The rise of online business in Southeast Asia is being fueled by interactive technology

Data from 750 online merchants from several Southeast Asian nations shows extremely high confidence in the future of e-commerce in the region


  • Fashion e-sellers were the most optimistic about their economic future.
  • Significant adjustments in Southeast Asian consumers’ behavior might be a fundamental driver of sellers’ optimistic outlook.


Confidence Is High

Despite and due to the global pandemic, digital commerce has performed well. In Southeast Asia (SEA), e-merchants remain optimistic about their future possibilities. This was all measured using a DCCI (Digital Commerce Confidence Index). The Digital Commerce Confidence Index is a scale of 0 to 100 that measures consumer confidence in digital commerce. It tracks merchants’ opinions on ongoing internet sales status and overall prospects for e-commerce to evaluate company confidence. Most notably, fashion e-sellers expressed the most optimism about their company forecasts. 48 percent of fashion e-sellers observed an increase in their online sales in 2021, and 75 percent expect it to improve by another 10%. 


Spending Patterns

Significant shifts in Southeast Asian customers’ spending patterns, with increased diversity among physical and digital transactions, might be a fundamental source of sellers’ positive moods. In 2020, 47 percent of customers reduced their physical expenditures while 30 percent increased their online spending.

Pricing VS. Experience

An additional notable trend is a shift to Shoppertainment, a combination of shopping and entertainment. Many vendors have benefited greatly from live streaming as it allows customers to buy in a more engaging atmosphere. 

In a constantly growing e-commerce industry, prices are no longer the exclusive means of competitiveness between online retailers, as the industry has taken on a new depth with many merchants using technology to encourage consumer involvement as a distinctive selling point.

The development of digital experiences and the success of networks such as Clubhouse and TikTok have proven that live audio and video streaming will become the next significant avenue for customer engagement. 

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