Southeast Asia reported a spike of 43%, or USD 594 million, in online sales of technical consumer goods (TCG) during the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period of 2020. Media tablets, headsets, water filters, deep fryers, and air treatment products were among the products that registered the highest growth, according to a study by GfK Market Intelligence, released on Wednesday.
“The pandemic was, and still is, a key trigger that has forced many traditional shoppers to shop online, creating an even more robust online marketplace,” said Alexander Dehmel, market insights lead at GfK Asia, in a press release.
The study found that Indonesia has contributed an increasing share of the overall TCG market value in the region, increasing from 14% in 2019 to 23% in the last quarter. Singapore and Thailand also collected a 22% share each of online TCG sales in the region. “With a booming population of online shoppers, Southeast Asia undoubtedly possesses a strong e-commerce market, having been growing progressively over the last two years,” Dehmel added.
In particular, as people spent more time at home due to the lockdowns, productivity and entertainment products such as media tablet sales spiked 80% in Q1 2021, while mobile computing devices reported a 35% growth in online sales compared to Q1 2020. The gaming sector also registered over USD 270 million in increased sales compared to the first quarter of last year.
Consumers also cooked more at home, as highlighted by a surge of online sales of TCG products such as deep fryers and food preparation tools, which registered a 300% and a 30% increase, respectively. In addition, water filters also surged 49% in the first quarter of 2021, compared to the same period of 2020.
As for air treatment products and vacuum cleaners, the study found that consumers are increasingly going online to buy these products—51% of air treatment products were bought online in Q1 2021. Online sales of vacuum cleaners have also grown to account for nearly half of the overall sector market sales.
The study analyzed online sales in six core markets of Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. “As the e-commerce market in Southeast Asia is set to grow, internet sales will undeniably be a force to be reckoned with during these wary and uncertain times, bringing numerous benefits in its path,” Dehmel said.