Bain & Co. says the now US$6bn Southeast Asian online retail market could grow to US$70bn by 2020.
A report from Bain & Co. and Google, titled “Can Southeast Asia Live Up to Its E-Commerce Potential,” anticipates the digitally sophisticated population and growing use of smartphones in the region will make e-commerce broadly acceptable. With Alibaba’s recent US$1bn investment in Lazada, JD.com and eBay setting up office in Indonesia, as well as Japan’s SoftBank, Sequoia Capital and SB Pan-Asia Fund investing US$100m in Tokopedia, Indonesia’s largest online marketplace, Southeast Asia appears to have become an e-commerce investment destination of choice.
Southeast Asia is in fact a potential e-commerce wonderland. Its diverse population of 620 million have one important thing in common: an eagerness to use mobile technology. The region is home to more than 250 million smartphone users, 100 million of which currently engage in online transactions.