To say that social commerce is booming in Southeast Asia would be an understatement.
Having recently taken over traditional brick-and-mortar stores to become the second-most preferred shopping channel in the region, social commerce’s exponential boom can be attributed to high levels of social media engagement and a pronounced reliance on mobile devices. According to a recent survey by customer data platform iKala, 42% of customers in Southeast Asia use social media to shop at least once or twice a month, while 35% shop on social media more than three times a month.
Women between the ages of 25 and 34 are amongst the biggest drivers of shopping on social media, accounting for 80% of all transactions, according to data from research firm GWI. Additional research from Facebook and Bain and Company shows that most online purchases in Southeast Asia are from consumers who discovered products, rather than intentionally seeking them out. 62% of these purchases come from social media platforms, with short videos cited as the primary format fuelling these discoveries.
According to retailers surveyed by iKala, social advertising is one of the most popular ways to boost sales. In Thailand, for example, tactics like building social credit via buyer ranks and customer feedback are increasingly popular, while in the Philippines and Singapore, incentivising live stream audiences with giveaways and coupons has proven to be highly effective in driving sales.
Social commerce also ties into the growing focus on customer experience to drive both acquisition and retention. But to make the social shopping experience as smooth as possible for consumers, brands and platforms must work together to build a seamless end-to-end infrastructure, from product discovery to checkout.
Here are some ways brands are doing this today to succeed in the social commerce game: