SIRCLO: 2021 in Review and E-Commerce Trends to Foresee in 2022

December 29, 2021

Looking back on 2021, we have witnessed Indonesia’s digital boom. There is significant growth in the number of consumers who are looking to the digital realm for shopping, for everything from day-to-day necessities to big-ticket household appliances. Although this uptake of digital services was accelerated with the pandemic, these users are also likely to continue using such platforms in the post-pandemic era.

This year, the upward trend is set to continue with Indonesia’s digital market anticipated to record double-digit growth. According to the e-Conomy SEA 2021 report by Google, Temasek, and Bain & Company, Indonesia’s digital economy is expected to reach a value of US$70 billion in 2021, compared to US$47 billion in 2020, a year-on-year surge of 49%. Much of this steep increase is underpinned by a 52% growth in the e-commerce vertical. In fact, from 2020 to 2025, the country’s e-commerce industry is expected to record a compound annual growth rate of 18%.1

From the onset of the pandemic until the first half of 2021, Indonesia has seen 21 million new digital consumers. 72% of these new users are from non-urban areas, which is a promising sign for internet penetration in Southeast Asia’s largest market. Again, the rising rates of digital penetration are bolstered by growth in e-commerce—there are currently 158 million e-commerce users in Indonesia, and another 63 million are expected to join this group by the end of 2021.2

As the leading e-commerce enabler in Indonesia, SIRCLO is also enjoying continued growth. 

In 2021, SIRCLO has locked in many milestones. The e-commerce enabler acquired Orami, Indonesia’s largest parenting platform, in April.3 In July, SIRCLO launched the #MerdekaJualanOnline program, in which the company provided online sales modules to Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) which allowed them to sell their products on their websites, online marketplace platforms, and/or messaging app through WhatsApp Business API without any additional costs.4

More recently, SIRCLO also closed a US$36 million funding round led by East Ventures and Saratoga in September. This fresh funding will be used to extend its technological capabilities to accelerate retail digitalization for businesses across the country.5 In October, Triawan Munaf and Maurits Lalisang were appointed as the company’s new commissioners. Altogether, SIRCLO has helped close to 150,000 brands make the transition to online marketplaces, including MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and large enterprises.6

Key Takeaways from HarBolNas 12.12

As an important player in the e-commerce industry, a core part of SIRCLO’s mission is to drive insight and progress in Indonesia’s e-commerce vertical. The company’s recent findings from Indonesia’s 12.12 online shopping festival—also known as HarBolNas, or ‘Hari Belanja Online Nasional’— reveals key trends that industry stakeholders should take note of. 

According to SIRCLO’s internal data, the top categories by Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) from this year’s HarBolNas are, in descending order: fashion, beauty, and personal care. The Fashion category amassed the largest GMV, skyrocketing by approximately 600% above the average GMV on typical days in December. The same trend was observed for the Beauty and Personal Care categories. The most popular shopping hours were between 12am and 1am on 12 December.

Overall, from December 2020 to December 2021, there was a 129% year-on-year GMV growth of total sales accumulated. For online consumers from outside of Java and Bali, this statistic is over 108%. The number of transactions within the same period also saw a year-on-year growth of 141%; for online consumers from outside of Java and Bali, year-on-year transaction growth clocked in at more than 135%. 

Moreover, there was a 113% year-on-year increase of new users on HarBolNas 12.12 from December 2020 to December 2021. For online consumers from outside of Java and Bali, this number was nearing 164%, which is a positive sign for Indonesia’s internet and e-commerce penetration rates.

Predictions for 2022

With 2021 coming to a close, SIRCLO expects that more offline retailers will start jumping onto the ‘omnichannel’ bandwagon, such as MAP with MAP E-MALL.7 The global outlook is also anticipated to be more optimistic. With COVID-19 immunity and market and economic revitalization on the horizon, 2022 is predicted to be a year of full global recovery, and Indonesia’s markets are no exception.8

Furthermore, we can expect to see developments in how brands reach consumers, with brands searching and pushing out more creative and innovative ways of doing so. With the return of physical retail, e-commerce in Indonesia will co-exist and grow hand-in-hand with offline stores, instead of the two being in constant competition with each other. According to SIRCLO and Katadata Insight Center’s data, 74.5% of consumers continued to shop both offline and online throughout the pandemic, though there was a stronger tendency toward online shopping.9 Online purchasing access will also be more evenly spread between Java and non-Java regions. Therefore, the future of retail in Indonesia will be a combination of both online and offline channels. 

However, online presence will be increasingly important for brands that wish to sustain in the long-term. Brands thus need to understand how they can be present and engage consumers through online channels, thus reaching a larger market. From awareness to advocacy, this is important for brands targeting any kind of format, marketplace, or audience demographic.

Omnichannel Strategy Powering the Future of Retail

With ever-changing consumer behavior, organizations need to expand their markets. This inevitably requires an omnichannel strategy that connects online and offline business operations. 

Areas such as payment services, point-of-sale solutions, fulfilment and investment, logistics and delivery, enterprise resource planning, and customer service and outreach all need to be adequately addressed in the coming years. An omnichannel strategy leverages integration to help brands increase sales, reach a wider and diversified customer base, and be omnipresent.

For example, construction materials retail company PT Catur Mitra Sejati Sentosa, also known as Mitra10, paved the way for the idea of shopping for building materials and home appliances on a single platform in Indonesia. Although Mitra10 initially started out with a physical supermarket concept, once e-commerce picked up, the company started exploring opportunities in the e-commerce world by tapping on the omnichannel strategy.

Specifically, Mitra10 offers a range of services through an online platform that is connected to its network of stores located throughout the country. These features, built using Magento-based technology and facilitated by e-commerce enabler SIRCLO, include self-pickup services, an internal logistics fleet, and special promotions and discounts. 

In collaboration with ICUBE by SIRCLO, Mitra10 has integrated Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) as part of its omnichannel strategy. This allows consumers to enjoy an online shopping experience on desktop, via a website, that is similar to that of a mobile application. For instance, consumers can browse the website without an internet connection, and the website interface is specially tailored for convenience and ease of navigation. In further enhancing their shopping journey, Mitra10 also recently implemented Augmented Reality (AR) on its e-commerce website, which enables customers to get a 360-degree view and 3D visualisation of the product they are considering to purchase.10 

Parting Words

As a business that offers end-to-end solutions for a broad range of businesses, from enterprises to entrepreneurs, SIRCLO aims to use an omnichannel ecosystem to enable e-commerce players and empower brands.

This ecosystem comprises various core products and services. In 2020, SIRCLO merged with ICUBE, Indonesia’s premier Magento Solutions partner offering tailored e-commerce customization and consulting services for enterprise brands. This collaboration allows SIRCLO to make e-commerce accessible for retailers across all industries. 

More specifically, through Swift by SIRCLO, the company provides an omnichannel platform that enables brands to connect offline and online business environments under one roof. This move further strengthens SIRCLO’s wide ecosystem and services for brands. Furthermore, SIRCLO’s recent acquisition of Orami allows the former to benefit from Orami’s direct access to consumers and strong social commerce potential, complementing SIRCLO’s omnichannel strategy for 2022 and beyond.

Download SIRCLO’s 2021 E-Commerce Report in collaboration with Katadata Insight Center here

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SIRCLO neither provides regulated advice nor guarantee results. The materials we convey reflect general insight and best practice based on information currently available, and do not contain all of the information needed to determine a future course of action. Such information has not been generated or independently verified by SIRCLO and is inherently uncertain and subject to change. SIRCLO has no obligation to update these materials and makes no representation or warranty and expressly disclaims any liability with respect thereto.