Southeast Asia is set for explosive ecommerce growth. A new report from Bain & Company provides the details.
The report, called “e-Conomy SEA 2021,” (PDF) covers six countries: Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia. It’s the culmination of multiyear research and analysis from Bain, Google Trends, and Temasek, an investment firm owned by the government of Singapore.
The region is among the world’s fastest-growing digital markets, according to the report, mainly due to young demographics, accelerated smartphone utilization, urbanization, and a growing middle class.
The report projects overall online spending (gross merchandise volume) in the region to roughly double by 2025, reaching $362 billion, across four segments:
- Ecommerce. Marketplaces, resellers, direct-to-consumer.
- Travel. Flights, hotels, vacation rentals.
- Transport & food. Transportation, food delivery.
- Media. Advertising, gaming, video-on-demand, music-on-demand.
Ecommerce GMV will also double — from $120 billion in 2021 to $234 billion by 2025 — to remain the biggest segment, according to the Bain report. In 2021 alone, ecommerce will grow 62% from $74 billion in 2020.
Vietnam and the Philippines are the region’s fastest-growing online economies. Vietnam’s online GMV will nearly triple from 2021 to 2025, from $21 billion to $57 billion. Indonesia is the region’s biggest overall digital economy, hitting $146 billion by 2025.
The shift to digital spending has, predictably, affected longstanding consumer loyalty. A blog post by Bain in July 2020 confirms the effect, citing the percentage of consumers in Southeast Asia that had tried a new brand since the outbreak of Covid as compared to consumers in China and the U.S.