3 outstanding trends that shape Southeast Asia E-commerce in 2019
Once seen as the small fry in the click-and-buy race, Southeast Asia has gradually become an uprising market for online retails thanks to the growing middle class, internet penetration and the flexibility to new opportunities. But what’s there for Southeast Asian E-commerce to expect in 2019? What should this region react to those trends to glow? Let’s take a look at 3 outstanding trends that shape Southeast Asia E-commerce in 2019 to see how the industry is going to be this year.
Global expansionYou must have seen countless piles of reports starting with the same recipe “In these days of globalisation” or “At the dawn of globalising”. Boring, rigid, unstirring. I am not going to deny that, because they actually are. However, tedious as they may seem, those phrases are inherently true. To evolve, humans must communicate and collaborate with others for knowledge and skill exchange. The same notion is applied on a larger scale, which demands each and every country be more open to their neighbours to rise. As a result, foreign accessibility is currently much easier, trade barriers are lowered, and expanding businesses outside borders is then an inevitable part of any industry.
Put it in this period of time, the global e-commerce market is expected to grow tremendously in 2019, with Statista predicting that it will surpass the $3 billion dollar mark. Therefore, online businesses need to re-structure their companies to handle the incoming wave of international demand. One way to do this is by testing the water with low-investment ideas, looking forward to making a hit in overseas markets. However, in the context of China-US intense relationship, the real challenge for Southeast Asia is to stay neutral and make smart moves on the world map in order not to bother any of those two.
CustomisationAs humans, we all have a sense of regard and inclusion. However, the hustle and bustle lifestyle – an unavoidable part of this century, is now cutting us apart, which increases the feeling of being ignored and uncared about. The contrary of what we want and what we have arisen, therefore, poses a problem in our emotional well-being. As a result, we become more sensitive to acts of interest and touched by the silly littlest acts from surroundings. Taking this insight as to the core, many companies now choose customisation as a means to show their dedication to customers’ cognitive desires and to improve their emotional life.
Products like this are completely based on customer data gathered from interactive quizzes. Starting with personalised emails that use a friendly tone and individual information such as name, location, etc to increase good impressions, now customisation has innovated to self-tailored products. There are various brands now allow their customers to design the product to their references instead of providing them a mass-produced one. This is a smart approach because it not only shows their consideration of customers’ distinctive inclination but also promotes a sense of inclusivity and uniqueness.
Because customisation is linked to humans’ never-changing needs, it will continue being a trend to E-commerce in 2019, 2020 and even many years later. Customers, whose income will rise as the world becomes more developed, will be more willing to pay extra money for customisation. However, because customisation has been on the market for quite a time, companies will need more than personalised emails or self-tailored products to meet the escalating customer expectations. They could either come up with a brand new customisation idea based on the existed insight or looking for new approaches by gaming up their interactive-quizz app for data gathering.
Mobile commerceAccording to “The ASEAN Post”, Southeast Asians spend an average of 3.9 hours on their smartphones per day, compared to 2.2 hours per day for people in the United States and 1.3 hours per day in Japan, according to the “We Are Social Report 2018”. Thailand’s smartphone usage is the highest, at 4.9 hours per day followed by Indonesia, with 4.3 hours per day. Those are important figures that point out a new brand trend in E-commerce for Southeast Asia online retailers: buying and selling goods and services over the internet using mobile phones, which is called m-commerce (Mobile commerce) model. With a portable and always-open device like mobile phones, they can access to the internet for shopping from anywhere, anytime without wasting time to start their laptops or PCs. Moreover, mobile applications are also a good means for customers to track on the latest commercial trends, promotion codes, good deals, etc in a more clear-cut and concise way compared to various computer interfaces. Fast, handy and easy to use, M-commerce has all the needed ingredients for a successful online retail venture.
Therefore, the most common options to boost an M-commerce venture are to build a mobile website, to develop a mobile application, or both. Businesses can either build an in-house technical team to develop their own application or simply outsource a well-skilled team from another outsourcing company. Let’s take Crave Vend, a deal app created by a Vietnamese outsourcing firm: Savvycom, as an example. It is an application that simplifies the task of having an online presence and eMenu creation for restaurants owners, and for the hungry people to order food from cravevend.com website and/or from Android/iOS smartphones. It allows a lot of helpful functions: locate food merchants, view merchants rich menu, securely order for delivery or pickup, save favourite items and restaurants, email receipts. It not only brings the idea of M-commerce closer to the customers but also improves customer experiences as well as business optimisation.
Such M-commerce app like Crave Vend is currently adored by the customers and has many potentials to develop, so we are sure to see these business models popping up like crazy in 2019 and may be in a further time.
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