Cross-border Business to Southeast Asia: Part III

by Kathy Tan

September 29, 2021

4 minute read

Deep Dive into Southeast Asia’s Cross-border Shoppers

Southeast Asia is a dynamic region with a diverse range of cultures and identities and its young people are especially open to cross-border purchases.

👥 Consumers in Southeast Asia are ultimately motivated by community. Social media and word-of-mouth have a significant impact on how they shop.

💬 Shoppers in the region have reciprocal connections with sellers, and businesses that provide value and utility will be rewarded, typically through reviews and brand endorsement.

📦 While Southeast Asians perceive that foreign-made products are of superior quality, their purchasing decisions are nonetheless influenced by localised contents and behaviours.

Insight #1
Reaching socially-driven consumers in SouthEast Asia

The three most common reasons cited by Southeast Asians for visiting a new online store are:
🛍 An interest in the products being sold
🏷 The availability of good deals and promotions
💬 Peer reviews

Insight #2
Grow your business with conversational commerce

69% of the region’s consumers reported discovering they were able to purchase items via chat through advertisement and social media posts.

95% of existing conversational commerce customers are expected to maintain or increase their spending on chat platforms.

60% of conversational commerce users are already open to interacting with chatbots, for straightforward enquiries such as product details and delivery status updates

Insight #3
Ensure content is localized for individual markets

Brands can establish a stronger connection with foreign audiences by running campaigns and advertisements that demonstrate a sensitivity to local cultures and beliefs. Here are some content best practices for selected Southeast Asian markets:

⭐️Up to 75% of consumers in Southeast Asia prefer to shop in their native language.

⭐️High impact of social media influencers – influencer-generated content is among the top three types of videos that determine purchasing decisions.

Insight #4
Value is a key purchase consideration

Armed with a keen eye for bargains and a preference for convenience, Southeast Asian shoppers are loyal to brands that provide value — both in terms of product Quality, Price, Rewards and shopping privileges.

Insight #5
Southeast Asian shoppers expect seamless shopping experiences and convenience

16% of shoppers abandon the checkout process if their payment methods are not provided.

62% of Indonesians stated ‘much faster than international shipping’ as
a reason for choosing domestic products over cross border online shopping (vs 49% average).

72% of Indonesians cross-border shoppers surveyed who pay for shipping expect delivery within six days.

Insight #6
Capitalising on major holidays and shopping events

Sale-shopping is a prime buying period for Southeast Asian consumers, and a pivotal time for cross-border expansion — 64% of global shoppers explore new products during the holidays than the rest of the year. In addition to festive season, international shopping festivals such as 11/11 and Black Friday have also been widely adopted across the region.

-Facebook IQ, "Riding the Digital Wave: Capturing Southeast Asia’s Digital Consumer in the Discovery Generation” by Bain & Company (Facebook-commissioned survey of 12,965 respondents from ID, MY, PH, SG, TH, VN), Jun 2019”
-"Cross Border Advertising Insights Study" by GfK (Facebook-commissioned survey of 10,149 people in BR, GB, ID, IN, MX, SA and US), Sep 2019. This article refers to people who have made cross-border purchases in Mar and Apr 2019.
-Facebook IQ, “Conversational Commerce: the next gen of E-com” by BCG (Facebook- commissioned study of 8,864 people across BR, ID, IN, MX, MY, PH, TH, US and VN), Aug 2019. Base: Total adult internet population of the country. % transaction through Conversational Commerce for buyers. Base: Total transaction for Conversational Commerce buyers (offline and online).
-YouGov syndicated tracker (SG, MY, ID, PH, TH, VN), April 2020
-APAC Market Snapshot, Global Web Index
-Market Snapshot, Global Web Index
-Facebook IQ, "Digital consumers of tomorrow, here today" by Bain & Co (Facebook-commissioned survey of 16,491 respondents from ID, MY, PH, SG, TH, VN. Survey data only includes digital consumers who are defined as: Respondents who selected 2 or more online retail categories: Consumer electronics and accessories; household appliances and furnishings; clothing, footwear, and accessories; personal care and beauty; toys and baby care; groceries and food delivery.) Data analysed by Bain & Company. Survey conducted May 2020.


Meekco.Asia helps High-Growth Retailers & Brand to build & grow their global eCommerce | A Shopify Plus & Facebook Business Partner

Connect with a Facebook Global Expansion Partner today>

Let's Talk