At the forefront of digital commerce is Asia. And we expect growth to continue across the continent this year.
In the early days of last year, Asia made up 60% of global ecommerce retail sales, with China alone accounting for more than 1/3 of the world’s online shoppers.
From the top with global retailers to near the bottom with startups, ecommerce platforms have become the storefront that shoppers first come across.
With businesses of all sizes looking to grow, expanding cross-border business and targeting global markets are key to success.
Fueling Asia’s rapid rise in ecommerce is the twin growth of internet usage and disposable income. Yet the question posed is this: what trends in Asian ecommerce are likely to stay with us?
So let’s look at the core trends in ecommerce across Asia as we accelerate into 2022.
Digital-first is more & more popular
eCommerce has gone through an incredible period of accelerated growth since the beginning of the pandemic. This has translated into an additional 70 million digital shoppers in Southeast Asia.
Retailers are now better placed to cater towards delivering digital experiences and options for consumers – not only for survival purposes but to succeed.
By 2027, digital transformation in Asia is expected to reach beyond $1.3 trillion. These online tools help to broaden retailers’ customer base, improve consumer engagement, and deepen their products and services.
Demand for personalization
While the popularity of ecommerce continues to swell, it’s creating greater demand for more personalized online experiences. It’s no longer good enough to just have a website and online presence.
Commerce that is frictionless is now the imperative. Seamless experiences that are fast, intuitive, and feature personalized journeys are what digital shoppers want and it’s what retailers have been attempting to build.
Yet the increase in demand has led to a decline in customer loyalty and a willingness to try on new brands. This has driven the imperative for greater understanding of businesses’ target market. And this means a bigger role for analytics to offer personalized experiences.
Broader payment methods
Digital payments will account for 91% of total ecommerce spending by 2025 and the amount of methods that we’re using to pay for things online is diversifying.
What’s likely is major development in cross-border mobile payments and a more integrated digital payment system across the continent. As an example of this, Korea and Singapore made an agreement in bilateral cooperation and development of cross-border digital payments.
Along with the growing acceptance of digital, we’re demanding more and more capabilities when it comes to shopping anywhere, anytime.
Retailers are putting money into improving their services to cater towards these demands, such as 24-hour chatbots, artificial intelligence, and instant messaging apps.
In addition, we are witnessing the continued rise of social media commerce along with livestream commerce where businesses showcase their products in real time for an audience.
Livestream commerce was initially launched back in 2016 in China before gaining momentum across the rest of Asia as the pandemic put limitations on physical shopping. In Singapore alone, livestream commerce spiked 1,890% between March 2020 and December of the same year.
Strengthening security infrastructure
With more and more of us online and shopping, it has become important to shore up security and issues around cybercrime and fraud.
In terms of the Asia Pacific region, 8 in 10 businesses are expecting their security to be compromised this year as cybercrime is expected to inflict a lot of damage – $10.5 trillion in fact by 2025.
As such, organizations are working on managing online risk as fraudsters evolve and become more sophisticated. To counter this, companies are adopting new technologies like geolocation, data analytics, and acoustic analysis.
Last year cemented a new culture of digital payments, ecommerce, and personalized experiences. And the impetus is on companies to create compelling omnichannel strategies. And this is what we’re seeing across Asia.