Tag: COVID-19

Ecommerce Insights

How Indonesian React to Work from Home Policy

WFH: IS WORKING FROM HOME A NEW NORM?

On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declares the latest evolving novel coronavirus or COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

Earlier on March 2, Indonesian authorities had identified the first case within the borders, resulting in the Government’s responding policy to rapidly evolve whilst recommending “work from home (WFH)” policy along with other preventive measures such as temporary cease of business, taking leave, travel restriction, etc.

As of March 31, with the number of positive cases has reached 1,528 and the total death toll of 136, President Jokowi has declared COVID-19 a health emergency and imposes large-scale social restrictions.

From the previous BrandIQ report, we discussed how the COVID-19 situation shines the light on certain Ecommerce categories such as Health & Homecare, Groceries, etc. Southeast Asia shopping behavior has been shifting fast during the virus outbreak and staying home seemed to be the only way to get around it.

With WFH policy seems to be encouraged and enforced in Indonesia, we will walk you through the preparation of Indonesians we saw from their shopping habit.

ADAPTATION: INDONESIANS ARE GETTING REALLY GOOD ON WORK-LIFE BALANCE.

We use BrandIQ as a tool to collect data from 1st November 2019 – 26ht March 2020 on top categories related to work-life balance essentials to WFH. The variables include 11.11, 12.12 sales campaigns to display growth during the WFH period. However, Lazada Birthday on 27th March 2020 is excluded to reflect customer purchase behavior without steep discount influence.

Laptop is definitely not an everyday purchase; in fact, some might only buy a new one every half a decade. Nevertheless, growth in February purchase is fascinatingly reflective of the preparation of WFH policy. As essential as a laptop is for everyday operations, nevertheless, not every firm or business offers a laptop as personal equipment. One of our assumptions is small businesses making purchases for their employees to smoothen out the operation and maintain efficiency.

COVID-19 makes people read!! Yes! We finally crack the code on how to make people take up reading. Books sold massively in consecutive months. Staying home left us with not much to do so most of us find a way to occupy ourselves. Some buy recipe books, some read novels, and for those who can’t seem to relax with more time on their hands may have bought books for self-development in order to brush up new skills or further their careers.

Month-on-Month growth of categories related to WFH (period 1st Nov 19 – 26th Mar 20).

Working from home means you also have extra 2-3 hours a day. Yes, that is your daily commuting time from home-work-home if you live in the Greater Jakarta Area. This actually provides one essential life element, work-life balance, which we doubt Jakartans ever enjoy much. Some spend their leisure time shopping, some play games; and it seems to us that Indonesian loves to do both. Digital Games & Software and Digital Shopping Voucher have positive growth for consecutive months. Games top-up in March have dropped 100% Month-on-Month but this number is irrelevant when huge growth in February, 6900%, is the denominator. Online Game Top-up is a big thing.

Ultimately, working from home means you have to stay home. With the tropical climate in Indonesia, Air-conditioner has become a necessity. Most of the time, Indonesians can get away with the daylight heat because the office has an air-conditioning system or escape to the malls on weekends. COVID-19 eliminates our options and forces us to be at home on a wet-hot summer day. We see the growth from February and March for those who need a replacement for newer models or never had one installed.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

STEREOTYPE: MEN CARE LESS ABOUT SKIN WHEN STAYING HOME.

BrandIQ also found distinct behavior between women vs men during WFH. The chart below displays the sales index of Skincare categories on both genders. We clearly see a trend of panic buying in February where everyone foresees the inevitable of COVID-19. However, buys of Men Skincare drastically drop in March while Women Skincare performs slightly better than in January. It rather resonates with gender stereotyping whereby men generally do not take care of their body and skin as much when they aren’t leaving the house.

Sales Index of Women vs Men’s Skincare from 1st Jan 2020 to 26th Mar 2020.

GROWTH: RAPID BEHAVIOUR SHIFTS INDUCE NEW REVENUE

As mentioned in our previous report, COVID-19 coincidentally promotes Ecommerce. However, in retrospect, the Ecommerce community is also making a tremendous effort to grow in this unfortunate event. The bubble chart below displays the share of new products – that has never been listed in a month before, against total sales of their own category. The recognition must be given to the community as they are very well responded to the situation by introducing brand-new products to the market in disastrous hours. 81% of Air Conditioner sales in March are new products as well as 60% and 93% of books in February and March, respectively.

Revenue Share of new product to shelf on 1st Jan 2020 to 26th Mar 2020.

There are lots of new brands and sellers emerging in Marketplaces during January to March 2020. “Gross” column displays total sales of new brands against the total of categories in the aforementioned period. Nonetheless, the nature of Laptop and Game Console & Software are very difficult to produce in pressing time hence, meager the growth.

DELAY THE INEVITABLE: New product listings strategy is possible in Indonesia because of the delay in the penetration of novel coronavirus. Neighbors such as Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia had identified their first patients in late January, therefore Indonesian sellers are already running the business with anticipation when they have been hit and the outcome is as we’ve seen.

Until this moment, we should all accept that COVID-19 will change the way of life as we knew. Working from home could potentially become the new social norm. Work-life balance will no longer be just a word everybody takes for granted. Home entertainment might be the next big thing in the Ecommerce ecosystem.

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Ecommerce Insights

Fears of Virus Outbreak Open the Door to the New Adoption of Online Shopping

As people are trying to stay healthy and escaping virus outbreak, Ecommerce industry strive to its best to ensure that we are all kept virus free.

Amids COVID-19 crisis that wreak havoc to the world’s economy, one industry is standing above all to help people escape deadly virus and might change landscape of Ecommerce forever.

COVID-19, the official name for the latest emerging Coronavirus dubbed by World Health Organization (WHO), is feared to become a new pandemic. As of the beginning of March, the number of infected rises above 95,000, with more than 200 identified in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Southeast Asia economy is inevitably driven by China where trades, transportation, and excursion are unavoidable from the alleged origination COVID-19, and unfortunately, we are expecting numbers of confirmed patients to grow significantly.

Impact of the outbreak on Southeast Asia

BrandIQ investigate the growth rate of the epidemic in various regions and found that Southeast Asia numbers are fairly suppressive. From the 1st of February to 5th March 2020, numbers of the confirmed patients only increase by 372% while in China, South Korea and Europe numbers are 582%, 47950%, and 19127% respectively.

Southeast Asian culture seems to involve limited human to human contact whilst westerner greetings are either handshake or kiss on the cheeks. Countries like Thailand and Singapore are also absorbing East Asian habit of wearing a mask in public (despite the main reason is to battling the region’s pollution level). This coincidentally helped slowing COVID-19 dissemination.

If you live in Southeast Asia, it is impossible to not notice the thinning visitors in malls these days, public transportations are also less crowded, and food delivery service such as GrabFood and Foodpanda are flourishing. GrabFood recorded 4 million orders in the first month of 2020 comparing to a total three million orders in 2019, supporting our hypothesis that consumers are preferring to stay home amidst the outbreak.

Online marketshare insights are provided by digital shelf on BrandIQ

BrandIQ dives into our Digital Shelf to determine reflective factors on Southeast Asia’s top marketplace from the first week of the outbreak until the beginning of March to see the impact on people’s purchase behavior. As anticipated, every category regards to self-cleaning, healthcare, virus protection has massive growth in sales.

BrandIQ is the first Ecommerce Analytics Platform to launch in Southeast Asia. The platform covers data collection from top regional marketplaces, spread over 6 countries.

We are responding to the outbreak and try to stay healthy

Thermometers revenue is growing 705% prior to outbreak period. It resonates consumers responsibility to ensure their safety and staying on offence. Hand Care including sanitizers & soup also experienced significant uplift. Overall every product related to virus prevention and protection are on positive Dollar Growth side.

When look closely we will see inverted Unit Growth on Groceries and Body Wash. This could be articulated by two plausible explanations; (1.) customers are willing to pay premium for better/high-end product during the outbreak period (to ensure cleanliness & safety) or (2.) sellers and merchants are taking advantage of the situation by raising and speculating price.

Dollar Growth vs Unit Growth (%) from Southeast Asia’s top marketplace during virus outbreak.

Mask & Filter Dollar Growth are undermined due to stock and product distribution backlog. The real reason behind significantly higher Unit Growth than Dollar could be explained by average order value. Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and Indonesia, has been the victim of PM2.5 since November 2019. The order value of filters is monstrous compared to a piece of mask. Prior to the outbreak, the filter is a dominant product, while during the epidemic – mask became a survival tool. Therefore, Unit Growth value is over-representation while Dollar Growth reflects production and distribution problems (Dollar Growth does not catch up to Unit Growth).

As of now, we are starting to see some level of surgical mask shortage whereby there are several news outlets reporting mask scarcity on both public & private health organization including hospitals and clinics. Some local SMEs aggravated and worsened this incidence by price speculating this lifesaving item. However, ecommerce leaders such as Lazada & Shopee have taken a step of responsibility to not condone such actions and began to take out, ban, and off-board sellers who taking advantage of this global catastrophe.

We put our health first and budgeting other expense

BrandIQ indexing outbreak period online shopping growth by selecting the categories that performed well during normal circumstances (Electronics, Beauty, Petcare, and Fashion) to compare growth index against Healthcare and Groceries products.

The number speaks for itself; Southeast Asian consumers are tightened up their personal expense. Both categories yield positive growths are COVID-19 preparation and protection item (food, medicine, health accessory). Extravagance items, for instance, beauty and fashion are inverted whilst unnecessities such as Mobile, Laptop & other electronics are receding to hibernation. Nevertheless, Alkaline batteries, as a subsidiary to Electronics, are growing 38% (Index +0.76) during the outbreak.

Online Shopping growth index during COVID-19 outbreak

Pet food and medical is expected to yield positive index

Through recent breaking news from Hongkong, a Pomeranian is tested to have “weak positive” immune for novel coronavirus.

“The Pomeranian’s owner was infected with COVID-19 but the dog itself was not showing symptoms,” authorities said.

Hong Kong has said residents should not kiss their pets after a dog tested ‘weak positive’ for coronavirus. Photograph: Jérôme Favre/EPA

However, the famous news outlet also warns the readers to adopt good hygiene practices for both humans and pets, therefore, we are also anticipating incline of pet care products sales via online channel.

Southeast Asia’s commercial landscape as we know might forever altered when consumers, who has been negligence of online shopping, has been forced to step into Online Shopping world. BRANDIQ team hope this crisis resolve quickly but until that time, please stay conscious, stay safe and follow official announcement from WHO.

Need assistance on locating market opportunity, gaining more insight on where you rank against your competitors?

Reach out to [email protected] to know how you can improve your ecommerce presence.