Indonesia was the country that spent the most online in Southeast Asia in 2022, and a new study found that the archipelago accounted for more than half of purchases on digital platforms in the region.
A report released Thursday by Singapore-based venture firm Momentum Works found that Indonesia contributed 52 percent of the region’s total gross merchandise value (GMV), which refers to the value of goods sold. through e-commerce platforms.
The amount was calculated based on the spending of six Southeast Asian countries that also included Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Total GMV in 2022 was reported to be $99.5 billion (S$133.4 billion).
Indonesia’s figure was $51.9 billion, almost 13 times more than Singapore’s $4 billion.
Momentum Works conducted its research using a variety of methods, including the analysis of publicly available data and the collection of contact information in the e-commerce industry.
The company found that in Indonesia, the most used platforms were the e-commerce app Shopee and the online marketplace Tokopedia, which accounted for 36% and 35% of the country’s GMV, respectively.
Trailing behind were Lazada and Bukalapak, both with 10 percent, TikTok Shop, the video-sharing app’s e-commerce affiliate, with 5 percent, and Blibli with 4 percent.
The report is the first installment in Momentum Works’ Southeast Asia Ecommerce series. GMV in the region totaled $99.5 billion in 2022, up from $87.1 billion in 2021 and $54.8 billion in 2020, according to the report.
This means that the increase in online spending from 2021 to 2022 was less than from 2020 to 2021, with growth falling from 58.9% to 14.2%.
In the report, the firm said that as the world reopened after the Covid-19 pandemic, the resumption of retail shopping across the region meant that the frequency of online purchases would take a hit.
“In addition, inflation and the increase in interest rates, as well as increases in the prices of raw materials, not only affect the purchasing power of the consumer, but also force many platforms in the region to cut operational investments. and marketing,” he said.
Still, e-commerce will continue to grow, the report added, citing how some companies in the industry like TikTok have made strides in growing GMV and how others like Lazada have tried to put their growth at the top of their agenda.
“E-commerce in general will continue to grow, likely at a healthier rate, commensurate with the pace of (consumer) income growth, infrastructure development, and the progress of the region’s compliance capacity/capabilities,” the report said.
Looking at specific companies, the report found that Shopee was the largest e-commerce player in Southeast Asia, recording close to half of the total GMV in 2022 at $47.9 billion.
This was followed by Lazada with $20.1 billion, Tokopedia with $18.4 billion, and TikTok Shop with $4.4 billion.
The report made a special mention of TikTok Shop, noting how the app and its parent company ByteDance have pushed to expand in the region.
Momentum Works said the app is reportedly targeting more than triple its regional GMV, but whether it can actually achieve that is not known.
In 2021, TikTok’s GMV in Southeast Asia was $600 million. This grew by $3.8 billion to $4.4 billion in 2022.
In contrast, Tokopedia’s GMV rose just $2.9 billion in the same time period, while Lazada’s numbers fell $900 million, according to the report.
“While TikTok offers users a differentiated experience compared to traditional e-commerce platforms in the region, whether the platform can turn that experience into a mainstay of e-commerce in Southeast Asia, with an ecosystem of e-commerce content mature, remains to be seen,” the report says.