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20 October 2021
Social commerce continues surging in SEA: Report
E-commerce & mobile retailSocial media audiencesAsia (general region)
Even as COVID-19 restrictions ease in parts of Southeast Asia, the pace of growth for social commerce shows little sign of slowing and more people are spending more of their time discovering, considering and purchasing products within the social media ecosystem, according to iKala's “Riding the Pandemic Wave & Beyond” report.
Why it matters
Friction and inconvenience, as well as scams and risks, have left shoppers frustrated and less trusting of social commerce and, in order to succeed, brands and social sellers need strategies, tools and technologies that smoothen the customer experience and put customers at the centre of everything they do.
Social commerce orders and gross merchandise value nearly doubled in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period the previous year.
Consumer preference for social commerce (78%) surpassed traditional retail (35%) and is second only to e-commerce (91%)
Revenue per order was up 88% during the period, meaning consumers are not just shopping more but also spending more on each order.
Pain points for SEA consumers are expensive shipping (51%), no return and exchange policies (41%), and a lack of customer service (34%).
Payment preferences vary – consumers in Singapore and Malaysia prefer credit cards and digital wallets respectively; Thailand and the Philippines like cash on delivery.
Consumers seeking convenience and value turned to social media for food and beverage (46%), and groceries (32%) in the first half of 2021.
Consumers’ appetite for F&B and grocery shopping is especially high in Malaysia (53% and 38% respectively), and Thailand (50% and 32%).
A big reason for this is the on-again-off-again lockdowns in the region, which prompted people to go online for their essentials but it’s a trend that’s here to stay.
The annual research report by AI solutions firm iKala surveyed 1,600 social shoppers and more than 23,600 social sellers across Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore to identify emerging trends in the region’s social commerce space.