Online shopping has become an integral part of daily life for close to three-quarters of Southeast Asian consumers, according to a study published last month by Lazada Group in partnership with Milieu Insight. Conducted in conjunction with the company’s 10th anniversary, the first region-wide Lazada Consumer Study delves into the online shopping behaviors of today’s consumers and in doing so celebrates the remarkable decade-long evolution of the region’s eCommerce industry.
Since its early days, Lazada has fostered an environment where eCommerce is not only embraced but seen as the norm. Of the 6,000 surveyed shoppers from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, 86% said they made online purchases at least once a month. The ability to purchase items online was also deemed important by 81% of respondents.
The region’s eCommerce boom can be attributed to many key factors, with lower prices, free or affordable shipping, and convenient search and delivery services being among the reasons most cited in the study. The report also revealed the confidence and savviness of today’s Southeast Asian eCommerce consumer: 65% reported that they already know what they’re going to buy when they shop online, and close to half said they place their desired items into the cart first and wait for discounts before purchasing.
Innovations from Lazada have helped fuel such confidence in and subsequent adoption of online shopping. Of particular note is the company’s introduction of mega campaigns in 2012 to build up excitement around eCommerce. These large-scale festivals have continued to drive online shopping behavior; of those surveyed, 67% said they bought something during a mega campaign like 11.11 and 12.12, with shoppers from Singapore (73%) and Malaysia (78%) being especially active participants of these major sales.
Other platform features and solutions have also shaped consumer habits over the years. For example, Lazada has long put emphasis on product reviews as a way to build engagement as well as trust in eCommerce. Reviews and ratings are now seen as vital components of the online shopping journey, with one in two consumers saying that they ensure a positive shopping experience. Also key to fostering trust is Lazada’s commitment to rolling out payment options that cater to different consumer needs. These include the company’s cash-on-delivery feature, which was introduced when the company was established 10 years ago. Lazada’s continual investments in logistics have also enabled it to deliver the straight-to-doorstep convenience consumers have come to expect while shoppertainment features have turned its platform into a lifestyle destination for many users.
While eCommerce has come a long way in Southeast Asia since Lazada’s inception, the study also revealed that the industry still has immense potential for growth, especially as the pandemic has accelerated the region’s digital transformation. In fact, more than half of survey respondents said online shopping became part of their daily lives within the past one to two years. Similarly, 87% said they shopped more online than offline since the outbreak of COVID-19. Health and beauty sellers, in particular, looked well positioned to continue leveraging eCommerce for growth, as 58% of consumers said they spent more on this category online during the pandemic.
“Digital commerce has changed the way people shop in the past decade, especially in the last two years with the pandemic accelerating the shift towards online retail,” said Lazada Chief Business Officer James Chang. “We partnered with Milieu Insight to better understand the key drivers behind eCommerce in Southeast Asia and the results have helped reinforce our trajectory while also providing businesses and sellers valuable market insights to guide critical business decisions which help them to determine their growth and focus in this digital economy.”
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