Close to a year in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is undeniable that most people’s lives have been profoundly transformed. Both short-term plans and long-term prospects have been disrupted, prompting a re-evaluation of the way time, energy, and money are spent.
To better understand the breadth of this disruption, Blackbox Research and Toluna published Into The Light, an in-depth study that examines the many socio-cultural shifts the pandemic has spurred across Southeast Asia.
From emerging patterns to evolving trends, the study reveals the key dynamics that are re-shaping habits and behaviours across Southeast Asian markets. The study finds that across the region, the use of innovative devices, platforms, and services has allowed new consumption patterns to emerge despite overall economic uncertainty.
This is especially true in Indonesia, one of Southeast Asia’s most promising digital economies. With a young, tech-savvy population and a marked appetite for digital innovation, Indonesia has all the elements to become a digital powerhouse.
This article examines the way healthcare and education are driving Indonesia’s accelerated adoption of digital technologies, opening the door for other rapidly digitising sectors – insurance and finance, among others.
Prioritising healthcare and education
A key side-effect of the social-distancing measures enacted around the world has been the rapid deployment and adoption of digital devices and platforms for people to work, learn, and interact remotely.
According to the findings of the Into The Light study, this adoption has primarily been in the healthcare and education sectors in Indonesia.
Indeed, online services related to healthcare and education dominated Indonesian users’ lockdown activities. About 21% of respondents started using online education, learning, and skill-development services (including webinars), versus a regional average of 16%.
Likewise, 19% of respondents started using telemedicine services, versus 13% across the region, and 15% started using digital tuition and enrichment services for children, versus 9% across the region.
In terms of day-to-day habits, 55% of Indonesian respondents said they had adopted new, healthier eating habits during the pandemic, versus the regional average of 38%. At the same time, 65% of Indonesian respondents put health supplements as the top category of products they spent more on as a result of the pandemic.
Similarly, self-improvement activities (online learning, reading, and new job-related skills) were highest in Indonesia – respectively 51%, 52%, and 40% of Indonesian respondents versus regional averages of 43%, 44%, and 35%.
What this means for business leaders
The pandemic-driven pivot towards digital health and education platforms may be the push Indonesian society needed to further anchor digital technologies into their day-to-day lives.
And the accelerated digitisation of society means a range of business opportunities for organisations looking to leverage digital technologies to capture the attention of Indonesia’s fast-growing affluent population.
Whether they are already solidly implanted in Indonesia or exploring a potential expansion into the Indonesian market, four key technology-driven opportunities emerge:
- HealthTech: Indonesian consumers are looking for health-monitoring devices and applications that make healthy lifestyles simple and cost-efficient, including telemedicine platforms that can make quality health consultations quick and contactless.
- EduTech: Indonesian consumers are looking for learning and training platforms that can provide quality, uninterrupted education (for school-age children) and relevant, usable skills (for working-age adults).
- InsurTech: Indonesian consumers are looking for comprehensive and accessible insurance services – especially health and life insurance – that can provide value and peace of mind over time.
- FinTech: Indonesian consumers are looking for safe and reliable digital banking and payment solutions that will facilitate the launch of revenue-generating activities online – which may very well be sustained even once post-pandemic recovery is underway.
Effectively converting these four potential opportunities into actual business leads requires the support of an organisation that has experience understanding and navigating the complex market dynamics of Southeast Asian economies.
For over two decades, Blackbox has developed and perfected a suite of end-to-end decision science solutions that help business leaders understand rapidly evolving consumer needs, habits, and priorities. This includes:
- Leveraging consumer intelligence solutions to uncover the drivers and barriers of purchasing decisions.
- Segmenting and identifying target audiences to prioritise addressable markets.
- Developing powerful communication and marketing collaterals that reach and resonate.
- Evaluating consumer awareness and appetite for new concepts and offerings.
Contact me to find out how Blackbox can help you leverage insights and analytics for unique and effective strategies.