Connecting with consumers in South East Asia

Chirag Kotak, Co-founder and COO of, a service that creates AI-powered omnichannel experiences, reveals the power of conversational commerce.

Social media is the future of commerce in South East Asia. The way consumers interact with brands has changed, especially following COVID, and the days of desktop-first are over.

South East Asian consumers are increasingly favouring a mobile-first economy and, as a result, are now mainly interreacting with images, videos, stories and through one-on-one messaging.

Livestreaming product demos can also be highly effective, attracting high intent users who can be converted at the moment of inspiration.

Don’t talk at consumers, talk with them

When businesses make themselves available on these channels, users become more open to connecting. They will begin communicating directly with brands to learn about their products and even transact.

57% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region now find direct messaging more personal than phone calls and 75% of adults say they want to message businesses in the same way they do with friends and family.

Establishing these connections is the key to driving sales. Shoppers often like to be spoon-fed information on products and pricing, regardless of how well it has been communicated across other channels such as advertising or on-site.

Combining the personal touch of offline retail with the convenience of digital

However, it is important to remember that customer expectations are high. South East Asian consumers often expect instant responses so, the faster you get to them, the more likely they are to convert. If they are left waiting you may risk losing them.

One way of preventing this is to combine automation with human agents. Chatbots can ensure rapid response times but human interaction is still essential for delivering a personalized experience that cannot be delivered through eCommerce alone.

Having effective social channels in place is essential for building connections and can be one of the most effective ways of reaching large audiences.

Social platforms can also be an easy way to establish your business in the region and some merchants in Asia Pacific use them almost exclusively, selling entirely through social channels without even having a website.