In Southeast Asia, COVID-19 has been both beneficial and detrimental to E-Commerce
E-commerce (electronic commerce) is a business approach that allows customers and businesses to buy and sell goods and services over the Internet. Ecommerce is a type of online shopping that may be done on computers, tablets, smartphones, and other smart devices, and it caters to four distinct market segments. Ecommerce transactions can be used to purchase practically any product or service, including notebooks, videos, tickets, and financial services like stock investing and online banking. As a result, it’s considered a game-changing technology.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce platform companies’ revenue may be slightly decreased due to uncertainty factors in the virus-affected countries. Lockdown or state-of-emergency measures have been created or are being implemented in several nations throughout the world. The top three Southeast Asian e-commerce platforms, Lazada, Shopee, and Tokopedia, are known to have been affected during this pandemic.
To avoid shopping in crowded places, consumers are shifting their focus to online sales, and businesses and companies are adapting by turning their attention to online sales. Despite an increase in Alibaba downloads in Malaysia and Indonesia, Lazada, Shopee, and Tokopedia remain the most popular apps.
As a result of customers’ concerns about their financial security, expenditure on luxury products decreased by 27% (1), alcoholic beverages by 30%, and meat and seafood by 21%.
Buyers are likely to stick to their new spending habits even after the coronavirus outbreak has receded. Buyers who have made an online purchase before are more likely to make another, and the outbreak encouraged many Southeast Asian customers to make their first online purchases.
However, despite the growing popularity of e-commerce, the main issues are distribution channels and transportation. Due to supply and delivery issues, Alibaba, the world’s largest eCommerce company, reported a decrease in revenue for the first quarter of 2020, despite the fact that eCommerce as a whole increased.
Travel restrictions across the region hampered air freight supply lines, making deliveries more expensive and unpredictable and producing inventory shortages that harmed revenue. Movement orders have also slowed last-mile shipping by closing highways and forcing delivery personnel to stay at home. Rules for a safe working environment limited the personnel, divided shifts, and delayed deliveries to allow for disinfection. Despite the fact that parcel volume rose, Ninja Van reported a drop in productivity in Singapore due to safety concerns.
COVID-19 has produced unexpected growth for eCommerce enterprises in general, but it has also disrupted supply chains and deliveries, as well as affected stock levels. The coronavirus’s development potential can help eCommerce retailers who sell the right products, use good marketing, strengthen their supply chains and last-mile delivery networks, and being transparent with their customers.
According to the research, the internet sector has advanced as a result of this tremendous year’s shifts in consumer behavior. For the first time in 2020, one out of every three digital service consumers will be online for the first time. This will bring 40 million new internet users to Southeast Asia.