Digital economy to continue post-pandemic, says Facebook
23 Sep 2021
The expansion of the digital economy in Southeast Asia (SEA), which has accelerated significantly during the Covid-19 era, will continue its momentum post-pandemic as the increasing digital consumers will spur online purchasing amid greater e-commerce development, said Facebook.
SEA and Emerging Markets vice-president Benjamin Joe said the pandemic has been an accelerator of the digital trend with many consumers and users now being accustomed to doing things on mobile applications.
He believes that with more people multi-screening than ever before, a new consumer way of life is emerging with new purchasing habits, new ways to discover and new expectations.
“I think we will continue to see this (digital) user trend, and every data and insight that I have seen so far points to the fact that it will only continue to increase, not decrease,” he told a virtual media roundtable at the 2021 Facebook Summit SEA today.
He was responding to a question of whether the growth in the digital economy would continue given the rapid vaccination rate and economic relaxation in many countries that would enable consumers to regain offline purchasing experience.
Also present was Mindvalley chief marketing officer Marisha Hassram, who represented the Kuala Lumpur-based educational technology firm.
According to Facebook’s survey, SEA’s migration from the offline to the online economy in 2020 has surpassed its initial estimates and took off at an accelerated pace.
The survey also showed that the digital economy will continue to play an outsized role in daily life, even after Covid-19.
About 70 million people in the SEA region, which is equivalent to the entire population of the United Kingdom, have become digital consumers since the pandemic began, it revealed.
According to studies, digitalisation is a key driver of business resilience in the post-Covid economy with the increase in home-centric consumption.
“Digital channels help businesses reach more audiences, facilitate emotional connections, and turn the audience into consumers,” Benjamin said.
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, have become essential for some businesses’ survival, he added.
Benjamin noted that at Facebook, businesses — be it large, small, medium enterprises and micro — are provided with tools to grow and strengthen their digital presence, connect with customers and upskill their teams, thus helping them recover and contribute to the economic growth in their respective countries.
Meanwhile, Facebook, in a bid to help businesses be future-ready, will be hosting the third installment of the annual Facebook Summit on Sept 28, 2021.
The summit will feature over 50 global and regional leaders, who are pushing the boundaries in the industry, spotlighting ideas on how companies are using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger to creatively engage and serve their communities better.