Southeast Asia (SEA) has witnessed a decade of new possibilities in the growth of its digital economy. The digital economy in the region is recovering quickly towards a bright future. Let’s try to get some insights from this article about the e-Economy rise in Southeast Asia and the opportunities which marketers can explore. The pandemic has changed the lives and economic climate in nearly all parts of the world. It has made way for new innovations and thinking. The pandemic has also caused a shift in consumer behavior and this behavioral shift is predicted to have a long-term impact on the internet economy’s primary growth drivers.

A major part of the Internet’s economy is formed by digital finance services, online media and travel services, online food and transportation services, and e-commerce services.  To take advantage of this enormous potential of growth in businesses, brands must understand what it takes to satisfy consumer expectations and improve customer happiness.

The use of digital services in SEA countries has soared, especially after the pandemic. The number of people using internet services and online paid services has also increased for services like food delivery, online shopping, shopping for groceries, etc.

How can brands use these growth opportunities?

In the present day, digital services are essential. Consumers would like to get value and satisfaction for the money they spend on these services.  

What are the key factors that consumers look at before they opt for a brand?

  1. A large product variety for selection.

2. A better buying experience.

3. Pricing and offers that suit their budget.

4. Different modes of payment.

5. An easy shopping process.

When a brand meets these basic criteria, the customer needs are met and then the customer will associate themselves with the brand and will be willing to spend money on such brands. The key point here is to give the customer satisfaction with a great user experience.

So how can brands retain their customers? How can the customers be the ambassadors of their brand?

This can be achieved by following these steps:

1. Brands should make lives easy for their present as well as new consumers.  This can be done by giving consumers a good user experience when they associate with a brand.

2. Web pages and mobile apps must be user friendly to help consumers buy their desired products quickly, easy to understand, and detailed product and service descriptions must be provided, shipping and delivery options must be displayed clearly, and finally, provide a clear and simple checkout procedure so that they buy the product instead of exiting the process.

3. Add different digital payment options so that people can make payments easily from any part of the world.

4. Customer reviews and feedbacks are important for a brand because this helps them to improve their business by understanding the problems which their customers face in their buyer journey. Collect reviews in each step of the customer’s buying process.

Growth Opportunity In Top Sectors

E-commerce Business – E-commerce is one of the fast-growing sectors.  E-commerce platforms are being used by people of all age groups.  This growing demand is increasing the usage of digital financial services which in turn is helping the underbanked new generation customers to shop online. One sector in e-commerce that brands can focus on is grocery. People living in the SEA region spend a great deal of money on groceries. But these are offline purchases from retailers. Online grocery shopping in these regions is still low. If online grocery purchase increases, then this sector has excellent potential for growth. Marketers should be ready to grab this opportunity. They need to have all the means with which they can acquire, retain and grow their customer base.  This can happen only when the brands have a variety of products for selection, different modes of payment for a smooth shopping experience. To stay ahead of the competition in the grocery e-commerce business, brands must be able to provide a convenient and flawless shopping experience with fast delivery options.

Food Delivery Business – Food delivery services have seen the greatest growth with 71% of internet users of the Southeast Asian region opting for this service and the users who have been already using these services have increased their frequency of ordering food online. This increase tells us that the online food order and delivery service is going to stay for long. The growing demand for food delivery services can easily surpass the size of the e-commerce market in the future. As the competition is high in this sector, marketers should try to find out the needs of their customers and try to fulfill them so that their satisfied customers never get a chance to switch to another provider.  Quality and the relationship with customers along with brand identity play an important role in this sector.

Video Subscription Business – Video subscription falls under the online media category which shows increased growth potential.  With internet connectivity reaching all parts of the Southeast Asian regions with easy access to digital payment methods for its usage, subscription video is growing in demand, not just in the city but also in the rural areas. Marketers have a great opportunity in these rural areas. The important things that marketers need to do to attract these customers are by having a variety of pricing, offers, and payment methods by keeping in mind the financial conditions of people living in a particular region.  When there are different options for people to select from, it makes it easy for them to opt for subscriptions and become consumers.


In order to thrive in the increasing internet economy of the Southeast Asia region, brands must meet the growing customer expectations and satisfaction at every point of their buyer journey. The above mentioned are a few ways which marketers and brands can adopt to increase their customer acquisition and meet their business goals.