Southeast Asia ecommerce: The vital stats


There are 330 million internet users and counting in Southeast Asia. That makes Southeast Asian ecommerce a massive market, worth about $26 billion in 2017. But that’s not including all online shopping when you factor in online media spending, ride-hailing, online travel booking, etc. that rockets to $50 billion. As internet adoption rates and GDPs climb, online shopping across the region is expected to be worth $200 billion by 2025, with ecommerce alone accounting for $88 billion. VCs are reacting accordingly: ecommerce funding jumped three-fold from 2016 to 2017, reaching nearly $8 billion. It’s worth noting, though, that the number of total deals actually dropped from 2016 to 2017. And about 81 percent of the region’s startup funding went to unicorns, so while investors are sweet on the ecommerce market, they aren’t too excited about smaller startups. Who’s driving all this online shopping? Southeast Asia’s shoppers are incredibly mobile: overall about 72 percent of ecommerce traffic comes via mobile, and that number has been growing at double-digit rates. In Indonesia, 87 percent of ecommerce traffic is already coming from mobile. Interestingly, though, shoppers tend to buy more when they’re on PCs or laptops. These shoppers are also dedicated. On average they spend nearly two and a half hours online shopping every month double what the average American spends. That doesn’t mean they’re spending a fortune, though order size is still closely tied to economic power, meaning that e-shoppers in Singapore spend above $90 per order on average, while those in developing countries like Vietnam tend to spend less than $30 per order. Southeast Asia boasts a diverse variety of sites shoppers can check out, but it has thus far produced only two true ecommerce unicorns: Lazada and Tokopedia. Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba has a hand in both of them, having acquired Lazada and invested heavily in Tokopedia. Of course, both companies are involved in far more than just ecommerce these days, and are spreading out into logistics, online payments, cloud services, and more. And Southeast Asia’s five other unicorns are mostly also part of the online shopping and booking trend, although they’re not pure ecommerce. Grab and GoJek sell rides via their apps, Traveloka does travel booking, and Sea generates revenues from gaming and financial services. Razer, the PC hardware giant, is the only Southeast Asian tech unicorn that isn’t earning most of its money from the region’s online shoppers.

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One thought on “Southeast Asia ecommerce: The vital stats

  1. Tokopedia indonesia vs lazada ASEAN = same profit
    gojek indonesia vs grab ASEAN = same profit
    Traveloka indonesia vs sea ASEAN = same profit
    Lazada, grab, sea (maybe) owner by singapore (smallest country in SEA) and operate in all SEA country,
    Tokopedia, gojek, traveloka owner by indonesia (biggest country in SEA) and operate only in indonesia
    Nice strategic business for singapore
    Only in indonesia, singapore platform be beaten by regional platform of indonesia, but in other country, singapore platform become monopolies., rest country should follow this to prevent small contry controlling your platform business

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