As mobile phone penetration, and especially smartphone penetration, in Southeast Asia increases at a rapid rate, e-commerce companies are moving in to take advantage of the newly opened markets. Smartphone ownership in Indonesia is nearly double what it was were in 2012, and similar numbers are being seen around the region.
These countries are boasting a very young online population (below 35), and surveys show that people are doing more and more of their shopping online. Companies like Groupon, Rocket Internet, and Nova Founders are flooding the region with new options for online shopping, mobile apps, and social media.
Entrepreneurs are banking on the young and plentiful online users of Southeast Asia, and as internet penetration continues to rise, so do the opportunities for new businesses in the e-commerce sector. Locals are benefiting from the injections of foreign investment, and investors are able to turn profits in a snap of the fingers.
The current state of e-commerce in Southeast Asia shows that people in the developing world are willing and able to incorporate new ICT platforms into their day to day lives. It is not only an exciting trend for tech-savvy entrepreneurs, but it shows progress for success in ICT development. If this trend spreads to other developing parts of the world it will surely lesson the digital divide.