• During the pandemic and accompanying lockdowns, there is a high speed of digitalization in SEA and the value of social video commerce in online purchasing has quadrupled.


The high speed of digitalization during the pandemic and accompanying lockdowns in countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam, has led to a forecast that by the end of 2021, each of these nations will have 70% or more of their adult population as digital customers.

With this online purchase growth, the importance of social media has skyrocketed, with 22% of consumers now naming it as their primary route for discovery. In China and the USA,  the channel transition from offline to online is already at its peak, but in Southeast Asia, online channels are driving development in consumer expenditure all the while resharing the way people are buying products online, and offline.

 With online shopping leading the way, tech start-ups have grown to lead venture funding and private equity investment in the region, accounting for 88% of deals by value from the first quarter of 2021, up from 75% a year ago. Financial technology, which accounted for 56% of the investments, was the largest sub-category, encompassing services including buy-now-pay-later, peer-to-peer borrowing, electronic wallet, and cryptocurrencies.

Southeast Asia was still trailing behind three years ago. That is definitely not the case. It is, in fact, paving the way, with consumer behavior being the key factor behind this growth.