Announcing our new Social Commerce research initiative

This blog was originally published on, as part of the SE Asia Social Commerce research research. The initiative will continue under the banner, and future posts on this topic syndicated on both sites.

We heard the first elusive mentions of social commerce in our past lives as e-commerce operators around Southeast Asia; stories of brands selling through LINE in Thailand, friends buying clothes from livestreams in Malaysia, or start-ups raising millions of dollars to turn housewives into social resellers in Indonesia. It all sounded interesting, and perhaps a bit intimidating, but hard to grasp and act on.

Since last year we’ve had the chance to work on e-commerce strategy with several brands and retailers across the region, and we’re realizing that we weren’t alone. In fact, everyone seems to have the same questions about social commerce; how big is it? Is it a viable channel for our brand? Can it be profitable? Who can help us scale it up?

We’ve been frustrated as we struggled to find solid answers for our clients from what’s already been published by others. But as we’ve started digging into the topic ourselves, that frustration has turned into conviction that social commerce in Southeast Asia is big, growing and – importantly – accessible for organized sellers like brands and retailers. 

What’s missing is reliable data and useful tools, and today we’re excited to announce that we’re investing in creating those. 

Our mission is to bring clarity to social commerce in Southeast Asia, and to help brands and retailers make it actionable through useful guides and tools. The work will include, but not be limited to:

  • A systematic articulation of social commerce, including a clear definition and structured archetypes that help us to understand this space better, and why everyone is talking about it now.
  • Social commerce market sizing for Southeast Asia’s six largest markets. This dataset will include sizing of each social commerce archetype.
  • A library of more than 100 concrete examples of social commerce in Southeast Asia, across archetypes, markets, categories and seller types.
  • Go-to-market guides for the most common social commerce archetypes, including conversational commerce and liveselling. 

Our first packaged release, the 2022 Southeast Asia Social Commerce report, will be published in Q3. In the meantime, we will release insights and research highlights right here on the Chalawan blog over the next few weeks. The coming series of posts include:

  • Definition of Social Commerce in Southeast Asia, including the different Social Commerce archetypes
  • Dynamics and case study examples for the most vibrant archetypes, including conversational commerce and liveselling
  • Mapping of the Social Commerce enabler landscape across Southeast Asia, spanning everything from reseller platforms to technology vendors

We will announce all blog posts through the Chalawan Insights newsletter, so please sign up below if you are interested in following our work. Please get in touch here if you are interested in exchanging learnings or sharing feedback.

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