Mobile commerce trends in Southeast Asia

 m commerceLast week I attended eTailAsia, a conference specialized in eCommerce in Asia. Its not so surprised to know m-commerce is the hot trend now. But I still felt surprised when I knew the ratio of mobile traffic and revenue. It’s too high. I spoke about Customer Retention in this event, so I was also interested in the retention rate between customers from mobile channel and customers from the web channel. Here are some insights I’ve got when I talked with several speakers after their speeches.

david_yongDavid Yong – Head of Product AirAsia Expedia: [quote]All of our website are designed in responsive ways so our customers easily find their desired flights & hotels.[/quote]  And I realized that usually mobile users are more loyal than web users.



Myungjo Choi – Managing Director Facebook Southeast Asia: 50% of our revenue is from mobile. Users from Thailand – Vietnam – Indonesia and the Philippines are very active on mobile in Southeast Asia. [quote]So mobile is not a trend but the present of us.[/quote]


chinmayChinmay Malaviya – CEO Foodpanda Singapore: [quote]45% of our traffic/booking come from the mobile app[/quote] . Because when they order food, they are everywhere and might not have access to the computer/laptop so mobile is the easiest way to book. We also provide one-click order button. We promote our app on all of our marketing channel: website, Facebook page/ad, email… to persuade users to use our app whenever possible. After all, the main reason they use the mobile is convenience.

pawootPawoot (Pom) – CEO/Founder (now is Rakuten Thailand): 70% of our customers use mobile web instead of mobile app. They feel more comfortable to use the mobile version than the app. [quote]Mobile is also our main channel to reach people outside of Bangkok. Normally in the daytime, web traffic is the majority but after 6pm then mobile channel is the biggest traffic source.[/quote]

Note: I guest the fact that mobile web is the main tool might be from the buying behavior of Thai users. They just use mobile web to browse for information about the product they want. Then they will use Line/phone to contact shop owners to create a transaction.

Nguyen Hoanh Tien – VP eCommerce VNG Vietnam: [quote]more than 40% of our traffic is from mobile channel. This is our critical channel to be one step ahead of other players in the field[/quote] . He claimed that Zalo, the messaging app of VNG, already defeated Line and Kakao Talk in Vietnam.
Note: I guest Zalo could be the main platform to facilitate VNG eCommerce business. As in the web eCommerce, VNG already lose the battle with the other competitors even they have the biggest bucket with at least $100M annual revenue from web games.

Shakin Padath – Director eCommerce & Business Development  Southeast Asia of Adidas Group: only 1% of our revenue is from online channel. Most of them are from Google.
Note: anyone sees a chance to build a Zappos in Asia?


Janice-ChanJanice Chan – Senior Director, Digital Marketing & Distribution Asia Pacific of Starwood Hotels & Resorts: 3% of our revenue is from mobile channel. Of course it’s not a big ratio. But the mobile users might be businessman and they are more loyal to our brand.


And you, what do you think about m-commerce in Southeast Asia? Southeast Asia eCommerceMinh Buii (Minz) @ EcomEye interviews top founders/investors/experts to share their insights about How to scale up a startup/raise fund/build a team/expand to a new market. Minh also writes his own growth-hacking thought on How a retailer goes ecommerce, execute O2O strategy, boosting traffic to a website/app, improving conversion rate & online revenue from his hands-on skills (strategic positioning, SEO, social media, content marketing) in different startups and corporates,… All about Growth-Hacking eCommerce in Southeast Asia [mc4wp_form id="3784"]

11 thoughts on “Mobile commerce trends in Southeast Asia

  1. Thanks for this write-up!
    I would add that engagement with the mobile shopping app will be able to be key of mobile commerce in future.
    Social media and email marketing campaigns won’t do the trick for these demographics, so it’s important for merchants to get creative. One way to do this is through push notifications sent from a mobile commerce app which have a tap-through rate of about 40-50%. Email open rates hover around 15-20%. Mobile User are more likely to pick up their phones to see a notification and then shop than they are to take time reading a promo email or social post.

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