Mega-sales days main drivers for online shopping adoption: Facebook

  • Some 85% of SEA shoppers purchased products online during MSD; 43% are first-timers
  • Six in ten shoppers discover products through social media; 66% for first-timers

Mega-sales days main drivers for online shopping adoption: Facebook MEGA-sales days (MSD) are the main drivers for online shopping adoption in Southeast Asia, according to a Facebook and Bain & Company study.

The study entitled "SYNC Southeast Asia: Discover the New Wave of Mega Sale Shoppers," noted provided a detailed look into MSDs, its impact on the consumer journey and how it contributes to Southeast Asia’s growing e-commerce momentum, Facebook said in a statement.

MSDs are defined as large-scale shopping events that span several days across the year.

These include, but are not limited to, the 10.10 Sale, the Singles’ Day Sale on 11 November, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the 12.12 Sale and Boxing Day Sale.

The report used data from GlobalWebIndex Core Survey Panel involving 3,919 internet users aged between 16 and 64 during the fourth quarter of 2020 across six Southeast Asian countries that included Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The report showed that 86% of shoppers surveyed in Southeast Asia purchased products online during MSD events.

Of this number, 43% reported that their first MSD was also their first-time shopping online, it read.

Mega-sales days main drivers for online shopping adoption: Facebook Thailand and Vietnam emerged with the highest percentage of first-time online shoppers at 64% and 53% respectively. To take full advantage of MSDs, 67% of shoppers reported buying more product categories online than they would normally do, the report noted.

With MSDs gaining massive momentum and taking place more frequently across the region, shoppers are becoming savvier in anticipating such sales moments, it added.

Some 72% of shoppers plan their purchases in advance, particularly when it comes to higher ticket purchases like smartphones and accessories (56%) and home living and groceries (52%) and beauty and personal care (51%), the report said.

On the other hand, 68% of shoppers made impulse buys for lower ticket purchases like food and beverages (47%), women’s fashion (39%) and men’s fashion (37%), it added.

An evolution

The study also showed that openness to switching and trying new brands is heightened during MSDs; 91% of shoppers have purchased a brand they have never tried before during MSDs with fashion and accessories (70%) ranking at the top.

Even after the event, shoppers across categories (75%) are more likely to continue to use new brands they purchased rather than switch back to usual ones, indicating the opportunity that MSDs present to brands in reaching and retaining new shoppers, the report noted.

“Mega-Sales Days have evolved beyond being just a discount-driven activity. They are now a collective cultural moment and present opportunities for businesses to build their brand and ensure that their product or service finds the people who are most likely to love it,” said Benjamin Joe, vice president of Southeast Asia and emerging markets at Facebook.

The study also revealed interesting aspects regarding the region’s online shopping habits. For one, 63% of MSD shoppers discovered the products they bought on social media, and even higher for first-time shoppers at 66%.

Mega-sales days main drivers for online shopping adoption: Facebook Among those who discovered new products on social media, 82% of them did so via video (in-stream or short-form video for example, stories)

Additionally, social media has become a primary channel to research and compare products to buy.

Sixty three per cent of MSD shoppers used social media to research and compare options for the products they purchased, and even higher for first time shoppers at 71%.

In comparison, 54% of MSD shoppers and 50% of first-time shoppers relied on search engines, the report said.

Unsurprisingly, e-commerce platforms are mainly where shoppers are shopping during MSDs.

MSD shoppers (92%) and first-time MSD shoppers (86%) did their shopping during MSDs on e-commerce platforms over social media, large retailer-owned app/ sites and directly from brands.

“Despite the current restricted business environment, Southeast Asia’s digital economy is still on track to pass US$300 billion by 2025 with over 40 million people coming online for the first time in 2020,” said Praneeth Yendamuri, partner at Bain & Company

“At present, only 70% of the region is online and we foresee events like MSDs playing a significant role in further helping the region unlock the full potential of its digital economy.”


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