As of today, e-commerce sales represent less than 1% of the total retail sales in Southeast Asia, according to the report from AT Kearney. This is not much when it is compared to 6 to 8% in Europe, China, or the US. But with the continuous expansion of spending power of Southeast Asia’s consuming middle-classes, increased internet penetrations, and a growing number of e-commerce players, online retail in the region could reach 25% in coming years. As seen in a previous post, the fact that Alibaba invested $1billion in South East Asian giant player Lazada confirms this trend, and it is not the only example. We could also talk of JD.com or Tokopedia in Indonesia.
Southeast Asia is more and more connected. The Philippines sends more texts than any other country, and Jakarta is the world’s No. 1 “tweeting” city. There are more than 250 million smartphone users in the region. Only one in four consumers has purchased online, according to a survey conducted by Bain & Company and Google of more than 6,000 consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
But one of the particularity of the region is that most of the consumers do not own a computer. Outside of the cities, people access digital platforms primarily through mobile phones. For example, in Thailand, 85% of consumers not living in major metropolitan hubs use mobile devices for their online purchases.
Soon the countries of Southeast Asia will go through the same commotion as in China.
China is witnessing a trade revolution, over the past few years, e-commerce dominated, but now m-commerce is rising up. In Asia and mainly in China m-commerce has become the new trend. Today, you can purchase different products such as high-tech, food, fashion, trips, home appliance directly from your phone. With nearly 80% of Chinese use their phones to surf on the Internet, m-commerce should trible by 2018, according to Euromonitor.