The future of e-commerce is bright. 2022 has been a year of innovation, but it has also challenged businesses to develop new strategies and deliver better customer experiences.
With the emergence of many exciting new technologies, e-commerce trends, as well as smart automation tools and solutions in the coming months, Asia has dominated the consumer market globally, with the e-commerce market growth driven mainly in China, India and Indonesia.
Using insights from our data partner GWI, we look at consumer and e-commerce trends from across APAC, in order to find out how brands and marketers are capturing the attention, and how brands can take away insights and tips to stand out of the crowd in the booming e-commerce-oriented festivals, such as Double 11 and Double 12.
#1 The rise of Social Commerce – Research, review and purchase, all in one place
The Asia-Pacific region boasts over 2 billion active social media users, and a huge penetration rate of some 50%. It comes as no surprise that social commerce is hitting its sweet spot.
Apart from enabling social media to become a direct sales channel, social commerce also involves the promotion of products to facilitate engagement. Users can review, seek information, and get opinions on products in the same place they purchase them. In APAC, 41% of internet users actively look for brand and product information on social media and 28% deem that reviews from other customers increase their likelihood of purchasing a product.
Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook already have their very own tools for buying and selling products. Recently, TikTok launched TikTok Shopping feature, enabling merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and product showcase tab.
With these fast-paced updates, more brands need to leverage on social commerce to influence customers’ purchasing decisions, providing them with better visibility, and massive conversions.
#2 Shoppertainment – Creating fresh experiences through AR
It is thought that shoppertainment could uncover US$ 1 trillion in market value for brands in APAC by 2025. 1 out of 3 consumers are skeptical about branded content on social media, with audiences looking for authentic and credible content – preferably in a short video format – that educates and informs without hard-selling the product. Therefore, brands are seeking to entertain and educate first while integrating content and community to create highly immersive shopping experiences.
Many brands have integrated AR to boost their product promotions. For example, glasses company Zenni and cosmetics company NYX Professional Makeup both offer “virtual try-on experiences” on their websites, allowing consumers to visualise how they would look in those hip chunky glasses and black lipstick. Amazon has gotten in on the AR game with their new Virtual Try-On for Shoes feature.
Certain methods of shoppertainment dramatically improve a brand’s ability to connect with its audience, which further improve customer loyalty and thereby repurchase and retention rates. Moreover, when e-commerce retailers create interactive digital shopping experiences, they can gain valuable feedback and insights from their customers.
#3 Pay however you like – A rise in digital payment
The cryptocurrency market has a reputation to be risky and volatile, but this hasn’t stopped large e-commerce platforms.
According to a survey from Mastercard on Asian consumers and digital payments, 44% of Asian millennials report holding crypto as an investment during the past year, while future use cases that are popular among respondents include using crypto to redeem rewards, invest and make everyday payments. Moreover, 46% of Asian consumers want increased flexibility to use crypto for everyday payments.
Platforms such as Shopify and BigCommerce now allow the integration of third-party crypto payment gateways into their users’ shops, enabling them to accept cryptocurrencies as payment for online purchases. Commerce marketplaces such as Etsy, Newegg, and eGifter also now accept Bitcoin as payments.
As consumers begin to come around to the idea of paying with cryptocurrency, brands may need to rethink what type of currencies they’re willing to accept in the future.
#4 Personalisation – Racing to win consumers’ attention
Led by Gen Z, APAC consumers are considered some of the most demanding consumers in the world in terms of personalisation, with high expectations for businesses to deliver seamless personalised experiences throughout the entire customer journey.
Personalised experiences are proven to greatly impact buying decisions. While the COVID-19 caused us to practice social distancing, the desire for human connection, and personalised customer service was highlighted.
Due to rising customer expectations, businesses must be constantly enhancing the experiences they deliver, such as pushing out relevant
notifications, personalised product recommendations, and emails, in order to improve customer trust and bring about loyalty.
For example, Shutterfly, an app that allows you to create canvases, photobooks, calendars, and even items with your own photos laminated on to them. While Shutterfly has gotten creative with personalised emails and subject lines, one unique thing it did was personalise item offerings on its app. If you download the app, create an account, and give Shutterfly permission to access your photos, it will automatically identify photos with faces in them and place them on items that you can purchase from the app.
#5 Quick Commerce – On demand, same day delivery service
Asian consumers have developed a need for speed. Quick commerce in Southeast Asia is rapidly becoming part of the economic landscape, driven by F&B sector and grocery shopping.
According to a consumer study by Tech Logistics, 80% of Asian consumers stated that they wanted same-day delivery, with 61% eager to receive their items within 1-3 hours of ordering. Another study from Capgemini found that globally, 76% of people were willing to pay extra for faster delivery, and 55% of consumers will switch to a competing retailer/brand if it offers a faster delivery service.
With more and more last mile service providers popping up and offering click to door delivery, brands need to keep up with the pace to keep consumers happy.
With over 2,000 items available to be delivered within 15 minutes in Indonesia, Dropezy is now serving customers in its catchment areas through its app. With 60% of first-time customers still purchasing from the startup after 6 months, it indicates that their customers already love this speedy mode and freshness of their product selection.
Curious about the trends impacting your brand? Get in touch with our data and insights specialists here.