South East Asia is home to 8.5% of the world's population, and eCommerce user penetration is projected to grow by ~17% by 2025 with a market size of ~413 million buyers. With a high GDP per capita, it can
Because we (Konigle) are based in Singapore, and have customers in over 80 countries we often get asked about e-commerce growth in South East Asia and if it is worth the hassle for these brands to try and crack it. With lines between offline and online commerce blurring its difficult not to hype e-commerce growth prospects anywhere in the world, let alone South East Asia.
But recently we came across some data on user penetration in the South East Asia e-commerce market that may be able to answer the growth question better.
South East Asia
There are 11 South East Asia countries : Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, East Timor, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. and as of 2021, South East Asia was home to approximately 8.5% of the world's population growing at ~1.2% a year. With a human development index (HDI) of 0.723 and growing, and adjusted ~ 3 trillion GDP. South East Asia is a region with great potential.
eCommerce User Penetration in South East Asia
What caught our eye in the Statista eCommerce Report for South East Asia was how the user penetration rate was growing in the region and being projected to grow across the 6 major markets of Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and The Philippines. In fact, user penetration in Indonesia for e-commerce is estimated to grow by ~13% by 2025. This can be attributed to the investments in the market and lots of companies trying to build for Indonesia, fuelled by Venture Capital investments in the market.
Overall, with a high GPD per capita ( ~$5k, adjusted for currency), for DTC brands shipping worldwide or B2B brands looking to grow their business, using their digital storefronts to cater to potential buyers in the region can be profitable.
South East Asia eCommerce Market Size 2025
So how does the growth in user penetration translate to market size ? Well, it is projected that by 2025 the South East Asia eCommerce market would be ~413 million buyers.
So is it worth targeting the South East Asian eCommerce market as a DTC brand that is based in the western world ? I think its worth being cognizant of this huge market and probably offer shipping to these countries at least.
While for B2B brands, setting up a digital storefront and having the ability to capture interest via Get Quote button is something that is a no brainer.