ecommerce trend in southeast asia

Market Research Southeast Asia: Ecommerce Trends

Market research Southeast Asia shows that the region as an e-commerce market has grown significantly over a decade.

Just a decade ago, internet penetration was so low that most people in Southeast Asia have no connection or limited access.

Today, Southeast Asians are among mobile internet users with most engagements in the world. This significant change affects how customers shop.

Due to internet penetration, the internet economy of Southeast Asia grows at an unprecedented rate.

The region’s internet economy hits $100 billion in 2019, which means the economy has grown its size thrice four years prior.

This huge and still growing internet economy offers opportunities to businesses. Here, we will tell you about the e-commerce trends in Southeast Asia.

The Goods Purchased Online

Based on the online purchases in 2018, these are the top five categories of goods purchased by Southeast Asia customers:

1. Travel and Accommodation

 Travel and accommodation account for the most purchased goods across Southeast Asia. The annual money spent on travel and accommodation is estimated to be $26.95 billion.

2. Electronics and Physical Media

Southeast Asia customers spent $6.46 billion in total for electronics and physical media.

3. Fashion and Beauty

Fashion and beauty goods are third in place, accounting for $5.75 billion in total.

4. Furniture and Appliances

The total amount Southeast Asia customers spend on furniture and appliances is $4.16 billion.

5. Toys and Hobbies

Toys and hobbies account for $3.66 billion in 2018 alone.

Cash on Delivery, the Most Used Method of Payment

The payment methods used in Southeast Asia countries vary. For example, bank transfers, credit cards, mobile wallets, and cash on delivery.

With Singapore as the exception, most people in Southeast Asian countries are still unbanked.

This means that credit card as a method of payment is notably low. This, however, doesn’t stop Southeast Asians from purchasing items online.

This lack of infrastructure is what drives Southeast Asians to transact through cash on delivery.

According to, cash on delivery accounts for over 70% of all processed transactions.

There is a push towards mobile wallets as well as other cashless payment methods, but so far, the region mostly relies on cash on delivery.

Mobile-first Approach

It is estimated that compared to any other market, Southeast Asian customers spend about 10% more time using mobile internet.

The average time consumers spend on mobile internet is 3.6 hours a day.

Thailand consumers have the longest time spend on mobile internet: 4.2 hours a day. For businesses, this means that they need to have a mobile-first approach.

Integrated Platform

When it comes to online shopping, today’s consumers prefer an integrated platform that loads fast has a simplified checkout process, and features like support for multiple currencies payment or e-payment to a catalog of products.

Businesses have seen this trend, thus turning to various e-commerce platforms to maximize their customer reach as well as sell their products.


These are the e-commerce trends in Southeast Asia. So far, the internet economy has been predicted to keep growing in the foreseeable future as more and more people shop online.

For businesses to profit from this huge and growing internet economy in Southeast Asia, you need eCommerce asian market research consulting, so you as Chief-level can pinpoint and navigate in the region’s economy.






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