Technology Featured Southeast Asia

PH digital economy to reach $20b by end of 2022: report

Manila, Philippines – The trio Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company has finally released its overview of the SEA region’s digital economy for 2022. Titled ‘Through the waves, towards a sea of opportunity,’ the latest iteration of the annual e-Conomy SEA report projects that the Philippine digital economy is on track to hit $20b Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) by the end of the year. This is a $3b growth from last year’s $17b projected value. 

It is also projected to reach $35b GMV by 2025 and $100b to $150b GMV by 2030.

Despite the partial resumption of in-store shopping, e-commerce accounted for 70% of the overall Philippine digital economy. It is expected to reach $14b GMV by 2022 with a 17% growth from last year and is expected to amount to $22b GMV by 2025 as it continues to steer the local digital economy.

Aside from e-commerce, food delivery and video-on-demand round up the top three digital activities of Filipinos, showing an adoption rate of 88%, 69%, and 58% respectively amongst digital urban users.

Moreover, projections include transport and food delivery reaching $1.9b GMV, travel growing at $1b GMV, online media reaching $3.1b GMV, and digital financial services such as lending and remittance hitting $6b this year.

The report also stated that the Philippines will attract more investors across sectors in the years to come, as its digital investment sector grew 63% from last year. Digital financial services in the country continue to attract investor interest, garnering 56% of total investor funding in 2022. 

“The Philippine digital economy remains resilient despite headwinds and continues to provide boundless opportunities as it is projected to reach $20 billion GMV by end of year. This year’s e-Conomy SEA report also suggests that the country will be a leading investment destination with over 70% of investors expecting deal activity to increase in the period of 2025 to 2030,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director at Google Philippines.

Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company, also said “The Philippines’ digital economy is one of the more attractive investment hubs in the region. Across internet sectors there remains tremendous whitespace for growth as the ecosystem drives greater digital inclusion in the country, particularly outside of metro areas.”

“The seventh edition of the e-Conomy SEA report shows that the digital future of the Philippines is bright as it has the fastest growing digital investments sector this year in the region,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual.

e-Conomy SEA is an annual research programme that combines Google Trends, Temasek, and Bain & Company’s insights and analyses of the digital economies of six countries in SEA: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

PH’s internet economy surges to 93%, the highest in SEA

Manila, Philippines – With a fast-growing base of digital consumers and merchants, acceleration in e-commerce, and food delivery, the Philippines’ current internet economy has been recorded as the nation with the highest internet economy growth, with a rate of 93%, according to the latest collaborative research from Google, Temasek, Bain & Company. This has previously been predicted to grow from US$9b in 2020 to US$17b this year. 

Currently, the SEA region is estimated to reach US$174b in gross merchandise value (GMV) by the end of 2021. Furthermore, the region’s digital economy is further expected to reach US$360b by 2025, outgrowing the earlier projection of US$300b.

“Much like the rest of the region, the Philippines is entering its digital decade as the internet increasingly becomes an integral part of the consumers’ daily lives. The growth of the digital market in the country was driven by the explosive 132% growth in e-commerce and double-digit growth across all sectors including food delivery services,” noted the study.

The country has seen 12 million new digital consumers since the start of the pandemic, up to the first half of 2021. About 63% of those new digital consumers are from non-metro areas and 99% say that they intend to continue using these services going forward. Pre-pandemic users have consumed an average of 4.3 more services since the pandemic began and 95% of those pre-pandemic consumers are still found to be digitally-inclined consumers today.

“The pandemic has led to enduring digital adoption in Southeast Asia, which has propelled its internet economy to new heights. Temasek looks forward to increasing our investments in Southeast Asia’s digital champions, using our capital to catalyse digital solutions and accelerate economic growth and job opportunities for our local communities,” said Rohit Sipahimalani, chief investment strategist and head of Southeast Asia at Temasek.

It is estimated that the Philippines’ overall internet economy will likely reach US$40b in value, growing at 24% CAGR, which can be amplified due to strict lockdowns as well as heightened adoption of certain digital services.

Willy Chang, associate partner at Bain & Company, commented, “The Philippines’ internet economy is the fastest growing in SEA as a result of strict COVID-19 restrictions and a large number of new digital consumers. There remains ample headroom for growth as long as digital enablers continue to develop. For example, we saw a strong adoption of digital payment methods such as e-wallets and national real-time payment rails which facilitated the growth of the internet economy.” 

The report also noted that 39% of local digital merchants believe they would not have survived the pandemic if not for digital platforms. Digital merchants now use an average of two digital platforms, but profitability remains a top concern. Digital financial services saw very rapid growth this year, not only from e-wallets but also from the national payment rail. 

Of the digital merchants surveyed, 97% now accept digital payments, while 67% have adopted digital lending solutions. Many are also embracing digital tools to engage with their customers, with 68% expecting to increase usage of digital marketing tools in the next five years.

Bernadette Nacario, country director at Google Philippines said, “The digital adoption we’ve seen in the Philippines since last year has contributed to the accelerated growth of the country’s internet economy, magnifying its vast potential. Google is committed to helping Filipinos maximize the opportunities of going digital and helping the country shape an internet economy that is equitable, safe, and inclusive through programs and products that improve lives.”

Main Feature Platforms Southeast Asia

Malaysia taking the lead on SEA digital consumer growth, statistics shows

Malaysia– With many people shifting their marketing behaviors online, notable statistics have shown a significant increase in the number of digital consumers in the Southeast Asia region, particularly in Malaysia, a report from consulting firm Bain & Company shows.

Conducted in collaboration with social media giant Facebook, statistics noted that Malaysia clocked a total of 83% of digital consumer growth, making it the country in Southeast Asia with the highest concentration of online consumers, which are then followed suit by Singapore with a 79% growth and the Philippines with 74%.

Moreover, the report showed that the Malaysian demographic, those that are 15 years old and above have an average of 51% on their willingness to switch consumer brands from time to time.

In regards to trying out new and unheard-of brands, statistics for Malaysian consumer behavior stooped, from 43% in 2019 to 40% in 2020, showing reluctance to try out unique and new brands.

With COVID-19 restricting movement including physical shopping, statistics for purchasing demand across online channels for Malaysians doubled to 40% this year.

“Brands need to enhance their value proposition both online and offline, and be flexible and adaptable to change, now more than ever. Within the eCommerce space, we aim to ensure strong digital content, product availability online and a robust supply chain,” commented Phee Chat Chow, executive director for marketing, communications and innovation at Nestle Malaysia and Singapore