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B2C E-Commerce is booming across Southeast Asia. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam see rapid growth rates in online retail, as more consumers gain Internet access and opt for making their purchases online. With fast growth being a common trend, which country takes the lead in B2C E-Commerce in this sub-region?

Two years ago, the straight answer would have been Singapore. This country has the most developed infrastructure for online retail, including payment, logistics and Internet penetration. Consumers in Singapore are attracted to online shopping primarily by its convenience, the ability to shop 24/7 and have the items delivered to their door. Of all Southeast Asian countries it is also in Singapore that people have the highest trust in online payments, higher than the global average. However, as more than 50% of Internet users in Singapore already buy online and the online share of total retail sales reached the highest mark across the sub-region, B2C E-Commerce is predicted to maintain growth, but at more moderate rates.

The rates are moderate compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, where online retail only starts to evolve. When high growth potential combines with much larger population than Singapore’s 5.5 million, the country in the possession of both is most likely to challenge Singapore’s rank as the largest B2C E-Commerce market in Southeast Asia by sales. Indonesia is predicted to account for over one third of Southeast Asia’s online retail sales in 2018, leaving Singapore far behind. With a total population of 253 million, which is still growing, and Internet penetration of below 20%, Indonesia has a vast room for B2C E-Commerce to grow.  Once the challenges such as Internet access, low banking penetration and consumer awareness are met, Indonesia will make its breakthrough.

To learn more about B2C E-Commerce markets in this emerging region, have a look at our series of reports about Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia B2C E-Commerce Market 2015 and Singapore B2C E-Commerce Market 2015, as well as relevant press releases and infographics.

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