The Jakarta Post
E-commerce platform Shopee has seen transactions more than double in the second quarter compared to a year earlier as the COVID-19-induced social restrictions prompted consumers to shop online.
Shopee Indonesia director Handhika Jahja told journalists during an online press conference on Tuesday that the company posted 260 million transactions from April through June, making for an average of 2.8 million transactions per day.
“We saw an increase of around 130 percent from the same period last year. The increase reflects a positive trend in the e-commerce industry,” he said.
Shopee expects continuous growth in transactions in the third quarter as the platform has rolled out an online shopping campaign dubbed 9.9 Super Shopping Day, which runs from Aug. 18 to Sept 9.
“We are running the 9.9 online shopping campaign in the third quarter, so there is a potential for higher growth. We will provide enticing deals to both sellers and buyers,” Handhika said, adding that Shopee had also seen a threefold year-on-year (yoy) increase in the number of customers using its online payment service ShopeePay in the second quarter.
E-commerce transactions have increased 26 percent during the pandemic, Bank Indonesia data show.
According to a survey conducted in May by management consulting company Redseer, Indonesia’s e-commerce sector is projected to grow 50 percent to reach $35 billion this year from $23 billion in 2019 as the pandemic has caused a shift in shopping habits.
The survey found that around 30 percent of the respondents said they were new to online marketplaces, and 40 percent of those respondents said they would continue to use e-commerce after the pandemic.
“E-commerce platforms are receiving a new cohort of consumers during the pandemic which enables such growth,” Redseer Southeast Asia partner Roshan Raj Behera told The Jakarta Post on May 18.
The e-Conomy SEA 2019 report by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company even predicted that Indonesia’s internet economy was well on track to cross the $130 billion mark by 2025.
Special offers and discounts have also largely contributed to the increase in the number of transactions. E-commerce promotions, such as Single’s Day and National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas), increased online sales last year by 3.7 and 5.3 times, respectively, according to a recent survey by Katadata Insight Center and P2P lender Kredivo.
Last year, Shopee recorded around 17 million transactions during the 9.9 event, an almost threefold increase from 5.8 million transactions in 2018.
Due to the health crisis, household spending, which accounts for more than half of gross domestic product (GDP), fell 5.51 percent yoy in the second quarter, as the economy contracted 5.32 percent yoy for the first time since 1999.
The e-commerce transaction boom has also benefited logistics and package delivery companies, according to courier service provider J&T Express CEO Robin Lo.
The company booked a 40 percent increase in demand since the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
“Demand for logistics services grows alongside the e-commerce industry. We have improved our services and capacity as demand steadily increased,” Robin said during the online press conference.