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How eCommerce is empowering Southeast Asia’s digital economy

In 2021, online spending in Southeast Asia rose by 49% to $174 billion.

E-commerce has become one of the main drivers of Southeast Asia’s digital economy. Businesses wanting to participate in this new economy can now rely on e-commerce enablers to support their move online.

Southeast Asia is rapidly emerging as a tech hub. In fact, the region’s booming internet economy is expected to reach $363 billion by 2025, with e-commerce becoming one of the major drivers of this estimated growth.

In 2021, online spending in Southeast Asia rose by 49% to $174 billion. Meanwhile, 60 million new digital consumers have been added to the region since the start of the pandemic. As major e-commerce players like Lazada and Shopee provide consumers with both their wants and needs, Southeast Asia will likely see a 62% increase in e-commerce gross merchandise value (GMV) this year.

Existing businesses are taking these figures and new consumer behaviors as a sign to start their digital transformation and contribute to the growing digital economy in the region.

Rising demand for digital transformation.

In the Philippines, 73,276 online businesses were registered within a five-month period in 2020. Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez reported that many online businesses such as online retail, delivery services, and digital payments are now filling the gaps that brick-and-mortar businesses left during the pandemic and continuously helping consumers get on with their lives.

As consumers rely on digital solutions and emerging businesses primarily set up shop online, it’s only time for established brands to keep up and start their digital transformation as well.

However, many businesses still believe that “going digital” is easy. What they fail to take into account is the myriad of e-commerce processes that they need to accomplish such as centralizing their offline and online inventories, optimizing product names and descriptions, and investing in digital marketing strategies, among other things.

Omni-channel solutions as the key to successful digitization.

Businesses looking into building their e-commerce operations can now turn to e-commerce enablers such as Etaily for their digital and operational needs.

Founded in 2020, Etaily provides brands with a full suite of e-commerce solutions that range from third-party marketplace management to omni-channel execution. The company recently secured USD$4.3 Million in Pre-Series A funding, which it will use to invest more in its proprietary technology that can converge the online and offline operations of its business partners and thus enable them with an offline-to-online-to-offline journey. Etaily’s technology is also designed to manage business-to-business and business-to-consumer sales in one platform, supporting retailers in their shift towards a direct-to-consumer business model.

Etaily currently serves a number of major retail brands in the Philippines such as Midea, Toshiba, SSI, and Nivea. The company is led by e-commerce experts hailing from the likes of fashion e-retailer ZALORA, e-commerce company Lazada, and e-commerce solutions provider Buy Quickly.
Etaily’s latest funding round was led by JG Digital Equity Ventures (JGDEV), the Gokongwei Group’s investment arm. JGDEV invests in businesses that can contribute to the core businesses of the Gokongwei Group ecosystem, especially in the areas of e-commerce, fintech and supply chain and logistics. Aside from Etaily, the VC’s investment portfolio includes Tyme, Darwinbox, Wavemaker SEA SPV2 SPC, iPrice, Growsari, ZUZU, Zyllem, and Snapcart.
Supporting investments for Etaily also came from Gobi Partners (a venture capital that funds popular local startups such as Kumu, Tier One Entertainment, and Edukasyon.ph), Century Pacific (one of the largest branded food companies in the Philippines), Abenson (one of the leading gadget and home appliances stores in the Philippines), Landmark (a top department store and supermarket operated by Citysuper Incorporated), and CARRO Chief Strategy Officer Kenji Narushima (a venture capitalist with over 15 years of experience in private equity investments).