ECommerce is rapidly growing in Southeast Asia, and as a result, more than $50 billion USD was spent online in 2018. According to Econsultancy’s latest report, approximately 350 million people are using the internet In Southeast Asia. It is a ripe environment for those aware of the trends and willing to adapt their business to get a share of the billions of dollars being spent by these customers each day. To be top of the consumers hit list, here is what you need to know about eCommerce trends for 2020.

Social commerce 

If you want success selling in the competitive online market, it is essential to attract and retain new customers. One of the most compelling trends for 2020 is to take advantage of social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube, to name a few. In 2019 Southeast Asia had a 63% penetration of social media use, and it will continue to rise due to technology infrastructure improvements and fast internet speeds, particularly in Singapore. 

Building a strong reputation and long-lasting relationships are essential when winning potential customers on social platforms. Research by Ecoconsultancy shows that 59% of online shoppers turn to social media to help make decisions on more than a quarter of what they purchase online. Once they buy, they take to public media to share their experiences. To build trust and be shared by your customers on their social media accounts, avoid spamming and keep all of your communications authentic and relevant. Every interaction should add to a positive customer experience.  

Recommerce market

You may be aware of people reselling pre-owned items online, and this has been identified as an eCommerce trend, set to ramp up in 2020. People are taking to social sites to sell their unused items, which is known as resale, recommerce or reverse commerce. In the past, a major contributing factor for people shopping second-hand was to save money, but the trend in 2020 is more about being conscious of our impact on the planet and reducing our consumption. By recycling clothes and other belongings, we are helping to reduce waste. Sites, such as Craigslist, eBay and Facebook Marketplace are available worldwide. Shopee, where new and used items are sold, is the number one shopping site in Southeast Asia according to AppAnnie. In Q2 of 2019, they gained more than 200 million visitors. 

In 2012 three friends completing a Silicon Valley internship recognised this trend and made a Southeast Asia centric recommerce app, Carousell. They claim you can list an item in just 30 seconds. In 2019, their business was valued at $5.5 million USD. Even major retailers are joining the recommerce trend, including Patagonia, Macy’s and JC Penneys, who have partnered with companies to repurpose used goods returned to their stores. 

Headless commerce

person using laptop computer holding card

With an increasing number of devices connecting to the internet, such as smartphones, laptops and IoT’s (internet of things) including TV’s refrigerators, security systems and more, Statista estimates there are 20 billion smart devices on the planet, and this number is set to rise to more than 75 billion by 2025. With the rising trend of people accessing online platforms from a multitude of gadgets, online retailers need to have a flexible platform to support these purchases, regardless of device. 

This can only be achieved effectively if the back end code does not have to be changed regularly. An emerging eCommerce trend for 2020 is headless commerce, which essentially disconnects the front end from the back end. Communication between the two occurs either via an application programming interface (API) or a web service. If you are ready to go headless, CoreDNA suggests the strongest APIs in the market are on their own platform, Shopify Plus or Magento 2. 

Adopting this 2020 trends will give you more control and flexibility over the end-user experience, without needing to update back end databases. If you want to continue to attract and retain customers in this fast-moving industry, you need to be scalable, and these headless commerce options support easy expansion

ECommerce is a rapidly growing industry set to explode further over the next few years. With an increased level of engagement by consumers on social and reverse commerce, businesses wanting to tap into the market share of billions of dollars each year need to build their reputation. It is also vital to have the right systems to support those customers, as is staying educated on emerging eCommerce trends for 2020.