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Consumer Trends

SEA consumers expect a good deal

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Consumer buying behaviour is evolving in APAC.

What they purchase

Buying volume of premium and luxury items online is growing. Search interest in “luxury goods” increased by 20% YOY in Singapore during the peak shopping season in 2021. Also, search interest in phrases containing “quality goods” increased by over 165% in Vietnam and 125 % in Thailand in the same period.


People are increasingly attaching importance to sustainable goods and services. Aware that their consumption habits can impact sustainability, 28% of consumers are willing to pay more for more sustainable goods and services, and 53% stopped buying products and services that harm the environment and society. Read more in our previous article about this trend.

How they purchase

Buyers expect a good deal when shopping. In SEA, ‘good deals/price’ has been the main reason for recent interest in a product and its purchase. A good deal can mean flexible payment options. Cash on delivery is becoming more and more popular. In Vietnam, search interest in cash on delivery increased by more than 130% during the 2021 peak shopping season compared to the same period last year.

Buy now, pay later is also a popular payment method—we already wrote about this phenomenon in October 2021. Search interest in terms containing “buy now, pay later” increased more than twice in Singapore and five-fold in Vietnam between September and December 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.

SEA buyers also value speed and convenience which is provided by same-day delivery. This is so important to them that 60% of them are willing to pay a premium for same-day delivery.

Where they purchase

When it comes to places they purchase from, SEA consumers associate products sold on official brand websites with trust and authenticity, and are willing to pay an average of 20% more when they shop at a ‘’ shop because of the peace of mind it provides.

Cross-border buying is also increasing in the region. For example, in South Korea, 75% of online consumers are shopping overseas and in Indonesia, imported e-commerce packages increased by 8.1x. Buyers who purchase in Western countries do so because they cannot find products domestically and because of lower delivery costs.

Closing thought

Consumers value convenience, speed, and good deals, so focus on providing a frictionless customer experience and offer competitive pricing. Finally, as cross-border shopping becomes more popular, think about how you can reach these consumers with your marketing message.

Wawa Gilewski Market Intelligence