Trends & Guides

Southeast Asia’s Most Visited E-commerce Platforms of the Year

27 December 2018 | Jeremy Chew
  • Lazada maintains its leading position as the most visited e-commerce company of the year
  • Shopee reduces Lazada’s lead by 66% to become its closest competitor by November 2018
  • The total visits of South East Asia’s top 10 e-commerce platforms grew at an average 53% in 2018
  • Players from Indonesia and Vietnam such as Tokopedia, Bukalapak, and Blibli, Thegioididong, and Tiki were impressive on a regional level though they’re only available in a single market

2018 has been really significant for e-commerce in Southeast Asia. Among most notable highlights in the region was that Tokopedia raised $1.1 billion from Alibaba and SoftBank, Bukalapak, became Indonesia’s fourth Unicorn, Lazada, received an additional US$4 billion and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A recent study by Google predicts that the e-commerce industry in the region will garner a total of $23 billion in gross merchandise revenue (GMV) by the end of the year. By 2025, the industry is on track to value as much as US$102 billion in GMV.

Before we wrap up the year, we looked back to find out who were the top players in the region, the competition and point out the most interesting developments of 2018. To do this, we analyzed the total desktop and mobile web visits of 60 e-commerce platforms from Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. From this, we ascertained the top 10 players in the region as well as the top 10 in each country. The companies selected for this study were amongst the 10 most visited platforms (on desktop and mobile web) in their respective countries from our study, The Map of E-commerce.

Uptrend Growth in Southeast Asia’s top 10 E-commerce Platforms

We calculated the percentage of growth of the total visits by the company between January and November 2018 and saw that the 10 top e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia grew its traffic by 53% on average. This positive uptrend is mirrored by Google’s report stating that the online retail sector is moving quicker than expected.

Commanding the biggest market share of online traffic of the year are Lazada at 27%, Tokopedia at 17%, Shopee at 15% and Bukalapak at 12%. Lazada maintains its market-leading position despite facing stiff competition from Tokopedia and Shopee throughout the year. By the end of 2018, we see Shopee closing into Lazada to become its closest competitor. Shopee grew its traffic to overtake Tokopedia and reduced Lazada’s preeminent position by 66% in its total visits.

Indonesian and Vietnamese E-commerce Platforms Competing with Regional Players

Lazada’s dominant position was almost overtaken by Tokopedia in July and August 2018. In fact, Tokopedia, was able to sustain a high number of online traffic garnered from its Ramadan and Hari Raya sale campaign in May 2018. The Ramadan period was considered among the most important festive season in Indonesia. It is a popular sale period as consumers will actively purchase gifts, apparels, and decorative items to prepare for the occasion in June. As such, it was apparent to see that both Tokopedia and Lazada experienced a dip in online traffic in June 2018 in Indonesia as most consumers were offline during the Hari Raya celebrations.

Among the many successful efforts initiated by Tokopedia to maintain its increased online traffic after Hari Raya was with its 9th-anniversary sale, which was held in August 2019. The Indonesian e-commerce company has been particularly impressive as it was able to challenge for the top spot though it was focused in a single market. Compared with its competitor, Lazada is available in 6 countries. Its success received further validation as Tokopedia recently raised $1.1 billion from Softbank in December 2018 to become Indonesia’s most valuable startup, valued at about $7 billion.

Also remarkable in the regional level were Vietnamese e-commerce platforms Thegioididong and Tiki with the average total visits at 29 million and 26 million respectively. This was particularly impressive as both players are only available in the Vietnamese market.

Thegioididong (also known as Mobile World in Vietnamese) initiated its business as brick and mortar electronics store since it was founded in 2004. Through the years, the electronics store rose to become the most prominent platform in Vietnam both online and offline. In its home country, Thegioididong overtook Lazada to become the second most visited e-commerce platform after Shopee by November 2018.

On the other hand, Tiki was popular amongst locals as well and is backed by Chinese e-commerce giant, JD.com. The e-commerce company recently received approximately $44 million to develop its business specifically for the Vietnamese market.

Biggest Improvement in Total Visits between January and November 2018

By comparing the percentage of growth in total visits between January and November 2018 we were able to see who grew the most by the end of the year. E-commerce platforms with the most remarkable growth figures were JD at 246%, Shopee 158%, and Tokopedia at 94%. JD.com has continued its expansion into Southeast Asia recently launching its e-commerce platform JD Central in Thailand in October 2018 and has made great progress in Indonesia as well. This was evident as they grew the fastest from 5.4 million in January to 12.7 million in November in total visits.

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All data on the total visits on desktop and mobile web in this study were taken from global traffic figures from the respective regional sites. Insights based on SimilarWeb data.

About iPrice Group

iPrice Group is a meta-search website where Malaysian consumers can easily compare prices, specs and discover products with hundreds of local and regional merchants. iPrice’s meta-search platform is also available in six other countries across Southeast Asia namely in; Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, The Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

As an affiliate marketing channel, iPrice works with the biggest brands in the region to compare products and coupons from Lazada, Shopee, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Grab (Grab Food), KLOOK and Malaysian Airlines, Samsung, Apple, Xiaaomi, Oppo, ASUS, Vivo, Sony, and Sephora.

iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics such as smartphones, laptops as well as health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.

On a regular basis, iPrice Group releases key insights on topics pertaining e-commerce, startups, and others. Stay tuned to iPrice’s insights here: https://iprice.my/trends/insights/

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