The Growth of Ecommerce in Asia and What to Expect in 2023

As Asia’s ecommerce market continues to grow at an explosive rate, businesses must be prepared to adapt and take advantage of the opportunities it presents. According to a recent report, the ecommerce market in Asia is expected to reach $1.89 trillion USD by 2023, up from $1.3 trillion USD in 2019, representing a compound annual growth rate of 9.5%. This growth is being driven by the rise of mobile payments and improved internet infrastructure as well as a shift in consumer behavior toward online shopping.

However, more is needed than simply having a presence on online marketplaces. To succeed in the competitive ecommerce landscape, businesses must be willing to innovate and differentiate themselves from the competition. This can be achieved by offering unique and high-quality products, providing excellent customer service and leveraging technology to improve the shopping experience on their brand-owned digital assets.

The rise of video commerce and live video shopping marries the enhancement of said brand-owned websites and apps with the ability to engage customers directly. Video commerce, also known as v-commerce, involves the use of video content to promote and sell products online. This can be in the form of pre-recorded videos, livestreams or interactive experiences such as virtual try-on technology.

Live video shopping in particular has become increasingly popular in Asia, with platforms such as Grab, and even brands like Del Monte allowing consumers to shop by broadcasting live video streams directly from their websites and apps. This allows businesses to provide an engaging and interactive shopping experience for consumers and, most importantly, build trust and loyalty amongst shoppers who can see the products in real time.


Singapore-based Shopback operates a live video platform named Shopback Live that allows viewers to interact with exclusive Shopback-hosted variety shows, including a popular game show where regular viewers are able to participate in in-person events for a chance to win prizes.

In South Korea, the popular home shopping channel called “K-Shopping” uses live video streams to showcase and sell a wide range of products, from fashion and beauty items to home goods and electronics. Another South Korean company, Naver, operates a live video platform called V Live. Naver has partnered with several Korean pop (K-pop) groups to offer exclusive content and merchandise on V Live, which has helped the platform become a major player in the live video commerce space in Asia.

Another example is the Indian company Meesho, which offers a platform for small businesses and individual sellers to sell their products through live video streams on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Meesho has seen tremendous success in India and has expanded to other countries in Asia, including Indonesia and the Philippines.

TikTok is another popular social media platform in Asia that has been embraced by businesses as a way to connect with and sell to consumers. TikTok is known for its short, entertaining videos, and many businesses use the platform to create and share engaging content that showcases their products and services.

For example, a fashion brand might create a TikTok video or livestreaming video featuring one of their products and offer a discount code for followers to use when purchasing that product. In this way, TikTok can be a powerful tool for driving sales and engaging with consumers. This feature is named TikTok Shop and has been immensely successful amongst brands in Asia. The hashtag #tiktokmademebuyit has been growing in popularity as more and more viewers of short and live videos purchase either directly from TikTok or buy the promoted product after watching the videos.

TikTok’s success with this format has inspired other social media platforms to introduce their own short-form video features. For example, Instagram introduced IG Reels, which allows users to create and share short videos set to music, similar to TikTok. Facebook also introduced Facebook Shorts, a feature that allows users to create and share short videos on the platform. These features are designed to capitalize on the popularity of short-form video content and provide users with more ways to express themselves and connect with others on these platforms. It would be no surprise to see Instagram and Facebook adding “Add-to-Cart” buttons to their Short-Video features, similar to TikTok Shop.

In addition to the overall growth of the market driven by video, there are also significant regional variations. For example, China is the largest ecommerce market in Asia. With nearly half of its retail sales conducted over the internet, China is forecast to be the world’s most penetrated ecommerce market. Other countries, such as India and Indonesia, are also seeing rapid growth in their ecommerce markets.

The ecommerce market in Asia is expected to continue to evolve in the coming years. Another key trend is the increasing adoption of mobile payments, with platforms such as Grab Pay, GoPay, Alipay and Paytm becoming increasingly popular. In addition, the growth of the middle class in the region is expected to drive further demand for online shopping.

Overall, the ecommerce market in Asia presents a massive opportunity for businesses that are willing to adapt and innovate. Those that are able to meet the changing needs of consumers and provide a seamless online shopping experience, and a leading brand website or app, will be well-positioned to succeed in the growing market.

Kenneth Tan is Co-founder and CEO of BeLive Technology. He grew up in Singapore and had a diverse range of interests, including video games, concept art creation and DJ-ing. He was Director of Strategy for Japanese company DeNa when he was first introduced to livestreaming and decided to start BeLive Technology soon after. Initially, he focused on offering a platform that was likened to “virtual busking,” but over time he realized this was not the ideal model. After partnering with Japan’s most popular ecommerce platform, Rakuten, Tan felt BeLive Technology found its beat by offering livestreaming solutions to retailers and big companies. Today, BeLive Technology has partnered with clients in a diverse range of sectors, including ecommerce, retail, electronics, beauty and social media. As of 2021 BeLive has streamed over 55 hours of live content.

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