Staff Reporters
Oct 12, 2021

Social commerce orders doubled in SEA in H1 2021: IKala

TOP OF THE CHARTS: While Covid restrictions may have eased in the region, consumers continue to flock to social media platforms to make purchases a report reveals, with varying payment methods.

Social commerce orders doubled in SEA in H1 2021: IKala

Source: Despite Covid-19 restrictions easing somewhat in parts of Southeast Asia, the pace of growth for social commerce shows few signs of slowing. According to a new report from retail data analytics firm iKala, consumers are spending more time discovering, debating and purchasing products within the social media ecosystem. As a result, In the first half of 2021, orders and gross merchandise value (GMV) jumped 102% and 91%, respectively over the same period last year, iKala’s study titled Riding the Pandemic Wave & Beyond, found.

Methodology: The report is based on a survey of 1600 social shoppers and more than 23,600 business customers (social sellers) across Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore, conducted in Q1 and Q2 2021.

More from this source: 

  • While ecommerce (91%) remains the preferred channel for shoppers in Southeast Asia, social commerce (78%) is emerging hot on its heels, surpassing even traditional retail (35%). In fact, as many as 42% of total shoppers said they use social media to make purchases one or two times per month, and 35% use it shop more than 3 times a month.
  • Social commerce’s success goes beyond frequency, too, with revenue per order up 88% during the period. This means consumers aren’t just shopping more, they’re also spending more on each order.
  • However, shopping on social platforms is not friction-free. Consumers across the region report expensive shipping (51%), no return and exchange policies (41%) and a lack of customer service (34%) as key points of friction.
  • Payment preferences also vary wildly across the region, with consumers in Singapore and Malaysia relying much more on credit cards and digital wallets respectively, while those in Thailand and the Philippines prefer cash on delivery (COD). Much of this has to do with the rising levels of scams, and as many as 70% of respondents said they had experienced product fraud at some point in their social shopping journey.
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