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Top E-Commerce Trends in SEA

Will the market continue to grow?

The South East Asia market has experienced a lot of growth in the last 18 months. According to a recent article, the value of E-Commerce in SEA in 2025 will be $102billion.

With that in mind, we have taken a look at what trends 2019 is set to bring for the South East Asia E-Commerce market - taking into consideration as well requirements for a proper brand protection strategy.

Mobile first platforms

With mobile usage now overtaking desktop usage, it is little wonder many E-Commerce companies are operating under a “mobile first” strategy.

Shopee are a great example of a mobile-first shopping platform operating in South East Asia. Taking advantage of the fact that people in countries like the Philippines have mobile devices but they do not necessarily own desktop devices, means that Shopee look set to expand in 2019.

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Regulation will tighten

Although nothing concrete has materialized, there have been rumors circulating about implementations of E-Commerce tax regulations coming into play.

With ASEAN ministers recently signing an agreement on cross-border transactions, it looks like the SEA region are going to have to take their heads out of the sand when it comes to tax and regulation.

Digital wallets will become more popular

It’s easy to forget that people in certain SEA countries may not have a bank account, debit card, or credit card. This is something that the companies operating in the region have taken into consideration, and digital wallets look set to become more popular.

Companies like Lazada are realizing how important digital wallets are in this region and investing money in creating their own.

Same day shipping is set to grow

L2 recently did a study and found that customers are more likely to abandon a cart if same-day delivery isn’t offered. Taking note of this information, Lazada have launched their Lazada Express service. While there are still many regions in SEA have hard to get to places, same day shipping is becoming available in the bigger cities and towns.

Amazon have had same day delivery available for Prime customers for a while now, and eBay also offer this, so the Asian marketplaces need to catch up soon.

Alibaba and Tencent will go head to head

Alibaba and Tencent have a long and complicated history of trying to compete with each other. Being a part of Alibaba has obviously given Lazada a head start in getting same day shipping off of the ground, but they have a lot of competition.

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Tencent have explored food delivery services, but being unable to maintain low prices and strong competition from Alibaba are not doing them any favours.

Interestingly a recent FT article speculated that both companies are putting the brake on acquiring companies in Q3 and Q4 of 2019. Could this see them start to lag behind the competition from Amazon and eBay? Amazon Prime Day, Amazon’s biggest events, is usually shrouded in secrecy until nearer the event.

This year, however, it has been leaked twice in a short period of time. Is this Amazon’s way of keeping up with their Asian counterparts? Ebay also seem to be trying to find ways to entice customers away from the cheaper platforms based in countries like China. They recently ran an offer with Nectar card, a popular supermarket card in the UK linked to Sainsburys.

Brand protection getting more and more into focus

Although marketplaces based in the East are offering customers a cheaper deal, this comes at a price most of the time. Companies like Alibaba, Amazon and eBay have huge brand protection departments that have been years in the making.

But start-up marketplaces like Wish, Shopee, Lazada etc have had less time to perfect their fight against counterfeits. At globaleyez, we work with brand protection departments of the majority of the marketplaces in the world to ensure that you do not lose out on revenue. 

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