As governments encouraged people to stay home during quarantine to curb the spread of COVID-19, Southeast Asia saw rapid adoption of digital services including e-commerce, food delivery, as well as online payment methods.
- Approximately, more than 70 million people have started online shopping in 6 Southeast Asian countries since the pandemic began in early 2020, according to a report from Facebook and Bain & Company.
- By the end of 2021, 70% of people within the group of 15-years-old and above in the surveyed countries; Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, is to shop online.
- It is also indicated that the number of online shoppers in Southeast Asia (SEA) will grow by 380 million in 2026.
- With more purchases being made online during the pandemic, fintech services such as “buy now, pay later,” digital wallets, as well as cryptocurrencies have also emerged and become more famous.
- Among the surveyed SEA countries, the research concluded Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, continues to nurture the highest growth rate. Its digital consumer population is, in fact, projected
The E-commerce Boom in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia comprises 11 countries, with 6 of those leading the region economically: Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Vietnam. With a combined population of 655 million, a young demographic, and online retail sales projected to grow by 14.3% this year, Southeast Asia is indeed an exciting region for e-commerce.
The region has a prosperous landscape of local e-commerce companies powered by brands that will be recognized by a lot of people outside Southeast Asia (SEA). The largest players, including Shopee, Lazada, and Tokopedia, are online marketplaces selling a diverse range of goods, similar to the Amazon model. They take a large share of Southeast Asia’s total online retail sales, which are forecasted to reach $71 billion in 2021.
Below is a list of the top 5 online marketplaces in Southeast Asia by 2021:
Other than those listed above, Zalora has also become one of the famous e-commerce marketplaces in Asia. While the 5 other focuses on general products, Zalora focuses on fashion and beauty products the most, proven by a wide variety of famous brands it carries: from Tommy Hilfiger to Valentino and Gucci to Balenciaga.