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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.