Social Commerce, the process of connecting social media to e-commerce is strong and growing across ASEAN. In fact, a new report predicts that social commerce will power e-commerce to record levels in Southeast Asia.
A report by global research firm Econsultancy said 96% of marketers in South East Asia agree that social commerce will become increasingly important in the next five years while 90% agree that social media drives online sales. However, less than 6 in 10 of these companies have their social media platforms fully integrated with their ecommerce platform.
The State of Social Commerce in South East Asia report, produced by Econsultancy in partnership with Magento, an Adobe company, and Hootsuite, is based on a survey of more than 270 ecommerce marketers and 270 consumers in Southeast Asia.
This research finds that, almost 6 in 10 consumers say that more than one-quarter of all their online shopping is influenced by social media, with the two most popular channels triggering a purchase being Facebook (78%) and YouTube (52%). In addition, 44% of these social shoppers say they have made three or more online purchases in the past month as a result of seeing social media posts or ads.
82% of these consumers share their purchases via their social networks, amplifying the impact of buying online, showing that each shopping experience can be social.
In addition, some social networks are underserved by brands. For example, while 95% of shoppers surveyed use YouTube and 71% use WhatsApp, fewer brands are on either of these channels (76% YouTube, 51% WhatsApp).
The top challenges that e-commerce marketers face with regards to social commerce are increased competition (53%), developing a social strategy that addresses different regions and markets in Southeast Asia (32%), meeting revenue targets (31%) and changing customer expectations (30%).
Econsultancy APAC Managing Partner, Jefrey Gomez, said, “With 90% of internet users in South East Asia connecting to the internet using their smartphone, the opportunity to engage with shoppers is vast. If consumers can make a purchase immediately when they discover a product on social media, it reduces the number of steps in the customer journey and decreases the likelihood of abandoned carts. Less than 60% of brands surveyed have their social media channels fully integrated with their ecommerce platform due to a lack of desire to change existing workflows, which presents a huge opportunity for social commerce in South East Asia to grow.”
“Customers don’t care about singular touchpoint events. What matters to them is the cumulative experience across multiple touchpoints, multiple channels over time. Consequently, social commerce plays a key role in this respect.
87% of businesses leading in social commerce said they saw ecommerce sales rise,” said Nicholas Kontopoulos, Regional Head of APAC Marketing, Magento, with “58% of shoppers reporting that more than one-quarter of all their online shopping is in some way influenced by social media, yet it is seen by businesses just as a customer service channel (13%), a brand channel (13%) and not treated as a priority marketing channel (12%).”
“More than three-quarters of marketers — 76% — expect to increase their spend in social commerce technology over the next 12 months,” said Hootsuite CMO Penny Wilson. “Asia will continue to lead the charge in social selling, but I believe the region is setting the bar for future behavior in the west. Right now, 70 percent of Gen Zers in China opt to buy directly from social. But this trend is quickly spreading around the globe, and to every demographic. I predict 2020 will be the year we finally see a significant rise in social commerce around the world.”
The report is available for download here: http://bit.ly/EconSocialCommerce