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Southeast Asia e-commerce to grow by 5.5% in 2021

Research firm PPRO says local payment methods will be key to taking advantage of this boom.

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Image: Harold Fisk, Meander Maps, from Public Domain Review

Southeast Asia’s e-commerce market is expected to grow by 5.5%  in 2021, according to a report by research firm PPRO. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam are the top-5 Southeast Asian markets leading the charge when it comes to market growth over the coming year.

“This past year accelerated the world’s e-commerce growth by a decade,” said Tristan Chiappini, vice president and head of APAC partnerships. “However, for merchants to truly capture the benefits, they must have a sharp understanding of the local payment methods which are crucial to converting sales.”

In Singapore, the value of online transactions in 2020 increased by 51%, led by e-commerce platforms Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon and Ezbuy.

The trend is set to continue with the Singapore government accelerating the adoption of cashless payment methods with incentives for businesses, including subsidizing the costs of digital transformation. 

Additionally, Indonesia is set to surpass India in terms of ecommerce market growth, with 55% of Indonesian consumers claiming to buy online more than ever. Malaysia has also demonstrated growth of retail spending, supported by 40% of consumers using e-wallets for online purchases more than during pre-pandemic days.

Payments are key to merchants making the most of this opportunity. For example, 40% of Malaysians consumers have increased the use of digital payment methods such as e-wallets in the wake of the pandemic.

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Southeast Asia e-commerce to grow by 5.5% in 2021