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SE Asian B2C e-commerce market worth hits $6 billion

Southeast Asia’s B2C e-commerce market grew by 28.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year with a gross merchandise value (GMV) exceeding US$6 billion.

Business consultancy Frost & Sullivan, in its quarterly e-commerce update, reported that Indonesia is still the single largest B2C e-commerce market in the region. Its GMV grew by more than 25 per cent during the quarter.

“While a large number of customers still use websites to research products and make purchases, there is an increasing preference to use mobile applications,” says Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific e-commerce program director Naveen Mishra.

“Apps also offer market players the chance to connect with customers as well as offer a personalised shopping experience.”

Frost & Sullivan’s Quarterly update says Indonesia contributed more than a third of the SEA e-commerce market (in terms of GMV), whereas other markets in the region, with the exception of Thailand, contributed double-digit numbers. Thailand’s B2C e-commerce market size is less than half that of Indonesia.

During the quarter, retailers introduced a range of festive-season marketing campaigns including Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Singles Day, as well as the traditional Christmas and year-end flash sales.

Retailers should not underestimate the potential of the emerging economies on the e-commerce sector, says Frost & Sullivan Asia-Pacific principal analyst Avinash Sachdeva.

“Emerging economies are unlocking digital opportunities for market players as they enhance mobile platforms to improve customer experience.”

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