by Misty Agustini
August 12th, 2014

Misty Agustini, GM of Weber Shandwick, Indonesia, talks about the recent elections and highlights some of the key insights, developments and trends to look out for within the market.

The 2014 elections have concluded fairly well without any occurrence of events to disrupt Indonesian livelihood. As the fastest growing country of social media users, Indonesians took to the digital world to express their support towards their respective presidential candidates. This year was the first time that mass rallies in public spaces were avoided. In urban areas, a majority of the campaign took place on the Internet with followers of both candidates campaigning their ideas through a myriad of social media platforms.

Never before has any presidential candidate managed to gather thousands of volunteers to create materials on social media platforms, placing Indonesia in the top worldwide trending topics, particularly on Twitter.

With a clear shift towards a a more connected mobile and social society, brands should also expect the same kind of treatment as the influences of affluence and internet penetration expand in the country. So what should you look out for?

Key trends:

The next frontier for online retailers – Indonesian e-commerce, at US$1.7 billion, is still low compared to India, but some projections peg it to surpass US$4 billion by 2016, with most purchases happen during office hours. Since fixed-line internet connections at home are typically slow and unrealisable, online shoppers take advantage of more stable and fast connections at their offices.

Consumer-to-consumer commerce is on the rise – people use various mobile and social media platforms, such as Kaskus, tokobagus.com, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and BlackBerry Messenger, as the front window of their online shopping experience. Kaskus is the largest online marketplace in Indonesia and has millions of members as well as very active online discussion forums.

M-commerce is seeing a growing presence – in the next 3 years, e-commerce sites will prepare to launch their m-commerce apps for easy browsing and purchasing via smartphones.

Apparel and footwear - they are likely to record the strongest performance in internet retailing. In the midst of ever-rising nationalistic sentiment, young Indonesians lean towards the preference of trendy local footwear and apparel brands to purchase from online retailers.

Fun facts

  • As the number three Twitter country in the world, Jakarta ranks as the top Twitter city, ahead of London, New York, and Tokyo
  • The many hours Indonesians (in particular Jakarta residents) spend on the road in heavy traffic jams is allegedly a major factor in the fast-growing use of the social medium
  • While Indonesia’s internet penetration at 15% is lower than the world average of 30%, mobile penetration is actually much higher than the world average (112% vs 93%)

The full article first appeared on Campaign Asia

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