Predicting Social Commerce Trends in Indonesia: A Lesson from the Asian Emerging Market
June 15, 2020
The state of social commerce
Social media is peaking in China with the number of active users almost doubled from 653 million in 2016 to 1 billion in 2020. Similarly, Indonesia is also experiencing similar growth trends, doubling its active social media users from 79 million in 2016 to 160 million in 2020. Despite its low penetration, Indian social media users are also the number to be reckoned with as there are 400 million active social media users in 2020. A large number of social media users has been shifting the e-commerce market in recent years.
E-commerce activities traditionally take place in online stores and marketplaces facilitating interaction between businesses and their customers (B2C). Alongside social media mushrooming among internet users, its usage has penetrated the e-commerce market. Nowadays, social media is widely used to enable the customer to customer (C2C) interaction, allowing more personal touch into e-commerce interaction. Social commerce platforms like Chinese Pinduoduo, WeChat (Haowuquan), as well as TikTok; Indian Glowroad; and Indonesian Evermos have leveraged e-commerce experience, enabling users to discover and purchase goods/services within its platforms.16 17 18
With the latest technological advancements, the merchant-customer interaction isn't limited to only that of humans, but also Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Chatbots. Chatbots have the ability to stimulate interactions automatically with consumers based on a set of predefined conditions, triggers, and/or events , replicating human interaction.40 Chatbots are the programs behind automatic text responses on various messaging platforms such as WhatsApp Business services or even voice responses such as Amazon Alexa.41 42 Its ability to replicate human interaction has led to a majority of Gen Z and Millennials globally (69.5%) imagining a future where 100% of purchases are done digitally or online.43 To put it simply, tools such as WhatsApp Business as well as chatbots' progressing developments play significant roles in pushing conversational commerce to becoming the future for e-commerce.
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