Update 14th Jan 2020: Indonesia will be revising its de minimis value down to US$3 from an earlier US$ 75 on the 30th January 2020 as confirmed by Indonesia’s Directorate General of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Finance.1 You can find more details about how this could affect your shipments, at our latest announcement.
When looking at online markets to expand your business within Southeast Asia, Indonesia should be at the top of your list. With an expected four-fold growth rate from US12.2 billion in 2018 to US$65 billion in 20222, there is much to look forward to in the Indonesian eCommerce market.
Indonesia’s exponential eCommerce growth is fuelled by four main factors: a growing middle class, high internet and mobile penetration rates, a growing number of fintech and alternative finance options, and eCommerce tech investments.
As Indonesia’s online consumers are active on eCommerce sites all year round3, any time is a good time to enter the market. However, the last quarter of the year has several large-scale events meant for eCommerce merchants to drive sales by offering promotions and discounts to consumers.
These major online shopping events include:
While the events in Q4 serve to help boost sales, they also make the Indonesian eCommerce scene very competitive during this period. Many retailers fight to offer the best deals and land the most customers.
Hence, as an eCommerce merchant looking to expand your presence in Indonesia in the last quarter of 2019, it’ll be useful to understand the consumer trends and behaviour behind these events. This can help in managing your product line as well as your promotional methods to maximise sales during this period.
However, before we go into detail about each major online shopping event, let’s look at the general consumer trends in Indonesia leading up to the fourth quarter of 2019.
According to iPrice4, the top five eCommerce marketplaces in Indonesia as of July 2019 are:
Merchants who have yet to enter Indonesia can consider listing their products on the most popular eCommerce marketplaces in the country. As these platforms get millions of traffic each month, they may help to make things easier for new merchants to gain a foothold in the online retail scene before venturing on their own eCommerce site.
In a September 2019 projection of the Indonesian eCommerce market by Statista, fashion appears to continue to play the biggest role in the market, followed by electronics & media.
As fashion will remain the largest industry in the eCommerce market, it may be helpful to look at the types of fashion that are popular in Indonesia. For instance, as 87.2% of the population are Muslims, modest fashion remains a growing industry for the years to come.
The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2018/19 estimates that Muslim spending on modest fashion5 would grow 5% annually to $361 billion by 2023 from $270 billion in 2017. As a new merchant, being able to cater to a market with huge growth potential can help in expanding your presence in the country.
On the other hand, if fashion is not an industry you’re looking to enter, electronics and media is also a lucrative industry in Indonesia’s eCommerce market. For example, Lazada’s 11.11 sale in 2019 saw smartphones and power banks as their bestsellers.6 As Indonesia’s smartphone penetration rate is at 47.9% as of 2019, increasing 15% from 2014, merchants can expect to see a steady increase in demand for smartphones and related accessories such as power banks.
Based on the table above, the projected revenue for the top five industries in the Indonesian eCommerce market can help you understand the trends behind what consumers look to purchase online. You can also find more Indonesian consumer insights like these in our article on Indonesia’s top 4 online product categories.
Looking for more delivery capacity for your Indonesia-bound Q4 volumes? Janio’s wide delivery network has you covered. Contact us via the link below to find out more!
Targeting young adults
According to a survey by Snapcart Research7, half or 50% of Indonesian online shoppers are millennials (aged 25-34), followed by Gen Z (15-24 years) at 31% and Gen X (35-44 years) at 16%. Baby Boomers (age 45 and above) comprise only 2% of the total number of shoppers.
As a large proportion of the consumer base in Indonesia are young working adults, it would be useful to target them to expand your presence. For instance, in Indonesia, the median age for women to have their first pregnancy is from age 25-29.8 This means that you could target young families in your product line and marketing campaigns to capture their attention.
Leveraging on mobile payment services and mobile applications
Additionally, an iPrice report9 recently stated that mobile payment services are becoming more popular in Indonesia. An increasing number of eWallet applications do not require cards to transact, and transactions in Indonesia are predicted to increase from USD 1.5 billion in 2018 to USD 25 billion10 in 2023.
Based on a Euromonitor report on Indonesia’s digital landscape, the rise of mobile payment services is likely due to the fact that around three-quarters of Indonesians use smartphones which is more than countries such as Malaysia and the US. Furthermore, in Indonesia, mobile apps contribute the most traffic in eCommerce today.
Due to Indonesians’ reliance on smartphones, the market has seen the emergence of innovative features in eCommerce to create other activities besides making purchases to offer the best service possible for their customers. For example, some interactive 11.11 promotions include Lazada’s Slash It, Goyang Shopee, Tokopedia Shake-Shake, and Bukalapak Shake-a-thon. These games and activities encourage the use of mobile apps through smartphones.
Hence, if you’re listed on these eCommerce platforms, consider participating in their mobile activities to attract a larger consumer base to your store. It’ll also help to incorporate mobile payment methods on your portal so that your consumers can make payments easily. However, if some of your customers still want to use cash on delivery (COD), it helps to work with a logistics partner who can help you facilitate the COD payments.
Enticing consumers through online and offline advertisements
In terms of other methods that drive Indonesian consumers to eCommerce platforms, 24.5% of all respondents on a Snapcart survey received information about eCommerce from television advertising, while 24.3% obtained information by word of mouth from family, relatives, and friends. Ads on social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounted for 21%, and 15.1% obtained information from ads on online sites.
As Indonesia is one of the countries that has the largest number of social media users in the world, it is no doubt that social media has a huge impact on almost everything: from political movements, campaigns or issues to entertainment to eCommerce. Users of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others from Indonesia occupy a sizeable portion of all social media users.
Based on the survey results, advertisements on both online and offline portals can attract consumers to your eCommerce site, and should be leveraged upon to draw new customers in. Another thing to note is that longer, interactive content like videos, shows and live streaming appear to engage shoppers well in Indonesia.
Now that we know where, what, and how online consumers in Indonesia shop online, let’s find out more about the major online shopping events in the last quarter of each year.
Shopee first launched its 10.10 campaign in 2016, which since then has been a large-scale shopping event in Southeast Asia. Shopee runs discounts throughout the week leading up to ‘Mobile Shopping Day’ on October 10th, which is when the sales become even more extravagant.
Some promotions Shopee ran in 201811 include Spin The Wheel, Under $10.10 Sale, Electronics Rated 10/10, Bags Fest and Partners Promotion. The promotions tended to revolve around the number ‘10’ and were interactive to encourage customers to participate in them.
Even though other marketplaces have also begun to give promotions on 10.10, Shopee remains one of the top eCommerce platforms for 10.10. Selling your product on Shopee could be a good way for you to gain customers during this major shopping event as Shopee heavily prioritises its 10.10 sales.
Singles’ Day 11.11
Singles’ Day started in Nanjing University in 1993 when four single male students got together to discuss ‘how to break free of the loneliness and monotony of single life’. This grew in popularity and had spread through social media by the 2000s. Alibaba adopted the 11.11 date and turned it into an extensive sales event on its eCommerce platform each year, which was followed by other eCommerce giants.
In 2018, Singles’ Day was widely anticipated by consumers in Indonesia12 who began searching for keywords related to the 11.11 promotions since the end of October. At Lazada, Indonesia’s bestsellers6 were mascaras.
According to Euromonitor, beauty bloggers, beauty vloggers and make-up tutorials on YouTube bring greater demands for eye make-up in Indonesia. Eye make-up such as mascara, eyeliner and eyebrow pencils are in strong demand as the trend for having thick lashes are still favoured by many Indonesian consumers.
Adaptation to technological development also encourages creative types of promotions13 that are increasingly attractive to consumers. Previously, promotions were only in the form of price discounts. Now, promotions appear in various forms such as quizzes on social media, cashback, and in-app games. This allows for increasing user engagement with the marketplace.
To attract more consumers, Lazada threw its 11.11 Super Show6, where more than 5 million viewers were tuning in. They also took part in live game sessions, skits and performances from renowned local and international celebrities including Korean boy band KARD, and Thai celebrities Bella Ranee Campen and Janie Tienphosuwan.
The Super Show is proof that long-form video content could still be vital to consumer engagement today. This can be combined with TV ads and YouTube videos to capture user attention.
Even though it may not be possible for new merchants to host similarly large-scale events due to budget constraints, you could participate in less costly versions of such marketing campaigns like online auctions and giveaways on Instagram Live and Facebook Live. If you can afford it, you should consider making use of video content to advertise your Q4 promotions with celebrity endorsements.
Merchants looking to take advantage of the 11.11 sales period can choose to participate in these promotions or offer your own, and explore the product categories that were most purchased in 2018’s event.
On December 12 2018, Harbolnas was able to record 6.8 trillion sales, an increase of 2.1 trillion from the previous year15. Blibli.com recorded a number of consumers transactions as much as 35x compared to average days. This surge also caused the number of orders and Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) to increase by 11x compared to normal days. Additionally, Lazada Indonesia recorded an increase in GMV of 18x from a usual day.
As a uniquely Indonesian eCommerce experience, on 12th December 2018, Shopee threw a large-scale Birthday Sale15 event in conjunction with Harbolnas that was broadcast on four TV stations in Indonesia. Shopee invited numerous local celebrities and Korean girl-group BLACKPINK to be a part of the event, attracting fans to tune in to the show. Shopee Indonesia recorded 5.4 million transactions at that event.
iPrice also studied the behaviour16 of Indonesian online shoppers during Harbolnas in 12.12 and discovered that the top 5 eCommerce platforms were Lazada, Tokopedia, Shopee, Bukalapak, and Zalora, which all experienced huge increases in search interest from 10 am to 1 pm. With more people seeing merchants’ product listings, you can expect increased sales for your products.
In 2017, CNN Indonesia reported that 40 percent of media readers were waiting for promotions for digital gadgets12 in a number of eCommerce sites during Harbolnas, while another 24 percent choose to hunt for fashion products. This report reflects the two top product categories in the Indonesian eCommerce market, which can be good areas to expand your presence in Indonesia.
With so many major shopping events and things to look out for in the Indonesian eCommerce market, it would be helpful to take note of the best practices for merchants selling during festive seasons.
While Indonesia might appear as an extremely competitive region for new merchants entering the market, eCommerce has minimised the competitive advantage that large reputable brands have. By analysing the consumer behaviour among Indonesians, you’ll be able to better understand the trends in the market.
In the final quarter of 2019, major shopping events will allow you to maximise sales and boost your presence in Indonesia. With so many digital advancements in payment methods and eCommerce platforms, expanding your online business has never been easier.
However, you’ll still need to ensure that your products are delivered in a timely and safe manner. If you’re outsourcing your logistics, work with eCommerce logistics service providers with local expertise who can provide you with flexible, end-to-end international shipping solutions.
If you’d like to find out more about how we can solve your SEA eCommerce cross-border delivery needs, come and have a conversation with us.
Interested in eCommerce in Indonesia? Find out more about Indonesian eCommerce scene here:
On 12 Nov 2021, multiple hs codes for apparel in chapters 61 and 62 will incur additional import duties under Indonesia's BMTP initiative.
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