With the global pandemic having turbocharged the acceleration of digitalisation in Southeast Asia, the Southeast Asian e-commerce industry has been showing massive developments as a result.
According to iPrice Group’s Map of E-commerce Year-end Report 2020, consumers in Southeast Asia have spent an overall average of USD32 per online order in 2020, which was 19 per cent higher than in 2019.
The report, which was conducted in collaboration with SimilarWeb and AppsFlyer across six countries in Southeast Asia, further revealed that Singapore saw the highest overall spending last year with an average basket size of USD62 per order.
Malaysia came in second with an average basket size of USD41 per order, followed by Thailand (USD$29), the Philippines (USD$23), Indonesia (USD$21), and Vietnam (USD$17).
These unprecedented shifts have presented a sign of digital acceleration in online retail despite the global pandemic that affecting consumers in Southeast Asia.
Overall website traffic of online shopping platforms increased positively across all countries
2020 has signified strong customer confidence in e-commerce retail despite mobility restrictions and mounting concerns over the global pandemic.
The report revealed that the overall website traffic of online shopping platforms have increased positively across all countries year-over-year.
This can be seen most in Singapore, which experienced a surge of 35 per cent compared to 2019, followed by the Philippines (21 per cent), Vietnam (19 per cent), Malaysia (17 per cent), Thailand (15 per cent), and Indonesia (6 per cent).
What’s more, two Singapore-based e-commerce companies, Shopee and Lazada, were the most-visited e-commerce platforms across the six countries in Southeast Asia throughout the year.
Data from the report also showed that online department stores’ web traffic has experienced a 52 per cent average increase from Q1 of 2020. This could be a tell-tale sign that most countries in the region flocked to online department stores instead of physical stores due to social distancing.
Nonetheless, some e-commerce sites’ web traffic has taken a beating due to the pandemic. For instance, platforms that offer cosmetic products showed an average web traffic decrease of 35 per cent from Q1 to Q4 2020.
Meanwhile, fashion and electronics sites have also experienced a slight decrease of 14 per cent in traffic in the six aforementioned countries.
Whilst demand for essential goods is necessary, COVID-19 has seemingly broadened the online demand of Southeast Asian consumers for non-essential items such as fashion, electronics, health & beauty, and sports & outdoors that were seen through online spending instead.
What drives Southeast Asians to install & uninstall shopping apps?
As most people were embracing technology in response to a volatile and uncertain situation, there is a prime opportunity for mobile shopping apps to continuously engage with Southeast Asian consumers.
AppsFlyer, the global leader in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, together with iPrice analysed over 12.4 million installs, and found that there was a 2 per cent average increase of organic installs on iOS & Android’s shopping applications from January to June last year.
Among many things that led to users installing shopping applications were lockdown periods and online sales.
For instance, with lockdown measures were imposed in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, people embarked to install and tried different shopping apps between March until April. This also coincided with various online sales events, such as Ramadhan, while people were being trapped indoors.
Meanwhile, the Lunar New Year and Songkran festival also showed a surge of installations in Vietnam and Thailand from January to February last year.
Major e-commerce companies across the region have also rolled out other marketing campaigns that drew customers through gamified features on the app, free shipping, and discounts.
The success of organic installs has not gone unnoticed as the study also recognised six out of 10 SEA users are still using mobile shopping apps as their primary channel.
However, data reported that there was an increasing rate of uninstallation in five countries.
The highest average uninstallation was led by Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore with an increase of 49 per cent, 47 per cent, 41 per cent, 37 per cent, and 37 per cent respectively.
This proves that Southeast Asian users are more selective of shopping apps by uninstalling apps they don’t use as the pandemic continues on.
Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to provide further impetus for growth as shopping behaviour continues to shift.
It remains imperative for most e-commerce companies to strengthen their relationship with consumers through relevant marketing campaigns.