Technological developments and M-Commerce to propel Southeast Asian B2C E-Commerce to a global center stage

Posted on: M-Commerce | Cross-Border | Online Payment | B2C E-Commerce | Blog on May 19, 2017

Though widely recognized for small-scale, emerging B2C E-Commerce, Southeast Asia is forecasted to experience robust, double-digit growth rates over the next several years. What’s more, this region is also expected to see a double-digit percentage increase in its share of global B2C E-Commerce sales by 2021. Boosted through developments in the Internet sector including increased Internet access and smartphone connectivity, many online retail markets in Southeast Asia have the potential to be highly lucrative in the coming years. National governments of the majority of countries have also founded programs aimed at increasing their share of global E-Commerce sales.

Advancements to Internet infrastructure are making access to E-Commerce easier across Southeast Asia. Indonesia contained one of the highest rates of Internet user growth worldwide between 2016 and 2017. Despite its unstable political situation through 2014, the Internet penetration rate in Thailand more than doubled between 2012 and 2016 and smartphone penetration skyrocketed in the same time period. In a smaller online retail market like Vietnam, smartphone users are expected to nearly double by 2020. Malaysia also provides a notable example in that out of total broadband subscriptions, nearly all were mobile broadband, leaving only a very small percentage for fixed broadband. However, obstacles preventing E-Commerce from full expanding still exist such as lack of consumer trust in Malaysia and the dominance of cash payments in Vietnam.

As a result of these technological developments, expansions in M-Commerce are being experienced by nearly all countries in the Southeast Asian region. In Indonesia, the region’s largest and fastest growing E-Commerce market, there were twice as many digital buyers who used smartphones for online purchases than those who used computers or laptops. Thailand, this region’s second largest B2C E-Commerce market, already has almost half of total online spending coming from M-Commerce. Even in a nascent online retail market such in the Philippines, one in four people made purchases via mobile in Q4 2016.

To access the full report, please see the full title here: “Southeast Asia B2C E-Commerce Market 2017”.

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