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Southeast Asia E-commerce Opportunities and the Coronavirus Outbreak

Growing to 50 billion USD in 2018, the e-commerce sector in Southeast Asia countries offered increasingly attractive opportunities for European-based companies to invest in the region. At a time of COVID-19 pandemic, in contrast to other industries, the e-commerce industry is facing a big increase. 

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E-commerce: Spurs SEA Economic Growth

Lockdown measures prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic shifted consumers behavior to shop online. Southeast Asia’s internet economy is predicted to grow to 105 billion USD this year, with e-commerce rising by 63% to reach 62 billion USD. Several leading e-commerce platforms in Asia are Alibaba, Lazada, and Shopee.

Alibaba reported revenue of 155.06 billion USD at the end of September, with an increase of 29% from e-commerce sales to reach 19.79 billion USD in the following quarter. Shopee, a Singapore-based e-commerce platform, recognized a significant increase in its web and application visits, along with an 82% rise in the number of users. As Lazada has reached 100 million monthly active users and 80 million annual active buyers, the number of online transactions has tripled in the second quarter of this year. 

Post-pandemic Opportunities for Asian E-commerce

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Source: unsplash

As an ever-changing industry, e-commerce presents some potentials that can be considered by European companies before investing in this industry:

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Technologies

Augmented reality allows consumers to see products clearly to further make purchase decisions, meanwhile, virtual reality enables online stores to give an in-store experience for consumers. Various industries are engaging their services toward implementing AR and VR, as well as the e-commerce industry that has been eyeing on these technologies to provide easier shopping experiences for users. 

  • Integrated Artificial Intelligence (AI)

E-commerce businesses, through artificial intelligence, can generate smart product recommendations, thus improving the overall customer experience. In addition, AI technologies will enhance marketing and sales initiatives as AI provides in-depth analysis on buyer behavior trends.

  • Omnichannel Strategy

Providing a smooth customer experience throughout channels, networks, and platforms, omnichannel strategies will certainly drive the shopping experience towards development, which eventually results in increased sales revenue.