With young people and new generations becoming more tech-savvy and interested in technology, a rapid increase in internet, social media and digital media activity is noticed. Southeast Asia, with around 370 million Internet users, according to January 2018 data, is experiencing a boom in the digital sector. In the ASEAN-6 countries – Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam, it’s recorded that around 70-90% of the population of each country is using the Internet regularly. That brings us to a bit more than 350 million users in total. Most of them are also active social media users.
The growth in a number of users is what is truly impressive, and it’s expected that this growth continues for many more years. Some estimates are that by 2025, the digital market in Southeast Asia will have the worth of around $197 billion.
One of the fastest growing sectors is certainly e-commerce which is expected to grow by 261% by 2021. The reason for this is mainly the fact that Southeast Asia lacks physical retail stores and the choice of products is quite limited. So by shopping online, people overcome that inconvenience. Also, social media marketing and increasingly personalized email marketing have a huge influence on this growth. SEO Heroes marketing agency is just one of those that can help you out with this.
The mobile payments are also becoming more and more popular. The rise is seen in interest in app-powered payments and the competition in the mobile market is irrefutable.
Knowing all this, it comes as no surprise that digital marketers are turning their focus to Southeast Asia. E-commerce is especially blooming in Indonesia and Thailand. MatahariMall, the Indonesian department store, invested around $500 million in developing its e-commerce venture. Alibaba has been expanding as well. They invested around $249 million for improving their delivery network in Southeast Asia. Also, it’s expected that the 1 billion dollar worth e-commerce market in Singapore, will rise to over $5 billion by 2025.
Another thing worth mentioning is that mobile phones are everywhere. They are one of the greatest influences on the rise of internet usage. It’s easy for people to get used to, and completely switch to such an effortless and fast way of shopping, and so the brands follow. Thailand has mobile penetration over 100%. That means that people usually have more than one mobile device. Driven by this mobile-first mentality of Southeast Asia, most of local start-ups and brands started investing a lot more money in mobile advertising. Malaysia is maybe smaller than other SEA countries, but it has enormous potential for digital growth. More than half of its population is willing to make a digital purchase. Travel and transportation market is also growing rapidly. People are starting to rely more and more on taxi-on-demand services, and it’s possible that by 2021, this market will increase by 90%.
The digital marketers should also bear in mind that women are gaining greater influence in Asia. Interestingly, around 60% of all male product purchases are made by women.
Because of such a competitive environment, companies are developing various, more aggressive and effective marketing strategies in order to gain the edge over others.
Different strategies are required for different demographics, and good cultural marketing strategy is crucial in regions like the SEA.