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Top Shopping Sites in Southeast Asia: What Multi-Channel Sellers Can Learn from Them

If You're Not Selling on These Southeast Asian Shopping Sites, You're Losing Big Bucks

A growing middle class, a largely millennial population, and easy access to mobile phones transformed Southeast Asia into an internet economy with potential for revenue.

With 330 million users and counting, Tech in Asia reports that the ecommerce market was worth as much as $50 billion in 2017. Online shopping is expected to skyrocket up to $200 billion in 2025, with $88 billion coming from ecommerce alone.

Retailers looking to tap into this huge market can set up their own marketplace as part of their multi-channel selling strategy. Lazada and Shopee dominate the Southeast Asian e-marketplace, but other local players boast of their own platforms as well.

So, here are the marketplace platforms to consider if you’re looking to grow your online business.

Multichannel Selling on Southeast Asia’s Leading Marketplaces

Indonesia

Indonesia

Source: ecommerceIQ

Lazada

Overview

Lazada is a marketplace platform that has dominated ecommerce in Indonesia since its launch in 2012. Data from ASEANup indicated that Lazada Indonesia acquired an estimated monthly traffic of 1.19 million visits in 2018.

Products Sold

Over 50,000 small and medium enterprises sell their products through Lazada Indonesia. They have more than 250,000 items under electronics, apparel, fashion, health and beauty, baby needs, household needs, sports and outdoor gear, and automotive parts.

Under Lazada is LazMall, an exclusive channel that features local and international brands.

Lazada also has credit and e-store services where shoppers can top-up their data packets.

Blibli

Overview

Blibli pioneered the online shopping mall concept in Indonesia. As of March 2018, they had an estimated monthly traffic of 45.9 million visits. To expand its reach to unbanked customers in the rural areas, they partnered with Pos Indonesia to put up Blibli InStore kiosks in post offices in 32 points across Indonesia.

Products Sold

In line with their slogan “Big Choices, Big Deals,” Blibli has product selections in 15 categories, including:

  • Electronics
  • Men and women’s fashion
  • Health and beauty
  • Maternity and baby needs
  • Tickets and vouchers
  • Payment services

The company’s BlibliMart allows shoppers to do their grocery shopping online, while Blibli Travel lets travellers book hotels, flights, and car tickets online.

Tokopedia

Tokopedia

Overview

Tokopedia is Indonesia’s largest online marketplace with a current value of $7 billion. In a bid to serve shoppers across 17,000 islands and 300 ethnic groups, Tokopedia teamed up with 15 third-party logistics providers to reach different regions of the country.

Products Sold

Tokopedia houses merchants selling millions of products across 25 product categories. Items range from the usual apparel and electronics to region-specific items like Muslim fashion.

Tokopedia also launched an app, Mitra Tokopedia, allowing small business owners to sell data packages, game vouchers, electricity tokens, and the like.

Bukalapak

Overview

Literally meaning “open a stall,” Bukalapak is one of the leading online marketplaces in Indonesia. The company also launched Buka Mall which carries local and international brands.

Products Sold

Product categories include cosmetics, personal care, baby products, fashion, electronics, exercise and sports gear, food, automobile and motor parts, and industrial tools. Users can buy and sell both new and used products on the platform.

Shopee

Shopee

Overview

Despite being a Singapore-based ecommerce platform, Indonesia is Shopee’s biggest market — making up 40% of its business.

Products Sold

Like their competitors, Shopee carries men’s and women’s wear, mobile phones, computers and the like, including Muslim fashion.

Country Insights: Indonesia

A common factor about Indonesian marketplaces is that they all carry Muslim fashion products targeted towards women. With 80% of the population being Muslim, there is a huge demand for Islamic fashion in Indonesia compared to its Asian neighbours. With global spending on Muslim clothing expected to reach $44 billion by 2021, Indonesian designers are capitalizing on this positive outlook.

Singapore

Singapore

Source: ecommerceIQ

Carousell

Overview

Carousell is a classified ads marketplace where users can buy and sell new and secondhand goods. Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions are completed through web or mobile.

Carousell boasts over 144 million listings on the site and 50 million items sold on the app. Last year, they partnered with DBS, Visa, and Stripe to launch Caroupay — a mobile payment service that allows buyers to pay sellers directly within the app.

Products Sold

Aside from consumer goods, users can buy and sell big-ticket items like cars and motorbikes. Homeowners can also find services for air conditioning, home cleaning, moving and delivery, and home repairs. Job listings — as well as property for sale and rent — are also listed on the site.

Qoo10

Overview

Qoo10 is an online marketplace platform with six million daily active users and a listing of 150,000 products. The company was acquired by eBay last year, in a bid by the ecommerce giant to increase its footprint across Asia.

This 2019, Qoo10 introduced Quube, a marketplace built on a blockchain network with its own cryptocurrency called Q*coin. They have also pioneered parcel collection at 7-Eleven stores in Singapore.

Products Sold

Shoppers can find men’s and women’s fashion, beauty and wellness products, gadgets, home decor, groceries, and baby products on site. Services for beauty, home and car, and flower delivery are also available. Travellers can also arrange tour packages and hotel reservations.

Lazada

Lazada

Overview

Dubbed the “Amazon of Southeast Asia,” Lazada initially offered direct sales from its warehouses until it added products from third-party merchants in 2013. Billions of investments from Alibaba have also fueled the company’s growth.

Products Sold

Product categories include electronics, appliances, health and beauty, baby products, toys, groceries, pet products, home decor, men’s and women’s fashion, sports gear, and auto parts.

Their LazMall features items from international brands as well. Their Taobao Collection, meanwhile, lets Singaporeans shop an array of products from the Chinese online shopping site.

Zalora

Overview

Zalora is a multi-brand shopping platform that was founded in Singapore in 2012. Exclusive partnerships with How Do I Look Asia? and Asia’s Next Top Model enabled Zalora to create brand awareness outside of its online presence. Based on February 2018 estimates from ASEANup, Zalora has an estimated monthly traffic of 1,550,000 visits.

Products Sold

Zalora has over 109,000 online products ranging from men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, accessories, bags, and beauty products. They have over 2,000 fashion brands in their roster, 40% of which are international, 20 to 30% local, and 20% under their own brand.

ezbuy

ezbuy

Overview

ezbuy is an online global shopping platform that allows visitors to buy products from the US, Taiwan, Korea, and the local market. Its founder and CEO Wendy Liu started the company with her friends in 2010 as 65daigou. Back then, it was a buy-for-me-service where they bought items from overseas on behalf of the customer and ship it to them. In 2016, it rebranded as ezbuy and added a global marketplace to expand their Buy-For-Me service.

Products Sold

ezbuy lets customers “buy global, locally.” They offer millions of products from 10 categories including apparel, toys, shoes, electronics, and more.

Country Insights: Singapore

Singapore is a robust cards-and-payments market in the Asia-Pacific region. In fact, it is one of the top three cashless countries in Asia — along with Japan and Korea.

Singapore leads other Asian countries in basket size, or the number of items sold in a single purchase. To get their consumers to spend more, businesses are bringing in more options to shoppers. Lazada, for instance, has teamed up with Taobao to offer selected items that Singaporeans find hard to buy directly from the Chinese site.

Philippines

Philippines

Source: ASEANup

Lazada

Overview

In the second quarter of 2018, Lazada hit an average of 30 million visits monthly. Lazada was able to corner two-thirds of the total monthly traffic among ecommerce platforms. Much of their traffic came from Facebook at 25.2 million visits. The Lazada Facebook page is also one of the most widely followed ecommerce platforms in the Philippines, with more than 6.6 million likes.

Products Sold

Aside from popular consumer products, they also sell mobile phone load, mobile game cards, and e-vouchers and gift cards for travel.

Shopee

Shopee

Overview

Shopee is a peer-to-peer ecommerce platform which combines the features of an online marketplace with social media. Sellers can list their products on the platform in 30 seconds or less, anytime, anywhere.

Products Sold

The site carries popular consumer products from clothes, gadgets, toys, makeup, arts, and motor parts and accessories. They also have the Shopee Mall, with selections from local and international brands.

Zalora

Overview

Zalora averages 1.7 million visits from the Philippines daily, ranking next to Shopee in web traffic.

Styling themselves as “Asia’s Online Fashion Destination,” Zalora carries a mix of international and local fashion brands. They offer free 30-day returns and unlimited express shipping through their Zalora Now service.

Products Sold

Zalora sells mainly apparel for men and women. Popular searches include formal and casual dresses, sports bras, sling bags, men’s jeans, and many more.

eBay Philippines

eBay Philippines

Overview

Online shopping and auction website eBay has been around since 1995, but it was not introduced in the Philippines until 2004. It wasn’t long until entrepreneurs saw the potential of earning in eBay. Filipinas started small businesses selling fragrances, gadgets, and watches in the platform, while car dealers bought and sold used cars through eBay Motors in 2011. ASEANup estimates that as of March 2018, eBay PH has a monthly traffic of 1.9 million visits, making them one of the top four most visited sites in the country.

Products Sold

Visitors can buy and sell brand new or used fashion items, health and beauty products, accessories, electronics, cameras, toys, furniture, and appliances.

Carousell PH

Overview

Carousell was officially launched in the Philippines only in 2016 — reaching 500,000 listings within six months. Recent figures peg Carousell PH’s monthly traffic at 900,000 visits.

Products Sold

Carousell has over 30 product categories, led by fashion, electronics, lifestyle gadgets, books, toys, and furniture.

Country Insights: Philippines

Unlike Indonesia and Singapore, international ecommerce companies dominate the marketplace instead of local players. Filipinos prefer to buy from more established brands, simply because they are more familiar to them.

Filipinos also spend an average of four hours a day on social media, representing huge opportunities for conversion. Online sellers should consider these consumer habits when selling in this region.

Malaysia

Malaysia

Source: ecommerceIQ

Lazada

Overview

Lazada dominates the ecommerce scene in Malaysia towards the end 2018. During this time, Lazada got 26.2 million visitors from desktop and mobile.

Products Sold

Lazada carries the same products as its Southeast Asian counterparts. The company also partnered with lifestyle and property group, Ma Sing Berhad, to be the first ecommerce platform offering real estate listings.

Zalora MY

Overview

With 2.29 million monthly web visits as of January 2019, Zalora MY is ranked as one of the top five ecommerce players in Malaysia. Zalora finished third in Apple app store rank and fourth in Google Playstore rank.

Zalora has a strong logistics presence in Malaysia, having invested $4.2 million in an e-Fulfillment Hub which serves not only the local market but also Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. This has allowed them to penetrate the country better compared to the other countries that they serve.

Products Sold

Zalora MY carries the same product categories as its Southeast Asian counterparts. However, to cater to the largely Muslim populace, they also offer modest apparel. Their website has a Muslimah fashion line for women who want to dress conservatively but still look on trend.

Items include dresses, tops, bottoms, baju kurungs (enclosed dresses), and hijabs. For men, they have various styles of batik shirts and beju melayu, a traditional outfit for men made up of a collared long-sleeved shirt and trousers.

11street.my

11street.my

Overview

11street is a C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) platform that originated in Korea and expanded into Malaysia. Their escrow service ensures that buyers and sellers transact securely on the site. They offer sellers free listings and hold classes on how to grow their business.

11street earns from charging sellers a commission for each sale they make, as well as selling online ad space. In 2018, they recorded an estimated monthly traffic of 13 million visits, but only placed second to Lazada Malaysia.

Products Sold

11street carries products in popular categories like apparel, gadgets, appliances, home decor, health and beauty, and groceries. They also have less common categories like collectible items and party supplies.

Travellers can book tickets to famous attractions like Legoland Malaysia and Langkawi Island tours. 11street also lists official brand stores from big-name retailers like Tesco, Watsons, and more.

Mudah

Overview

Mudah is a classified ads portal where people can sell new and secondhand items. “Mudah” is the Malay word for easy, which reflects how members find it easy to see what they’re looking for in the site.

Touted as the largest marketplace in Malaysia, the company claims that there is one item sold every minute on their site. Mudah has 439 million page views and 5.2 million unique visitors per month.

Products Sold

Mudah has ten main product categories: vehicles, jobs and services, leisure, sports and hobbies, properties, travel, home and personal items, electronics, business to business, and everything else. Users can chat or email the seller from the site, but unlike popular marketplace sites, transactions are completed offline.

Lelong

Lelong

Overview

Lelong pioneered the concept of ecommerce marketplaces in Malaysia back in 1998. This Malaysian brand started out as an auction site before transitioning to a marketplace. It has grown to become one of the most frequently visited ecommerce sites in Malaysia.

More than 10,000 sellers offer their products and services at Lelong. In 2018, their website garnered a monthly traffic of 9,050,000 visits.

Products Sold

Lelong has 1.3 million products spread across various categories from gadgets, sports gear, music, media, to books. They have a premium shopping site called Lmall which features products with a money-back guarantee from more than 100 brands.

Country Insights: Malaysia

Like the Philippines, the dominant players in the Malaysian marketplace are foreign-owned brands.

Malaysians prefer buying airline tickets, hotel reservations, music, ground travel reservations, clothing, and footwear. Retailers who leverage this will find success in this region.

Thailand

Thailand

Source: ecommerceIQ

Lazada TH

Lazada TH

Overview

Not only is Lazada the top player in ecommerce in Thailand, but it also commands a massive social media following. Lazada had the highest number of app installations in 2017, as well as the most number of followers on Facebook and LINE. As of March 2018, they had a monthly estimated traffic of 63.3 million visits.

Products Sold

Lazada carries the standard range of product categories that can be found across other Southeast Asian sites. However, their particular strength in the Thai market is electronics.

On the side of sellers, they have a Digital Lending program in partnership with Siam Commercial Bank, which grants online loans to new entrepreneurs selling on their site. They also have a Mompreneurs program which helps stay-at-home mothers gain the necessary skills and knowledge to manage their own online store while taking care of their family.

Shopee TH

Overview

Shopee TH has enjoyed immense success in Thailand, despite the short span of time it has been in the market. Since being introduced in the country in 2015, the Shopee app has been downloaded by 23 million users. Though Lazada claimed the top spot in terms of Apple App Store downloads, Shopee was number one when it came to Google Playstore rankings.

The platform itself has drawn 800,000 online shops and 1,000 brands. Today, Shopee has an estimated monthly traffic of 17 million visits, making it the second most visited ecommerce site in Thailand.

Products Sold

Shopee TH has the same product categories as its Southeast Asian counterparts. Their best-selling products are electronics, mobile phones, gadgets, beauty and supplementary products, and fashion.

Tarad

Overview

Founded in 1999, Tarad, which means “market” in Thai, is the oldest ecommerce site in Thailand. Its founder Pawoot “Pom” Pongvitayapanu originally started it as a free online classified ads board called ThaiSecondhand.com. Investments eventually came in and made it grow to what it is today.

The site currently houses 270,000 merchants selling 3.5 million products and a user base of three million. The Bangkok Post reports that, far from being the usual ecommerce company, they aim to shift to universal commerce, or one that provides end-to-end business solutions for their users, with the use of services such as payment and advertising platforms.

Products Sold

Product categories include clothes and fashion, jewellery watches, electronics, home and office, food and health, books and entertainment, and lifestyle. They have other domains like Tarad Plaza where shoppers can find affordable products from small merchants, and Thai Second Hand, one of the biggest secondhand online marketplaces in Thailand.

Kaidee

Kaidee

Overview

Kaidee, which means “sell well” in Thai, is an online marketplace which allows users to buy and sell brand new or secondhand items. They are one of the top ecommerce sites in Thailand, with 35 million users visiting the platform in 2018. The company claims that there are 5,605 items sold every day at the site.

Products Sold

Kaidee allows users to buy and sell secondhand items online ranging from the usual items like gadgets, shoes, and clothes, to the more unique ones like amulets and collectible items.

They also have landing pages for their other vertical markets. They have Rodkaidee for secondhand cars, Baankaidee for real estate, Mocykaidee for motorcycles, Farmkaidee for agricultural products, fisheries, and livestock, and Kaidee Home for secondhand items homeowners would like to sell or donate.

Aliexpress

Aliexpress

Overview

Aliexpress is the retail arm of Alibaba, offering low-priced Chinese goods to consumers from all around the world. Though it was launched only in 2010, it has become a popular ecommerce site in Thailand, ranking third in a 2017 ecomEye report.

Products Sold

Aliexpress boasts of 100 million products across a wide range of product categories, including apparel, gadgets, jewellery, home and garden decor, maternity and children’s clothes, sports gear, cosmetics, and car parts and tools.

Country Insights: Thailand

With 82% of the population having access to the internet, Thailand has one of the highest internet penetration rates in Asia. This opens up opportunities for sellers to have a share in ecommerce revenue, which in 2018 was pegged at 3.6 trillion baht.

While social media penetration is not that high, 51% of shoppers prefer to buy directly from social networking platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LINE, and Google+. Thus, sellers can benefit from making their products available from social media channels, or integrating their marketplaces with their social media profiles. However, sellers must also face tough competition, as around 10,000 stores also sell through Facebook and Instagram.

Electronics and fashion are currently two of the most profitable market segments, and is expected to remain that way until 2021.

Vietnam

Vietnam

Source: ecommerceIQ

Shopee

Overview

The Shopee website and mobile app were officially launched in Vietnam in 2016. Within a year of being launched, Shopee’s popularity rose as it garnered over four million listings and five million downloads in 2017. In the third quarter of 2018, they were able to unseat their fierce competitor Lazada, becoming the most frequented ecommerce platform in Vietnam with a monthly average traffic of 34.5 million visits.

Products Sold

Shopee has similar product categories as its Southeast Asian counterparts. Like Shopee Philippines, they have the Shopee Celebrity Club which features products from local celebrities. On the other hand, their Cheap Champion section carries deeply discounted products for online bargain hunters.

Lazada VN

Lazada VN

Overview

Lazada VN gained a foothold in the ecommerce industry in 2017, capturing a 19% share in traffic against homegrown players like Thegioididong and Sendo. The following year, they were ranked the second most visited ecommerce site in the country.

Products Sold

Lazada VN has the same product categories as its Southeast Asian counterparts. In September 2018, they launched LazMall which carries genuine products from about 300 local and international brands.

They have also started to explore the offline-to-offline (O2O) model by partnering with French supermarket retailer Auchan. Through this partnership, customers can buy food, personal hygiene, and other household products through the Auchan flagship store on the site.

Thegioididong.com

Overview

Thegioididong is an online and brick-and-mortar retailer of consumer electronics. It is one of three concepts operated by Mobile World Investment Corporation (MWG).

In 2015, Thegioididong was listed as one of the top 50 most valuable brands in Vietnam by Brand Finance of UK. Today, Thegioididong has more than 1,000 stores nationwide in addition to their website.

Products Sold

Thegioididong sells phones, tablets, laptops, accessories, smart watches, and value-added services.

Tiki

Overview

Tiki was originally a site for selling books. Though the company has sustained losses for the past seven years, they have grown to become one of the key ecommerce players in Vietnam.

In 2017, it recorded 250 million page views and made up 10% of traffic for all Vietnamese ecommerce sites. Last year, leading Chinese B2C retailer JD.com invested $50 million in Tiki to enable it to pursue its strategic plans, including expanding to mobile applications.

Products Sold

Shoppers can find more than 300,000 products in 16 product categories, including phones and tablets, home appliances, digital accessories, laptops, cameras, home decor and accessories, food, baby products, and more.

Sendo

Sendo

Overview

Sendo is a C2C platform housing more than 300,000 sellers. Launched in 2012, Sendo is relatively new to the market but they set themselves apart by tapping metropolitan cities outside of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.

Products Sold

Sendo carries 10 million products in 16 product categories such as utilities, apparel, fashion accessories, gadgets, consumer electronics, home decor and accessories, books and stationery, health and beauty products, maternity clothes and supplies, baby products, bikes and auto accessories, and sports gear.

The company also has SenMall, a B2C marketplace offering genuine brand goods from international retailers. They’ve also ventured into financial technologies with SenPay, a mobile wallet service that can be used online and offline.

Country Insights: Vietnam

Ecommerce in Vietnam grew by 25% in 2018 and is likely to continue at this rate until 2022. By 2020, ecommerce sales are projected to reach $10 billion.

Sellers who would like to tap into this market with huge potential revenue can look into selling in homegrown marketplaces like Tiki, Thegioididong, and Sendo. Backed with funding from foreign investors, they have experienced as much as 80% growth in website traffic in as short as six months. Because of this, they are expected to do well over their more established rivals.

In terms of product categories, the most lucrative segment for sellers is electronics, followed by toys, and hobby and DIY items. By 2021, fashion products are predicted to come second to electronics in market share.

The Bottom Line

Ecommerce is a thriving industry in Southeast Asia. With the exception of Singapore and Indonesia, foreign-owned marketplaces outpace homegrown ones in market share. While each marketplace has its own unique features, sellers can find the right channel that fits their multi-channel sales strategy.

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