The Importance Of e-Commerce In Southeast Asia

.In the past few years, the total value of e-commerce sales in the region has grown fivefold, with e-commerce’s share of all retail sales surging to 20 percent. The average e-commerce penetration rate (excluding food and beverage) in Southeast Asia is currently 20 percent, suggesting a long growth runway before it matches China’s penetration rate of 47 percent.

By 2026, the Southeast Asian e-commerce market is projected to triple at a compound growth rate of 22 percent and will reach around $230 billion in gross merchandise volume. Indonesia is the biggest driver of growth, with its large consumer market contributing 51 percent of the total incremental gross merchandise value.

According to eMarketer, Thailand’s e-commerce was expected to reach $22 billion in GMV in 2022, up 8% year-on-year. Malaysia’s e-commerce was projected to reach $10.2 billion in GMV in 2022, up 18.3% year-on-year. While Vietnam’s e-commerce was estimated at $14.7 billion in GMV in 2022, up 19% year-on-year. Other countries in the region, such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Brunei, are still in the early stages of e-commerce adoption.

As customers get more accustomed to shopping online, they’ll likely extend their digital purchases beyond apparel and low-value consumer electronics. Food and beverage, beauty products, and home and living goods are expected to enjoy the strongest growth. Furthermore, customers are also shopping across more digital channels, such as social e-commerce platforms, and expect more sophisticated logistic services. Merchants are also diversifying their sourcing channels to include more Southeast Asian countries, and are relying less on Chinese imports. These changes will create more opportunities for logistics players to seize.