Social media have changed the way we communicate in many ways but most importantly social media has changed the way we shop. With social media, customers are able to make purchases by swiping beautiful pictures, watching short or streaming video clips & chatting directly to sellers are a few examples of social commerce at its best.
Social Commerce in South East Asia Region
In Southeast Asia, 376 million people actively engage in social media on a daily basis. According to the Google reports, by 2025, the e-commerce spending in South East Asia (SE Asia) region will be a $240 Billion market. The report also mentioned that 96% of the respondents visit social media sites before making a purchase.
Looking at the numbers of social media users all across the SE Asia region, you will see a pattern that this particular area of the world loves to interact through social media. In terms of mobile social media use, SE Asia is ranked third worldwide.
Having a high number of users in the social network platform help brands or advertisers try to get their products instantly to the consumers' mind. When a brand wants to sell a product using images, videos, or ads, they can use Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, TikTok, and Whatsapp to help spread the products within the social media channels to directly communicate and get feedback about their product with their target consumers.
Role of Millennials as Resellers/Dropshippers & Influencers
According to research by Paypal, most of the social commerce active users are within the age of 21-40 years old. This group who are also known as millennials has been very creative in generating income or supplemental income from social media activity. 92% of the report participants stated that social commerce has significantly improved their financial situation.
There are two types of ways for the millennials group to generate income from social commerce activity.
The first method is by selling products that are trending such as popular products from physical retail stores, websites, online marketplaces to even other people's unwanted products. There are also known as resellers or dropshippers.
The second method is to affect the purchasing decisions of others due to their celebrity status, knowledge, or relationship with their followers. There are also known as Influencers. Brands love social media influencers to encourage their target consumers to buy products they promote.
These influencers are categorized by their follower's numbers such as Mega influencers - who have more than 1 million followers to nano influencers, that have less than 1000 followers.
In SE Asia these influencers are active in Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and marketplaces with live streaming channels.
Innovations for Social Commerce
With the rapid growth of social commerce transactions, comes a variety of innovations from big technology companies to new startups.
Facebook has been at the forefront of social commerce with Facebook Pages & Marketplace, bringing in new features on Instagram to help advertisers such as IG Live & IG Story Swipe Up ads. Whatsapp has been catching up lately with the addition of the launch of WA business, WA status, and WA Apis.
Leading marketplaces in the SE Region such as Shopee, Lazada & Tokopedia also realized the importance of interactions so they have integrated direct chat functions between seller & customers and launched & live streaming features with simple purchase integration.
Startups from Indonesia such as Halosis has been tackling social commerce issues for social media sellers by providing virtual assistants and automation on their manual commerce tasks.
With all of the growth and activities in the SE Asia region, social commerce can no longer be ignored by marketers & any business. If you are still considering whether to use social media to engage your customers or sell products directly, do not wait any longer or you will be left behind by your competitors.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: ANDREW DARMADI HENDRAWAN
Andrew Darmadi Hendrawan is the Founder & CEO of Halosis.
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