Southeast Asia to see 310m digital consumers by end-2020

Southeast Asia will be home to 310 million digital consumers by the end of this year, reaching a number previously forecast for 2025, as physical distancing measures imposed during the coronavirus pandemic accelerate the shift toward online spending, according to the latest annual Facebook Inc. and Bain & Co. report.

That means almost 70% of the region’s population that are 15 years old and older will go digital by end-2020, and the average online spending per person will triple from 2019 to $429 in 2025, according to the report released on Thursday. The study surveyed some 16,500 digital consumers in six countries including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

“Southeast Asian digital consumers has grown exponentially and their consumption habits are shaping today’s new norm,” Praneeth Yendamuri, partner at Bain, said in an interview.

The study found that Southeast Asia’s online spending now accounts for 5% of the total retail market, surpassing India’s 4% rate. Its e-commerce gross merchandise value grew 23% per year between 2018 and 2020, faster than China, India and the U.S. during the period, it also showed. Even as lockdown measures ease, the region’s total online retail spending is projected to reach $53 billion this year before tripling to $147 billion by 2025.

“What we are seeing is that Southeast Asia is now striking out on its own,” said Sandhya Devanathan, managing director of gaming for the Asia Pacific at Facebook. “If the last decade was about getting people online, this decade is about inspiring consumers to stay online.”

Other insights from the study include:

  • Southeast Asian consumers are buying into more categories online, especially grocery, with 43% of respondents saying they now shop for packaged groceries via e-commerce.
  • Some 62% of consumers said social media, short videos and messaging are their most preferred online channels for discovering new brands and products.
  • E-wallets saw a surge in popularity, with 22% of consumers now saying it’s their preferred way to pay, compared with 14% in 2019.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.