Women in Southeast Asia contribute to 80% of all household buys, outshopping men by 20%, and spending 40% more time looking at online retailers, says a report from e-retailer Zalora.

According to the Zalora Trender report “Data Meets Fashion”, not only is the e-commerce future female, it’s also young.

The region is home to more than 200 million Millennials and Gen Zs, who are expected to make up the largest shopping base as they reach their mid-20s in the next few years and who are expected to have higher disposable incomes.

The report also points out that, as elsewhere, the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce, and that this trend will continue. It cites as evidence that three quarters of consumers in Singapore plan to keep up their level of online shopping once the pandemic is over.

Fashion and lifestyle retail categories have shifted, the report finds. While fashion has been hard hit by the pandemic, demand did not vanish, but instead moved to greater demand for such things as sports and activewear, loungewear, and children’s wear; demand for beauty and home living products surged, along with health and hygiene items, which both recorded triple-digit growth in the last six months of the year.

Delivering on sustainability commitments is key for brands as the report’s finding make clear that for many consumers, sustainability is at the centre of their purchasing decisions – 90% of those who took part in the survey “presented some level of interest in shopping for sustainable products, with more than 60% willing to pay a premium for such items”.

Immersive commerce is the future, the report states. The key will be finding ways of bridging the gap between the offline and online experience, and this stretches from payments to brand experience and, potentially, augmented reality.

Even in Southeast Asia, the report notes, cash is starting to lose its lustre. It’s still the preferred and most trusted method of payment, but digital is fast gaining ground. And, with 250 million smartphone users in the region, e-wallets are rapidly replacing conventional banking methods – 49% of urban commercial bank customers are already using e-wallets.

Sourced from Zalora