Omnichannel shopping is solidifying its status as the “new normal” in Southeast Asia’s retail landscape for online sellers, according to a survey conducted by Lazada Group.
Released late last month, Lazada’s Q4 2021 Digital Commerce Confidence Index explores the trends, sentiments and optimism levels of online sellers across Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Despite ongoing uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, online sellers remained resilient and confident about their business prospects throughout 2021, especially as omnichannel opportunities became more prominent.
Even as foot traffic at physical stores picked up at the end of last quarter, 47% of online sellers surveyed said they still saw more than 10% increase in their digital sales.
“We saw that in the last quarter of 2021, people were spending less time at home and increasingly visiting physical retail and recreational outlets. This trend, when viewed against the success of the year-end online shopping festival season, shows that consumers today are taking a more blended approach to retail than ever before, making purchases both online and offline in a way that meets their needs, adds value and delivers convenience,” said Magnus Ekbom, chief strategy officer of Lazada Group.
“Today, the customer shopping journey is much more complex: Customers are increasingly switching between physical and online channels,” added Chong Hin Ng, co-founder and CEO of Asia Insight. “While this behavior is not exactly ‘new-new,’ it has been elevated by the stay-home economy during the pandemic. Therefore, to stand a higher chance of winning customers over, brands need to integrate online and offline experiences across a range of touchpoints, and leverage technology to recreate a ‘human touch’ in the digital space.”
Tapping into this burgeoning trend, Lazada launched a pop-up showcase on Singapore’s famed Orchard Road last December. Combining the joys of in-person shopping with the convenience of digital commerce, the showcase featured more than two dozen brands and proved a hit with consumers. The company had also previously launched omnichannel campaigns in Raffles City Shopping Mall and Thailand’s Siam Center to great reception.
These new innovations, combined with steady sales performance, have bolstered online sellers’ continued optimism. Of the 1,126 sellers surveyed in the index, 74% said they expected to see at least a 10% increase in sales over the next three months, and 76% said they would further increase their inventory by at least 10% during this same period.
This rosy outlook was particularly strong among sellers in fashion and electronics, who saw the increasingly common hybrid home-and-office work model as being particularly favourable to their sales figures for the first quarter of 2022.
As business owners continue to navigate new trends and changes amid the pandemic, many have remained aware of the importance of strengthening their digital presence. According to the index, sellers recognised the need to drive more consumers to their online storefronts and to fully understand data analytics. These sentiments were also expressed by sellers surveyed in the inaugural Digital Commerce Confidence Index in August 2021 and reflect their ongoing desire to further grow and tap into opportunities online.
Findings from Lazada’s Q4 2021 Digital Commerce Confidence Index.
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