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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Big shot ambassadors to continue driving growth of SEA’s e-commerce platforms

Singapore – As more and more e-commerce brands in Southeast Asia ramping up their presence through frequent platform deals such as the recent ‘9.9 Sales’, these brands in the region are highly incentivized with the use of influencers for their sales campaigns, hence pushing the e-commerce industry in the region to a steadfast growth, latest insights from e-commerce aggregator iPrice shows.

Comparing the latest ambassadors of Lazada and Shopee namely K-pop actor Hyun Bin and international kung fu actor Jackie Chan respectively, the report showed that the senior global star received higher engagement for articles published regarding the collaboration. Jackie Chan’s presence in Shopee’s latest campaign garnered 59 articles published, compared to the 53 articles garnered by Hyun Bin’s Lazada campaign.

Despite that, Hyun Bin’s campaign garnered more engagement in social media, receiving 79% of ‘love’ reactions, 19% of ‘haha’ reactions, and 2% of ‘wow’ reactions. Meanwhile, the study found that Jackie Chan’s campaign garnered 62% of ‘love’ reactions, 21% ‘haha’ reactions, and 17% of ‘wow’ reactions on social media.

“It’s clear to see that influencers play an important role in driving excitement for the upcoming sales period. Thus, key e-commerce companies have enough incentive to involve influencers in their campaigns,” said iPrice. 

Meanwhile, overall web visits among e-commerce platforms across the region have increased by 31% this year from January to June compared to the same time frame last year. By average, overall web visits from the aforementioned period this year clocked in 4 million web visits.

The Philippines experienced the most surge by 73%, followed by Indonesia (41%), Malaysia (34%), Singapore (10%), Thailand (9%), and Vietnam (7%).

Specifically, the top two Singapore-based companies, Shopee and Lazada, experienced an increase of web visits by 56% and 10% in 1H 2021 compared to the same period last year.

In terms of consumer behavior, given the uncertain COVID infection rates, consumers will continue to stay at home, and consequently forego holiday travels and family get-togethers. With that given, it is expected that there will be more opportunities for online shopping. iPrice foresees that Southeast Asian consumers would probably spend an average of US$40 on e-commerce by the end of the year.

Furthermore, the insights found out that there was an increase of 26% in average consumer spending in 2020, when consumers spent about US$32 per e-commerce transaction.

“Most purchases will be directed towards the categories of sports and outdoor, home improvements, and electronics. Lastly, even if consumer spending won’t increase as predicted, online retailers can still expect far more online web visits to their platforms this year,” the company concluded.

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Main Feature Marketing APAC

MARKETECH APAC’s Top 5 Stories for July: Asian food delivery’s new offering bags top spot

For the month of July, the Southeast Asia region once again snitches the spotlight with stories ranging from K-pop research, a fast-food chain’s case study, to an app that aims to cater to a country’s long-standing culture in trading. 

This period, we see a very interesting study that has put an official percentage of how much a brand can benefit from web searches upon roping in K-pop group BTS as an endorser. Food delivery is also a highlight this month, with a leading food delivery platform in Asia launching a new offer, and a fast-food brand in Malaysia releasing its case study on a successful 2020 campaign that helped save its delivery business in the face of home cooking-loving consumers. 

In the Philippines, we see a live-streaming platform unveiling an ex-Gojek exec as one of its new heads, and from the same country as well as a top story on a commerce enabler that aims to bring digitization to a traditional type of minimart that has been around in the country for years. 

With rankings based on Google Analytics for the period of 16th June to 15th July, here are the brands that had you turning with a second look.

Top 5: BTS ambassadorships can boost brand searches by up to 50%, iPrice study shows

Celebrities have undoubtedly been the primary faces of brands, and the new wave of K-pop groups and personalities have just turned to be the novel key to impactfully lift their awareness among consumers. In particular, global superstars BTS; In their multiple stints as global and regional ambassadors, it is no wonder how the latest data from e-commerce aggregator iPrice shows the sheer impact BTS can have on brands when tapping the group as their brand ambassadors.

According to their data, search results for brands can jump up to 50% after signing on BTS as their ambassador, which has long been evident across brands three years ago when the prominence of K-pop brand ambassadors started to materialize.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Isabelle Romualdez, senior content marketing executive at iPrice stated that such affiliation can drive up web traffic of the websites of these brands, which can eventually help drive up their sales online. 

She also added that ‘BTS’ influence is so strong that they create a lot of ‘noise’ on social media.’

Citing the campaign for global fast-food chain McDonald’s, for instance, she notes that in Vietnam, the fast-food chain was able to sell 10,000 BTS Meals in one day, and that in the Philippines, they were able to sell 3.5 million pieces of chicken nuggets on the day of the launch.

The best possible outcome for brands which I think is also how BTS affects them is that their partnership [with them] can increase their sales. BTS fans are really devoted, they really spend on their merch. They spend around US$1,400 for their merch, tickets, and other things. And so for them to line up and spend for a special meal or product, it’s really no big deal for them.

Asked about what smaller brands can do who might not be able to afford to partner K-pop personalities, she states this:

“One of the challenges for these smaller brands is that they can’t afford big brand ambassadors, so they have this responsibility to be creative with their campaigns but they can still achieve as much success if they create creative campaigns. Another way is to create content that interests the K-pop fanbase, [such as] talking about their behavior.”

Top 4: Former Gojek growth leader Crystal Widjaja joins kumu as new chief product officer

Filipino live-streaming platform, kumu, has appointed the former chief of staff and senior vice president of growth at Indonesia’s Gojek, Crystal Widjaja, to now assume the role of chief product officer.

MARKETECH APAC conversed with Widjaja to know more about what kumu products she is looking to develop and prioritize.

“We need to start building out products that really do unlock experiences, better than online and offline experiences,” said Widjaja in the interview.

Widjaja shared that the platform will be developing its creator base, building out the best creator tools so that content creators can host game shows, create amazing vlogs, and have fun, among others.

“I think what’s really important is to actually build an enablement platform, where people who want to be a community builder and to engage one another have the tools and [apps] to do that,” she said.

The core of kumu is beyond just a social network for content creators. It really is a social participatory network, and that means we are highly engaging and we allow users to reward one another.

Widjaja will be leveraging her extensive experience in helping startups with growth, data, and strategy, as well as bolstering the platform’s overall product strategy. 

In the same interview, Widjaja bared that building kumu has always been about creating opportunities for people to create their small social spaces and a safe environment, one where they can be themselves with people they admire.

Top 3: KFC turned every Malaysian Kitchen into a KEPCI Kitchen

At the start of the Covid in 2020, fast food brand KFC in Malaysia was faced with a dilemma – how does it maintain its delivery business, when consumers, even despite its initial surge, had easily grown tired of ordering take-out? In trying to find a solution, KFC soon found it was not other QSR brands that were the enemy, but the newfound love of home cooking. 

In partnership with digital creative agency Reprise, KFC released the campaign KEPCI Kitchen based on this insight, and turned the present trend in their favor – building the excitement of Malaysians to repurpose KFC items in their personal recipes, and therefore, turning their kitchen into a KEPCI kitchen. 

Due to a highly engaging integrated campaign which included a dedicated ‘KFC’ cookbook, consistent recipe sharing on Instagram, and also a sponsored cooking show, the campaign soon achieved its target and even more. 

In an exclusive chat with KFC Malaysia’s CEO Chan May Ling and Reprise’s Creative Director Eddy Nazarullah, the two both chalked it up to great teamwork and relationship between the brand and agency. 

“I think the lovely thing about this case study, I think, is the client-agency partnership, and how fast the team reacted because nobody knew how to react during a lockdown,” Chan said.

“[We’re] very close to our agency partner to uncover the insight and to have a common agreement on how we want to build the brand, and how we want to engage, and I think that’s very important in a relationship; and that’s how it sparked,” she added.

I think what’s key is the collaboration between KFC and [Reprise]. It’s the agency and client relationship that’s definitely made this happen. For us to achieve this, it’s definitely something we can’t do alone, and we definitely need the support from the team.

Nazarullah echoing Chan’s statement

Top 2: PH commerce enabler GrowSari secures US$30m funding for operation expansion

Philippine-borne business-to-business commerce enabler GrowSari has announced that the company has secured more than US$30m in funding from various companies and venture capitals, which include Gokongwei-led listed Philippine retailer Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. (RRHI) and JG Digital Equity Ventures, as well as Wavemaker Partners.

Other funding participants include Pavilion Capital, Tencent, Saison Capital, ICCP SBI Venture Partners, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) which is a member of the World Bank Group.

For GrowSari, said funding will help fuel the company’s vision of tapping into sari-sari stores, the Filipino version of neighborhood mom-and-pop stores, which according to GrowSari, has the potential to be the biggest and most accessible distribution channel in the Philippines through driving efficiencies in route planning while collecting valuable insights on store behavior.

In an interview with MARKETECH APAC, Maimai Punzalan, chief marketing officer at GrowSari stated aside from creating more offerings and establishing bigger suppliers and market supply for their clients, they envision expanding from their current 50,000 store base across 100 municipalities in mainland Luzon to around 300,000 store bases in the next two years.

She also added that as they started GrowSari in the first place, there were two things that they needed to address in order to aid these sari-sari store owners: access to affordable goods and assortment of goods, ranging from dry goods to basic necessities. Such aspirations stem from the company’s observation of the current status quo of these local neighborhood stores in the country.

We recognize that the sari-sari store segment is such, maybe an underserved channel for the Philippines, despite it’s serving [about] 84% of Filipinos [who] would shop in a sari-sari store, and it makes it relevant for all of the Filipinos out there. There are about 1 million sari-sari stores spread across the archipelago. I think what’s tough for them though is despite being so important to the lives of the Filipino people, they’re barely making enough really to keep running their business.

GrowSari outfits Philippine sari-sari store owners with inventory, infrastructure, and tools to manage and grow their business while generating crucial data and market insights for manufacturers and distributors.

Top 1: foodpanda ties up with Unilever to now deliver on-demand ice cream products

For our top story for the month, we have the leading food delivery platform in Asia, foodpanda, and its recent partnership with Unilever. The digital change for all economies continues to accelerate, especially now that new consumers migrate online for shopping due to the pandemic, and with this, quick-commerce – the super fast delivery of anything to customers in under one hour or often much faster – is becoming the standard of service.

Unilever and foodpanda’s team-up is aimed at offering 24/7 on-demand ice cream deliveries through foodpanda shops and pandamart – foodpanda’s cloud grocery network. This move targets to reach a wider customer base via foodpanda’s q-commerce across Asia, including Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, as well as Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Speaking to MARKETECH APAC, Abhishek Sahay, foodpanda’s senior director of new business, said, “We did find speed as one of the customer insights that [really] people want, and it wasn’t just food deliveries but in every aspect of life. They are becoming much more used to on-demand stuff.”

He adds that the intention behind q-commerce is to provide speed and choice for customers.

Aside from delivering a variety of ice cream, the partnership also includes new product launches, bundle deals, and promotional campaigns, as well as optimized digital advertising and customer engagement on the platform, such as strategic placements of digital banners on the platform, the creative use of in-app notifications, and campaigns on social media.

We are no longer just a food delivery company. We are expanding into new verticals. In terms of future plans, we definitely have a long way to go, specifically on quick commerce. And as we think of expansion, we have three different ways. One is we want more and more stores. Secondly, we think of new country expansion, launching in Japan, Cambodia, and Myanmar. And the third is category expansion,” said Sahay, regarding foodpanda’s future plans.

Watch our live interviews with the newsmakers themselves on the latest episode of MARKETECH APAC Reports, live on our YouTube channel.

This is in collaboration with Malaysia-based media company The Full Frontal.

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Search results for a brand can jump to 50% when tapping BTS as brand ambassadors

Singapore – With the sudden rise of K-pop groups such as BTS being tapped by global brands as their respective brand ambassadors, the trend has been evident among these brands to be more recognized by the general populace. The K-pop effect on the consumer is proven further with the latest findings from shopping aggregator iPrice showing that search results for brands can jump up to 50% after signing in BTS as their brand ambassador.

According to the insights, these sudden spikes in brand popularity have been long evident across brands three years ago when the prominence of K-pop brand ambassadors started to materialize. For instance, luxury brand Louis Vuitton and soft drink brand Coca-Cola gained 46% and 14% search boost respectively in the global market when they signed BTS as their brand ambassador. Meanwhile, sportswear brand Fila gained a 16% spike in brand interest in 2019 globally for the same reason as well.

Another successful brand interest was manifested last year when South Korean multinational electronics company, Samsung, released a BTS edition of Galaxy S20+. The result revealed a 53% increase in brand searches compared to the same period in 2019. 

And more recently, the recent collaboration of BTS and fast-food chain McDonald’s has earned the brand an 8% increase in search interest globally compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile, among Singapore consumers, the said collaboration recorded a whopping 81% increase in Google search volume, signifying the massive effect it had on the growth of McDonald’s brand awareness in the country. 

The insights also note in McDonald’s case in Singapore that due to the insane demand for McDonald’s paper bags adorned with the BTS logo, people ended up reselling the packaging along with unopened sauces on an e-commerce platform within 24 hours of its launch.

Part of the reason these brands have gained so much success from their collaborations is that aside from the love towards BTS as a whole, each of the Korean boy band’s members boasts a fan base of their own. K-pop fans have come up with a term called ‘bias’, which essentially means a favorite member.

In terms of biases within the Singapore consumer base, findings show that Jungkook tops the list, accounting for over 26% of the country’s searches. He is followed by V (25%), Jimin (20%), Jin (10%), Suga (8%), RM (7%), and J-hope (3%).

In Southeast Asia, people seem to be Googling V the most, averaging 29% of the search volume, followed by Jungkook at 26%, and Jimin at 18%. 

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Perfumes, skincare products, kaftan–the trinity of this year’s Ramadan sought-after products: report

Singapore – As the Muslim religious holiday of Ramadan draws to its conclusion, new report from e-commerce company iPrice shows that three products are most sought by Muslim consumers in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, namely perfumes, skincare products and ‘kaftan’, a type of robe worn by Muslims and has been a distinct clothing article of Muslims in Southeast Asia.

According to the report, demand for perfume among SIngaporean consumers skyrocketed to 6078% compared to last year’s Ramadan. Other goods most-searched in Singapore include supplements, kurtas, cooktops and cookies, all which saw a huge spike in search at a rate of 2090%, 1974%, 1529%, and 452% in increase from last year respectively.

Meanwhile, skincare leads in the search history among Malaysian consumers, which increased by 8140% compared last year. Other sought-after products include perfume (6183%), Baju Melayu, a form of Malay clothing garment worn mostly by men (4241%), and even sofas (1262%).

Lastly, the Muslim-rich country of Indonesia saw that kaftan saw the highest surge of online searches, with a 8773% increase since last year. Other items include Gamis (a Muslim female clothing garment), Rok Muslimah (a casual version of Muslim female clothing), and Sarung (an Indonesian skirt), all of which saw a surge of 2813%, 1532%, 1850% respectively when compared to the same period last year.

iPrice also noted in their report that consumers in Singapore started their online shopping journey as early as 5 am, after a morning lull. Shopping activities reached its peak at lunch break at 2 pm and after Taraweeh (the night prayer) period at 9 pm up until 11 pm before bed.

Surprisingly, it was even earlier in Indonesia and Malaysia where people began to shop as early as 2 am and 4 am respectively. After the morning period, shopping sessions peaked again at 10 am in Indonesia and noon in Malaysia.

Smartphones have frequently been pulled out by consumers to purchase products online. This is evident because mobile emerged as the most used device for consumers in Singapore (55%), Malaysia (68%), and Indonesia (93%) to shop online than other devices within the first two weeks of Ramadan.

By comparison, the usage of desktops only showed 43% in Singapore, 31% in Malaysia, and 6.41% in Indonesia. This also proves that the mobility and the convenience of mobile transactions eclipsed tablet and desktop usage.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Tech vlogging in PH can earn one ₱522K per month, survey shows

Manila, Philippines – Top technology-related unboxing and review YouTube channels in the Philippines are seen to be able to earn a YouTuber on average ₱522K per month, new statistics from e-commerce aggregator iPrice.

Individual tech vloggers Unbox Diaries and Mary Bautista earn ₱522K and ₱351K per month respectively, despite the fact that Unbox Diaries has fewer subscribers (1.25M) than Bautista (1.42M).

Meanwhile, tech blogs like YugaTech and GadgetMatch earn less compared to individual creators, as these competitor sites earned ₱119K and ₱65K per month respectively. However, this is best supported by the smaller subscriber size they have, as YugaTech has only 453K subscribers, while GadgetMatch has 631K subscribers.

Moreover, individual vloggers like Liz Tech and Poy Reviews are both estimated to earn above ₱100K a month, which are more than the estimated amount of authoritative blogs with Youtube reviews like Unbox PH (₱52K/month) and Manila Shaker (₱17K/month).

“iPrice hypothesizes that consumers like watching content that is more personal and relatable. Thus, this is why individual vloggers that review in Filipino seem to have an affinity with the country’s market,” the company said in a press statement.

Tech-Vlogger-Philippines-iPrice-Study-Page-2

Despite the high earnings these YouTubers get, new regulations by YouTube may change their earnings, as the company announced that any amount earned from US viewers through Youtube Premium, ad views, Super Chat, Super Stickers, and Channel membership will now be taxable. Creators may be taxable up to 24% of their total earnings if they aren’t able to submit their tax information to AdSense before May 31, 2021.

“That said, Filipino tech vloggers may not be as affected, especially for the individuals that review in the Filipino language. However, this doesn’t discount their Filipino-American audience. With this new rule in place, we will have to wait and see how much this will affect the country’s tech vloggers,” the company added.

The survey was conducted with manual shortlisting done by Nox Influncer, and data is collected based on the channel’s analytics shown on the metric platform SocialBlade. Rates are determined based on a low click-per-minute (CPM) value ($0.25 USD) and a high CPM value ($4.00 USD), numbers that were found to be common from their partners, and multiply them by the number of views the channel gets per day.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

About half of consumers across SEA are uninstalling shopping apps in 2020: report

Singapore – With more people relying on e-commerce during the pandemic, shoppers have also increasingly become more selective with the platforms they’re using, and in the Southeast Asia region, about half of consumers across markets were found to uninstall shopping apps, according to a report by e-commerce aggregator iPrice Group, in partnership with SimilarWeb and AppsFlyer.

Data from the report showed that in the first and second quarter of 2020, an average of half of the consumers in SEA countries Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia as well as Thailand, and Singapore ditched using shopping apps, with the group of consumers demonstrating the behavior with a slight uptick in the second quarter of 2020. The highest average uninstallation was led by Vietnam with 49%, followed by 47% in Indonesia, 41% in Malaysia, 37% of consumers in Thailand, and 36% of shoppers in Singapore. 

When it comes to app acquisition, on the other hand, there has also been an increase in installations, in tandem with data showing that some apps are being let go. With over 12.4 million installs analyzed, the report found that there was a 2% average increase of organic installs on iOS and android shopping applications from users in the SEA region from January to June in 2020. 

The report noted that among many things that led users to install shopping applications were lockdown periods, online sales, and app features, such as free shipping and discounts. E-commerce companies partnering with superstars, such as K-pop group Blackpink, actor Lee Min-ho, and footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, among others, have also become a factor in attracting consumers.

With web traffic among e-commerce sites, on the other hand, the report revealed that online shopping platforms across SEA markets gained a positive increase year-over-year from 2019 which can be seen most in Singapore, whichexperienced a surge of 35% compared to 2019, followed by the Philippines (21%), Vietnam (19%), Malaysia (17%), Thailand (15%), and Indonesia (6%).

Online department stores’ web traffic also experienced a 52% average increase from the first quarter of 2020, proving that most countries in the region flocked to online department stores instead of physical stores due to social distancing.

However, platforms that particularly offer cosmetic products showed a web traffic decrease of 35% from the first quarter to fourth quarter of 2020. Fashion and electronics sites also experienced a 14% decrease in traffic in the six countries.

With more visits to online shopping platforms, comes the increase in average spending. The same study revealed that SEA consumers’ average spending increased by 19%. Although fashion and electronics sites saw a slight decrease in web traffic, the average basket size for these categories significantly increased, as well as for sports and outdoor products.

According to the study, consumers in SEA spent an overall average of US$2 per order in 2020, which was 19% higher than 2019’s. Singapore recorded an average US$61 spent per order, while Malaysia locked in US$41, with both showing the highest average basket size in 2020 in the region.

“These unusual shifts have presented a sign of digital acceleration in online retail despite the global pandemic that is affecting consumers in the region,” noted iPrice.

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Shopee, Lazada retain crown as top e-commerce sites in SEA

Singapore – Singapore-headquartered e-commerce platform Shopee retains its leadership as the most-visited e-commerce site in the Southeast Asia region in 2020, followed by similarly Singapore-born e-commerce Lazada, the newest report from e-commerce aggregator iPrice showed.

In the latest report that is in partnership with SimilarWeb and Appsflyer, Shopee topped the ranks, garnering on average 281,385,626 visits on the platform. In 2019, similarly earning the top spot Shopee had a total combined regional traffic of 2,061,511,094 on the platform.

Lazada is the second most-visited e-commerce platform, with a total average visit of 137,154,967 in 2020, where in 2019, it recorded total regional traffic of 1,843,848,694, likewise trailing Shopee. 

Meanwhile, Indonesia e-commerce platforms Tokopedia and Bukalapak ranked third and fourth respectively, each of them garnering on average 88,889,000 and 35,728,425 platform visits respectively, compared to their total visits of 906,032,258 and 646,348,016 in 2019 respectively.

Thegiodidong, a Vietnamese e-commerce platform, ranked five on the list, with an average 28,650,650 visits last year, in comparison to its 351,327,843 total visits in 2019.

The other platforms in the list saw some changes in the ranking, as Vietnamese e-commerce Sendo.vn dropped two ranks from its sixth rank in 2019 to being in the eighth rank in 2020. Meanwhile, Vietnamese e-commerce Tiki and Indonesia e-commerce Blibli moved one step higher than Sendo this time, garnering the sixth and seventh places respectively. 

Three brands, namely Singapore’s Qoo10, Indonesia’s JD ID, and fashion e-commerce site ZALORA, failed to be in the final list of top 10 key players in 2020 despite showing relevance in the second and fourth quarter of 2020.

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Marketing Featured

Asians have been Google searching ‘care packages’ the most on V-day, says stat

Singapore – The pandemic has been a driving force of the increase of Google searches related to Valentine’s Day gifts, more specifically a 57% increase compared to 2019, according to statistics from e-commerce aggregator iPrice.

iPrice observed certain Asian countries’ Google searches on romantic gifts, such as in Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, and it was found that among gifts searched during Valentine’s day, ‘Care Packages’ were looked into the most, with a surge of 238%. ‘Care package’ is a term coined during the lockdown, which refers to a personalized bundle of items that could contain any gifts such as food, stationery, or even health-related items, as a gesture of connecting to loved ones and friends.

The top search on the term was followed by ‘scented candles’, which tallied a 236% surge. Interestingly, ‘lingerie gift’ searches have also spiked by 82%.

Which are the most sought after gifts this Valentines - iPrice Group

Common gift items for Valentine’s Day have also seen a greater increase in online searches, including terms ‘roses’ (123%), ‘flowers’ (83%), ‘chocolates’ (50%), and ‘bouquets’ (49%).

Dating apps have also drawn greater attention at a time of lesser physical interactions. The same report has stated that between the period of February 2020 and January 2021, keywords results in relation to each country’s top 5 dating apps have increased. 

The study explains that this means if a person types any of the top dating apps in the app store, like ‘Tinder’ for example, results for apps like Tinder would show. iPrice observed such an increase in suggested dating apps related to dating apps in all Asian countries during the pandemic.

Did the pandemic drive the rise of dating apps in Asia - iPrice Group

Interestingly, Taiwan takes the top spot with a surge of 194% of keyword results of dating apps. The trend is followed by Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore with the most increase in keyword results on dating apps in the App Store.