Shopee 2015~2019

In 2015, Shopee launched in Singapore as a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users can browse, shop and sell on the go. Integrated with logistical and payment support, the asset-light platform aims to make online shopping easy and secure for both sellers and buyers.

In 2015, Shopee launched in Singapore as a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users can browse, shop and sell on the go. Integrated with logistical and payment support, the asset-light platform aims to make online shopping easy and secure for both sellers and buyers.

History[edit]

In 2015, Shopee launched in Singapore as a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users can browse, shop and sell on the go.[5] Integrated with logistical and payment support, the asset-light platform aims to make online shopping easy and secure for both sellers and buyers.[6][7]

Soon after, the app-based platform launched a website to rival other fast growing e-commerce websites in the region like LazadaTokopedia and AliExpress. To differentiate itself, Shopee offers online shopping security through its own escrow service called “Shopee Guarantee”,[8] where it withholds payment to sellers until buyers have received their orders.[9]

Business model[edit]

Shopee first started as primarily a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace but has since moved into both a C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) hybrid model.[10] As compared to its competitors, Shopee does not charge sellers fees/commissions and listing fees.[2]

It also operates as an asset-light marketplace wherein Shopee does not hold any inventory or warehousing and relies on third parties for logistics capabilities.[11] Shopee partners with over 70 courier service providers across its markets to provide logistical support for its users.[12] In Singapore, it collaborated with logistics startup, NinjaVan, for item pickup and delivery.[13] Other delivery partners in the region include Pos Malaysia[14] and Pos Indonesia.[15]

In March 2019 Sea Group raised $1,5B for Shopee in a new round of funding.[16]

Market share[edit]

As of 2017, the platform recorded 80 million app downloads and more than 180 million active products from over four million entrepreneurs.[17] In Q4 2017, it also reported a gross merchandise value (GMV) of US$1.6 billion, up 206 per cent from a year earlier. However, losses in the parent group, Sea are also widening. The group recorded an adjusted net loss of US$252 million in Q4 2017, up 306 percent from Q4 2016’s US$62 million net loss.[18]

These GMV claims have also led to backlash by Alibaba-backed competitor, Lazada. The former CEO, Max Bittner asserted that GMV numbers can be easily inflated “by subsidy schemes and history shows that GMV falls away as unhealthy subsidies are removed.”[11]

Nonetheless, in Malaysia, Shopee became the 3rd most visited e-commerce portal in Q4 2017, replacing Lelong and “overtook Lazada to rank as the best app on both Google Play and iOS App stores.”[19]

Similarly among consumers in Indonesia, a survey conducted in December 2017 by TheAsianParent revealed that “for Indonesian mothers, Shopee is a first choice shopping platform (73%), followed by Tokopedia (54%), Lazada (51%) and Instagram (50%).”[20]

New launches[edit]

In 2016, Shopee launched an initiative called ‘Shopee University’, a series of workshops and tutorials to aid local entrepreneurs and businesses in setting up their online businesses in the Philippines.[21]

In 2017, Shopee launched Shopee Mall with 200 brands in Singapore. The dedicated portal features thousands of products sold by leading brands and retailers in the region. Shopee Mall was created to offer a more diverse online shopping experience, and to better cater to larger brands looking to pursue an omni-channel approach.[22]

In 2018, Shopee launched the China Marketplace portal that offers shoppers easy access to products from Chinese merchants, without any shipping and agent fees in Singapore. This portal directly competes with Lazada’s Taobao Collection option.