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May, 2021     

Indonesia eCommerce: Sea Change In Small Steps

Q1 succeeds the most popular, promotion-heavy quarter of the ID eCommerce Market, yet grew by 3% QoQ.


1. Q1’21 delivered reasonable growth after a promotion-heavy 4Q’20

Q1 succeeds the most popular, promotion-heavy quarter of the ID eCommerce Market, yet grew by 3% QoQ. The moderated growth was an amalgam of a preceding sale season, improvement in COVID Recovery and lockdown fatigue pushing people out of homes. This quarter typically acts as a resting period for consumers who are gearing up for the Lebaran sale period.

2. Q1’21 campaigns concentrated more on Fashion and BPC; Fashion made a strong comeback

Few of the big players continued with smaller campaigns even in Q1 that focused on Fashion and BPC. These promotions were quite popular as Indonesia is preparing for the Lebaran season where Fashion typically sees increased demand. Another highlight for this quarter is the growth of the ‘others’ category. Automobiles and Hobbies contributed the most to this segment. For instance, Tokopedia has partnered with a car sales vertical and local dealerships to promote automobile sales that went live in Q4 and led to increased volumes in Q1.

3. Rising share of BNPL and eWallets within the payment mix

COVID has played a crucial role in familiarising Indonesian households with eWallets. The Buy Now Pay Later option has also seen increased adoption in this quarter. It is a relatively more popular payment method for categories that involve high-frequency orders and low basket sizes like Groceries and Electronics accessories. Consumers order products throughout the month and pay the total amount at the end of the month.

During COVID, players haven’t been focussing on CoD. However, once the pandemic eases out, we do expect the share of CoD to increase within the mix as players look to acquire more customers from Suburban areas/Tier2+ cities.

Payments Mix Evolution, Q1’20 vs Q1’21, %

4. Regional Super Apps Grab and GoJek are doubling up on their eCommerce offerings

Grab and Gojek earlier had the option of ordering from offline stores, but the user had to manually search for the store and enter the items they needed. Recently, they have integrated the catalogues of various offline stores across categories like Electronics, Fashion, Home and Lifestyle, Pharmaceuticals, FMCG etc.

Consumers can now easily browse for listings under these categories and place their order which the delivery partners would pick up and deliver instantly. Listings shown to users are typically from nearby stores within a 5-10 km radius. It is an exciting development that also helps revive many offline stores that bear the brunt of limited footfall due to the pandemic induced social distancing norms. The strong value proposition of instant delivery is resulting in good traction among consumers. These are early days though, it will be interesting to see how these offerings evolve over the coming months.

A look at the latest offerings, An easier way to find products and locate nearby stores