Another year of lockdowns and social-distancing momentum likely to boost growth by 5.5%, according analysis of 2020 regional payments data.

As the end of the year approaches, data shows that Indonesia has South-east Asia’s best in-pandemic e-commerce market growth: 55% of Indonesian consumers have claimed they are buying online now more than ever.  

The shift in purchasing habits there include medicine (21%) and cosmetics (18%) and presents a large window of opportunity for merchants looking to tap into this growing market in 2021.

Meanwhile, despite market contractions over the course of the pandemic, 63% of Malaysians felt positive about their future, reflected in recent spending habits with gradual growth of retail spending in Q4 2020  expected to continue, driven by the increasing use of digital payment methods such as e-wallets even for lower-value purchases.

The year also saw an increase in Singapore’s online transactions by 51% across the top five biggest e-commerce platforms; Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon and Ezbuy. With the government subsidizing the costs of digital transformation, the trend in e-commerce is set to continue into 2021.

These are the findings of local-payments infrastructure provider PPRO from market research and internal data collated over the course of the year. It predicts SEA e-commerce market to grow by 5.5% in 2021, naming Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam as the top five markets leading the charge when it comes to market growth.

According to the firm’s VP, Head of Partnerships (APAC) Tristan Chiappini: “This past year accelerated the world’s e-commerce growth by a decade, and our report highlights the impressive strides that have been made. In a world that’s less physically connected than ever, borderless commerce is connecting businesses with new customers. However, for merchants to truly capture the benefits, they must have a sharp understanding of the local payment methods which are crucial to converting sales. Those that strike the right balance between localization and global expansion will be the true winners in 2021’s e-commerce race.”

As part of its strategic expansion in South-east Asia’s hottest payments battleground, the firm earlier this year integrated two of Indonesia’s most popular payment methods—DOKU and OVO—into its platform.