With that said, there is another force changing the landscape of online shopping and e-commerce as a whole. The concept of e-commerce has been long associated with male buyers of electronics, gadgets, etc. However, women are turning into one of the biggest demographics of online shopping in Southeast Asia.
A Digital Golden Age
There are approximately 260 million users currently online in Southeast Asia. The region become the 4th largest and the fastest growing internet market in the world. According to Google, about 480 million users will be online by 2020. Younger population are the key players, as 70% of SEA population is under 40.
The e-commerce model in Southeast Asia is constantly evolving. Southeast Asian e-commerce first emerged in the form of classified websites. As time goes by, models like Consumer to Consumer (C2C), Business to Business (B2C), Business to Business to Customer (B2B2C) are slowly taking center stage.
Other than that, the opportunity to start up an e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia has a very promising outlook. Among the 7,000 startups in Southeast Asia, 18% of those are focused on lifestyle and e-commerce. David Chmelař, CEO and founder of price comparison and coupons website, iPrice, saw the opportunity to create a platform “where consumers can consistently find the best deals and product information, which is lack of in the region”
How Women Became Key Players
According to Lazada, online fashion is one of the fastest growing segment in e-commerce in the third quarter alone. Nevertheless, women are purchasing not only in the fashion and personal goods categories, but also household goods, groceries, financial services, and even automotive.
When it comes to the amount spent online, women tend to dedicate more time to online shopping. The data from comScore shows women spend 2.9% of their online time for retail purposes while men only spend 2.4%. Women find online shopping as a form of entertainment. They have the tendency to browse around and make extra purchases.
Group Creative Director of Orami, Melissa Senduk, stated that “women contribute to 80% of all household purchases, out shop men by 20%, and spend 40% more time on online retailers.” Senduk also suggested fellow e-commerce platforms to appeal to women by using the language they speak and market their brand on social media. Adding to that, women spend 16.3% more time on social media sites while men spend 11.7%.
Modifying Marketing Strategies Targeted Towards Women
If women are making the majority of online purchases, e-commerce players must pay attention to how they market themselves. Gone are the days where women would go shopping together in groups and provide feedback. The feedback in the digital and e-commerce landscape comes in the form of product reviews and testimonials online. Women’s reviews and purchases can invite more women to buy the product or services.
Millennial women are especially hard to approach, particularly richer consumers. Millennial women and working professionals want something straightforward and eye-catching. Due to the rise of instantaneous information that doesn’t require users to spend a lot of time online, marketing strategies must be modified.
Women are more likely to browse around, whereas men would only do research specifically for the products they desire. The use of eye-catching visuals and persuasive coupons and deals can convince women.
Female consumers will also tend to search products by their brands instead of searching within the relevant categories. Premium fashion brands like Estee Lauder,Dior, and Burberry should think twice before offering their products on general e-commerce site. The audience can perceive the label as a mass brand and brand will experience loss of revenues.
Alas, considering the rising demographics of female users online, both producers and consumers need to recognize the role women play in the Southeast Asian e-commerce landscape.
Written by Febriana