Treat Yo' Self: Southeast Asia's e-Commerce Sector to Hit $150 Billion by 2025
The e-commerce market in Southeast Asia has grown sevenfold since 2015, to $38 billion in 2019, far outpacing any other internet-based sector in the region, a recent study showed, adding the sector is expected to hit the $150 billion mark by 2025, thanks to more and more people using internet in the region.
Even though ease and convenience have fuelled the boom in e-commerce around the world, steep online discounts have played a bigger role, especially for big-ticket items like electronics.
In Southeast Asia, online shopping festivals organised by international, as well as homegrown companies, have risen: from 9/9 (9 September), to Singles Day, (11/11) which has helped Alibaba post record sales year after year.
A Google Trends report showed that queries related to vouchers, coupons, and promotions, typically given out by e-commerce platforms during shopping festivals, have more than doubled over the last four years.
Perks such as same-day, or two-hour deliveries have also incentivised consumers to purchase online, with shorter delivery times catalysing purchase of cheap, everyday items, such as groceries, clothing, medicines etc.
Gamification of e-Shopping
Leading e-commerce apps in Southeast Asia have tapped the “social media influencer” culture, to enable online shopping-related content, such as “unboxings” of products, followed by reviews.
Limited time offers, where customers are given only a few minutes to check out items from their baskets if they want to avail deep discounts, have also helped drive online sales.
The e-commerce industry has inadvertantly given rise to several logistics players in the region, which then compete with each other on delivery times, and cost of operations so that they can bag contracts with big online shopping players, again making the system more conducive to attract consumers to the online shopping ecosystem.
But being forced to let go of profit margins to attract buying customers online, e-commerce companies in the region have turned to supply-side monetisation, by offering value-added services for a fee to its sellers, such as logistics, inventory management, and advertising, the joint study between Google, Temasek, and Bain & Co added.