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The Rise of Social Commerce in Southeast Asia

01 May 2023 | Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia has seen a surge in the use of social commerce as more consumers use social media platforms for their purchases. The development of the social commerce market in Southeast Asia can be attributed to several factors, including the young and tech-savvy population of the population, the widespread use of smartphones, and the popularity of social media platforms, all contributing to the growth of social commerce in the region.

Young Population and Smartphone Penetration Driving the Trend

Smartphone penetration in SEA

With a typical age of roughly 30 in Southeast Asia, the digital natives are one of the main forces behind the growth of social commerce in the region. Additionally, with more than 90% of internet users in Southeast Asia accessing the internet through their smartphones, the widespread usage of smartphones in the region has made it simpler for consumers to shop online through social media platforms.

Social Media Platforms and the COVID-19 Pandemic Contributing to Growth

The prevalence of social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp is another factor promoting the development of social commerce in Southeast Asia. These platforms are heavily utilized in the region, and many companies have begun to use them to market to customers and sell their goods. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of social commerce by encouraging many individuals to shop online because of lockdowns and other quarantine measures. Social media offered users a simple and practical way to shop online, which made it a common option during the pandemic.

The pandemic also fostered a rise in social trade in Southeast Asia. Many people made online purchases to meet their quarantine requirements and social isolation policies. Consumers were able to explore products, make purchases, and communicate with vendors using social media platforms, making it simple and convenient for them to conduct online shopping.

A number of variables, including the region's young population, smartphone penetration, and the popularity of social media platforms, can be credited for the development of social commerce in Southeast Asia. In the years to come, we can anticipate that social commerce will continue to expand and evolve as more companies and customers use it.


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