Spending in Southeast Asia Will Be ‘Skyrocketing’ This Holiday Season Says Report

Image: Lucrezia Carnelos

A new study says that retail in Southeast Asia will be booming again this holiday season with Six out of ten respondents (60%) to a survey reporting that they planned to increase their budgets for online shopping, meaning 90% will increase or maintain online shopping budgets when compared to 2022.

The research, conducted by InMobi included a survey 1,000 smartphone users in Indonesia, Singapore, and the Philippines as part of the brand’s The 2023 Holiday Retail Guide for Advertisers.

Whilst the majority (73%) of respondents plan to hybrid shop this holiday season, mobile is the preferred medium at every phase of the shopper’s journey whether they are online or offline said the report.


“Shoppers cite app-only discounts and convenience as the top-two reasons they turn to mobile,” said InMobi citing survey stats showing that 86% of shoppers in Southeast Asia use mobile for exploring and 81% choose mobile to make the final purchase, and 63% use mobile to search for products.


  • 60% of Southeast Asian holiday shoppers plan to increase online shopping budgets.
  • 73% of holiday shoppers will be hybrid shopping online and offline
  • Mobile is the most preferred medium in every phase of the shopper’s journey

The research also identifies three buyer personas: Category Explorers (58%) who have decided on products to shop but not brands, Bargain Hunters (29%) who seek incentives before they make their purchases, and Brand Lovers (13%) who know both the products and the brands they want

According to InMobi, there is a sharp rise in the number of category explorers compared to the previous year, when only four in ten shoppers used to fall in this category. This means more Southeast Asian shoppers are keeping their eyes open than before as they shortlist which products and brands to choose.

“Traditionally, Southeast Asia is a region where physical stores have played a prominent role. While our study found that stores are still important for shoppers here, it is exciting for us to note that more consumers are planning to use mobile as well during their shopping journey, and in fact, it is playing a dominant role,” said Rishi Bedi, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, InMobi.


“With the excitement for the end-of-year shopping festivals and an appetite for exploring brands and products being at an all-time high, it is essential for marketers and retailers to be present effectively throughout Southeast Asia’s shopping journey.”

The guide offers more nuanced insights into the Southeast Asian shopper’s shopping patterns as they approach the end of the year:

  • Over half of Southeast Asian consumers tended to shop on their phones after 4pm.
  • The single-digit and double-digit shopping festivals are record breakers, showing that they continue to be the most anticipated and popular sale events of the year for Southeast Asia’s shoppers.
  • Fashion and accessories, gadgets, and personal care products including cosmetics are the top three items most likely to be bought. Big-ticket items such as home appliances are also big on the list.
  • While mobile is the top buying channel for Southeast Asian shoppers, a few items, such as jewellery, home appliances, gift packs, and holiday-focused groceries, will likely be browsed or purchased offline.

To read more about The 2023 Southeast Asia Holiday Retail Guide for Advertisers, Southeast Asia, go here

Image: Lucrezia Carnelos

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