In April 2020, nationwide lockdowns across Southeast Asia led to a collective shift in the region’s shopping habits. Since the pandemic started, online shopping went from being a convenience to a necessity overnight, heralding the addition of 70 million new shoppers, according to Bain & Company.
Two years on, the digitalisation of the retail industry has proved to be a beacon of optimism as it moves towards a trajectory of growth, with Google and Temasek forecasting the e-commerce industry to grow to $7.5 billion by 2026. Buoyed by strong online consumption, the industry looks poised to contribute to the region’s 5.1% growth forecast by the Asian Development Bank.
Indeed, the digitalisation of the industry has provided small businesses with a low barrier to entry for commerce and access to a wider pool of customers; while creating various jobs across the ecosystem, from delivery riders to fulfilment specialists.