Ecommerce in Southeast Asia: A Growing Market

By: Picky Promos

Virtually no countries in the world have achieved the level of maturity in the eCommerce space that the United States has enjoyed. Sure, progress is being made in places like China and Europe as more spending shifts to online stores. The problem in many developing countries is the delivery infrastructure - it's just not as reliable and trustworthy as in the U.S. But a place making huge gains is Southeast Asia - this would include countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia. People often forget that Indonesia is the third most populated country in the world, in spite of the fact that it is a collection of small islands.

The phenomenon was highlited recently in a Bloomberg Article on Ecommerce in Thailand. The writer notes that sales through online channels in Thailand are growing at a rate of one hundred percent - far higher than the ten percent growth in traditional brick and mortar retail. Why is this happending? Partly it is due to the explosion in mobile phone use and cheap electronics - Americans like their iPhones, but most of the world uses Android. The vast sea of cheap handsets has brought internet access to the masses in places that traditionally could not afford expensive laptops and desktops. Many of these sales are happening on mobile as service providers continually increase access throughout countries like Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. 

This mass migration to technology will likely change the economic landscape substantially going forward. Traditional shops and stores that people relied on in the past may have to adapt as more of their customers begin ordering items online. It's also a boon for parcel delicery services, and that's an sector of the economy where locals can expect significant job growth in addition to the many jobs that will be created by the growth of ecommerce fullfillment.