not just giving coupons. So, FMCG, they, FMCG brands, they, they, they love to give free samples as means to actually give. They, they love to, maybe they want to do a early preview sales for a selected group of customers, users on, on, on the platforms.
How do we do that, right? And how do we enable these merchants so that they’re no longer feels, that they’re always at the mercy of GoTo, to reach out, to build, to nurture their own end users, right? Which is, which is what all brands to day one that today everyone’s talking about DTC, direct to, consumers, right? Like why, how do we replicate that in the, e-commerce business? Right? Because we believe, right, of course,at, at the corner, there might be people saying that, wouldn’t you see control if you do that, wouldn’t you lose your customers to your brands?
But we don’t see it that way. It has to be a win, win win value proposition is good for the brand for the merchants. Therefore, they will love GoTo. It’s good for the customers because they’re being rewarded for the brands that they engage with directly. And, eventually it’s, it can only be a good thing for GoTo. Right.
Because a job really is just an orchestrator to make sure that merchants and buyers are actually connected and they bond. And, you know, that which becomes a source of growth for the platform.
Paula: And it’s fascinating and I’m trying to imagine, you know, myself as a merchant.
So for example, I’ve never been a merchant, let’s say, on a, on a big Amazon platform versus, you know, Rakuten, which of course is, is the huge equivalent in Japan. But I was told anecdotally that the big difference between the two was that Rakuten, which I’m hearing is exactly what GoTo Group is doing, is you’re facilitating the relationship and the loyalty between the merchants and the consumers.
Where I was told that wasn’t the case with, with other brands, and again, I’m not the, the, the actual user, so I can’t confirm that. But I love the thinking that you’re actually going. It has to be not just win, win, win, but long term. That they embrace you and that stickiness then, I mean, there’s just no way that any other platform can come in and, you know, take over your established relationships with those merchants because you’ve got the integrity in place from the word go. It’s very impressive.
Henry: Absolutely. that’s, that’s, well that’s, that’s that what keeps me going.
Paula: Yes. Amazing. Amazing. So going forward then, you know, trends wise, I always love reading your content Henry on LinkedIn. So if anybody’s listening here to this show and you’re not following Henry Christian on LinkedIn, I can promise you it’ll be the best thing you’ve done today.
So, I get lots of my ideas. I know my team love to see all of your memes and your, your insights and stuff as well. But just in terms of the trends we’ve seen, I know last time we spoke you were saying, you know, 24 months ago we were all talking about subscription. 12 months ago we were all talking about Web 3.0 and NFTs, and now we’re all talking about Chat GPT and AI.
So, so where are you in terms of managing this hype cycle? And, and what it means, I guess, for us as loyalty programs? And, and what does the future hold for, for the technology of loyalty?
Henry: Interesting. I actually think that, you know, the concept of community has been taught a lot, but has never really taken off, at least for us, in the not the industry.
Paula: Yeah. I agree.
Henry: But I still, I still love that. So again, sneak review. Probably if you, you know, that’s something that I will continue, try to sell to my stakeholders, like the concept of community. I think, I think it’s so powerful. Let’s, let’s go back to our earlier discussions on Duolingo. One of the things that keep me going is the fact that I’m connected with my group of friends who will then nudge me and say that you’ve not done your lesson today. Or, Duolingo will say that there is a French quest. They call it a French quest, and, you know, get 50, you need to do XYZ, and then you earn something. They, that’s called the French quest, right?
And my friend would nudge me and say that, hey dude, you’ve not done anything. Like, I need the gems. Like, do something. Right. Of course, you know, that’s just a group of friends. But really that’s in itself, it’s actually a, power of, community. Because then, you know, you get people within the like-minded people who share your goals to actually, you know, be with you in your journey.
And it, itself, it becomes another lever to make your customers loyal to your platforms without you having to do, you know, the most of the heavy lifting, right? Because there are other people around them who is, who becomes, a who abuse the sense of loyalty to the platform.
Right. I, you know, I, I say it like, I think that you, you’ll see more and more concept of law community coming up In the loyalty space. Like, you know, Airbnb does it really well. I think, Brian just came out and says that, oh, a lot of you asked for a loyalty program and maybe he said something we’re gonna look at.
I’m really interested to see what loyalty’s coming up from. Please have them on the show Paula, and when they have a loyalty program, I really want to.
Paula: Which one was that?
Paula: Airbnb, yes, of course.
Henry: Right? Yes. I see you just say that like I hear you. A lot of you ask for a customer loyalty program. I’m gonna look at that, and I thought that, that’s so awesome.
Henry: When you have a, I wanna see what loyalty program you have. So I see that as well. So if I, and again, if I applied in the context of GoTo, imagine if I have a, if I can create a community of, let’s say, working mothers, which is a real thing. Right. And within the community, I have a few brands that will, that can sponsor some of the rewards, some of the gifts. I can have brands from moms and babies. I can have, you know, brands from, I can have restaurants who will supply meals, you know, to make sure that food is ready when mom is home. I can have maybe a ride-hailing who can help the mom pick up their kids from school and then ferry them over to, ferry, bring them, their kids home, right?
But then it’s a concept of how do I bring this like-minded customers who have the same goals, right, on our ecosystems?
Because look, we are talking about like millions of customers on our platform. Surely we can find you know, a few groups where we can actually nurture loyalty, a sense of community that will then drive loyalty among our customers.
Paula: I, I fundamentally believe in this insight, Henry and I will be waiting and, and wondering, and excited to hear, you know, what does come through from all of your kind of development work in, in the months and years to come. I think it’s one that loyalty professionals are, again, probably very, also excited about maybe struggling to prove the business case, internally in terms of is it just a CSR initiative or is there actually incremental business and value to us in order to facilitate that?
Because like every loyalty proposition, it’s time consuming and expensive, and there’s limited opportunity. Even for a brand of the scale of GoTo Group, how many brands will I choose to have a relationship with? How many of them will make it worth my while? It’s something we’re thinking about a lot as well, of course, it’s Let’s Talk Loyalty because we wanna be of value.
And I know you attended and came along to some of our exploration calls, let’s say, just to support us with our thinking, again, to be loyal back to us. So, so really want to acknowledge you for all of that. So it’s, it’s an incredibly exciting time, Henry. Definitely you’re doing amazing work. All of the right thinking is there. The principles are well understood, and all I will say is I hope you do come back again in another year or so and update us on, on where you’re at.
So with all of that said, is there anything else that you think that we should touch on, Henry, before we wrap up today’s recording?
Henry: So I’m just, I’m like, like I said, I’ve been waiting since I opened my eyes this morning. Like, yep, I’m gonna talk to Paula today. I’m like, I’m really looking forward to that. And, I was just talking to my colleague this morning. I said, well, don’t, this disturb me half an hour before the sessions. I really need to get my hit in the right space cause I’m doing this show.
And really thank you for giving me the opportunity to share, you know, the good things that GoTo group is doing. As an Indonesian born, I’m really, really proud of what GoTo Group is doing for the people of Indonesia.
And I’m proud to be part of the, of the organizations and I believe that, we are going to do even create the things, in the years to come.
Paula: I have no doubt, Henry, I can hear the integrity and the passion coming through in your voice. So as we said, super exciting times and we’ll definitely be staying in touch and continuing to share your story.
So with all of that said, Henry Christian, Senior Vice President and Head of Loyalty for the GoTo Group in Indonesia. Thank you so much from Let’s Talk Loyalty.
Henry: Thank you, Paula.
Paula: This show is brought to you by the Australian Loyalty Association, the leading organization for loyalty professionals in Asia Pacific. Visit their news and content hub for the latest loyalty insights from around the world. Or why not submit your own article for publication? For more information on their loyalty services and networking opportunities, visit australianloyaltyassociation.com.
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