The future of online shopping in APAC will be discovery-driven, survey finds

Social commerce serves as a key future-proofing method for the next five years

More consumers are saying they are likely or highly likely to buy through social media in the future, with social commerce set to account for 13% of total e-commerce sales in China this year.

41% of respondents worldwide made purchases or intend to make purchases involving social platforms, according to a new survey by Essence which looks at the shift towards organized commerce on social media platforms.

“We expect that the future of online shopping - and not just social commerce - will be discovery-driven. Customers tend to be exposed to new and innovative products as they browse more on social media or encounter algorithmically mediated recommendations from friends and family on social platforms,” said Aniket Basu, the senior director for technology and e-commerce at Essence.

“E-commerce is maturing as a field, with social media giving brands and retailers new ways to reach audiences and new growth opportunities. In this environment, social commerce serves as a key future-proofing method for the next five years and beyond.”

What does the survey find?

Australia

  • Apparel (19%), grocery (19%), food delivery/takeaway (22%), and household items (19%) were the most purchased categories.

  • A similar percentage of the respondents are spending on average on a single transaction on social media: AUD10 to AUD50 (25%), AUD51 to AUD100 (28%), and AUD101 to AUD200 (28%).

  • More than 50% participated in live shopping and conversational commerce but 80% of those people enjoyed the shopping experience.

  • 71% of respondents are likely to buy on social media.

  • More people (74%) are still transacting using traditional ways of credit card/debit card/bank transactions/cash on delivery, versus 26% who are using new payment methods of digital/mobile wallet.

China

  • Apparel (64%), grocery (64%), and food delivery/takeaways (61%) were the most purchased categories.

  • Almost 50% of the Chinese respondents purchased above CNY200.

  • The shopping experience was enjoyed by 9 out of 10 Chinese consumers who participated in live shopping and conversational commerce (a growing trend in the region).

  • 93% of respondents are likely to buy on social media.

  • Higher preference to pay via new payments methods of mobile payment (75%) and digital wallets (39%).

India

  • Beauty (39%), food delivery/takeaway (30%), and grocery (29%) were the most purchased categories.

  • 52% of the respondents are spending between INR1,000 and INR5,000 on average on a single transaction on social media.

  • Live shopping (39%) and conversational commerce (49%) are gaining popularity in India, as nine out of 10 people enjoyed the shopping experience.

  • 88% of the respondents (highest after China) are likely to buy via social media.

  • A growing preference for newer payment methods such as digital wallets (30%) and mobile payments (34%).

Indonesia

  • Apparel (49%), food delivery/takeaway (33%), and beauty (32%) were the most purchased categories.

  • 63% of the respondents are spending between IDR100K and IDR500K on average on a single transaction on social media.

  • Conversational commerce (61%) is predominantly popular in Indonesia.

  • 74% of the respondents are likely to buy via social media.

  • A growing preference for newer payment methods such as digital wallets (30%) and mobile payments (34%).

Japan

  • Apparel (16%), household items (13%), and grocery (12%) were the most purchased categories.

  • A similar percentage of the respondents are spending on average on a single transaction on social media: JPY1,000 to JPY5,500 (29%), JPY5,501 to JPY11,000 (25%), and JPY11,001 to JPY55,000 (31%).

  • Live shopping (24%) and conversational commerce (41%) are still gaining ground in Japan, as 75% of the respondents who participated in these social formats enjoyed the shopping experience.

  • 74% of the respondents are likely to buy via social media.

  • A credit card/debit card is the preferred method of transaction on social media (21%).

South Korea

  • Grocery (27%), apparel (26%), and beauty (25%) were the most purchased categories.

  • Amongst the social consumers who purchased luxury goods in South Korea, 29% buy mostly clothing items.

  • Live shopping (59%) is preferred in South Korea, as 75% of the participants enjoyed the shopping experience.

  • Social commerce is yet to be adopted, as only 53% of the past purchasers are likely to buy using social media.

  • A credit card/debit card is the preferred method of transaction on social media (33%).

Singapore

  • Food delivery/takeaway (31%), apparel (28%), and grocery (27%) were the most purchased categories.

  • 62% of the respondents purchased items between SGD51 and SGD200 on social media on average on a single transaction.

  • A high number of past social media purchasers used live shopping (32%) and conversational commerce (50%), and 8 out of 10 people enjoyed the shopping experience.

  • 66% of the respondents are likely to buy via social media.

  • 37% of the respondents still use credit card/debit cards for social media transactions, as newer payments of digital wallets (25%) and mobile payment (25%) pick up.