Mobile applications today play a vital role in the development of e-commerce. According to a report by Google & Temasek, there are more than 350 million internet users in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam).
More importantly, more than 90% of Southeast Asians connects to the internet primarily through mobile devices. This figure is expected to rise as smartphones become more accessible and the rapid improvements of faster and more reliable mobile telecommunication services.
In addition to this, the same report by Google & Temasek stated that the internet economy will rapidly grow to become a US$240 billion industry with e-commerce as a key driving force and is estimated to garner as much as US$102 billion by the year 2025.
As e-commerce companies today are racing to realise the mobile-first potential, we conducted a study to ascertain the leading e-commerce shopping applications of today. iPrice Group partnered with App Annie Intelligence, an app market data, and insights company to identify which e-commerce mobile shopping applications were most actively used in Q1 2019.
The e-commerce shopping apps were ranked via the average monthly active users (MAU) recorded in Q1 2019. Utilising MAU, App Annie Intelligence aggregated and ranked applications for six key markets in Southeast Asia (SEA) namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Lazada, Shopee, Tokopedia Leading the Way
Lazada’s mobile shopping application garnered the highest average MAU in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. The Alibaba-backed e-commerce was amongst the top apps as well in Vietnam and Indonesia, ranking second and fourth respectively.
In the past year, Lazada has put significant focus in the development of its application to engage tech-savvy consumers and serving their constantly evolving habits. Among the many new features introduced was an in-app livestreaming function and Image Search feature where Lazada claims that 500,000 customers utilise daily to find some 20 million products, and the ‘Shake It’ in-app game.
Its closest competitor in the region would be Shopee, ranking highest in Vietnam, second place in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand, and third place in Singapore.
Also aware of the importance of mobile apps in the region, Shopee in the past year prioritised a ‘hyper-localised’ user experience approach by having a different app for each country. This was part of their strategy to focus on taking a highly localised approach to each market. This has been an effective strategy as Shopee remains as one of the youngest players amongst the top apps, quickly rising through the ranks since its founding in 2015.
Another prominent competitor was Tokopedia who ranks highest in average MAU in Indonesia. Tokopedia remains a prominent player as the company currently holds the biggest market share in SEA’s largest country in terms of population. Last year, Tokopedia was the third most visited e-commerce platform in SEA although it was only available in a single country, with an average 125 million visitors in 2018.
Chinese & American-based E-commerce Apps Highly Relevant in SEA
Across the six countries analysed, Chinese and American e-commerce mobile apps remained popular and were actively used in the region with apps such as AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, TaoBao, and Alibaba.com.
Chinese e-commerce apps such as TaoBao performed well in countries where there were more consumers proficient in the Chinese language (Mandarin). This was evident in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia where the app ranked fourth and third respectively. TaoBao is available primarily in the Chinese language and provides delivery services to SEA as well.
AliExpress, on the other hand was optimised for non-Chinese proficient consumers and was actively used in Thailand (third place), Philippines (fifth place), Malaysia (fifth place), Vietnam (sixth place), and Indonesia (eighth place).
American-based e-commerce application remains highly relevant for Southeast Asians as well. Amazon was actively used in the Philippines as compared to Alibaba Group’s applications, ranking fourth above AliExpress (fifth place) and Alibaba.com (ninth place).
In SEA, Amazon officially launched its services in Singapore in 2017 with Amazon Prime Now and currently ranks ninth place in the list of monthly actively used mobile shopping apps in the city-state. In other countries, Amazon remains as a prominent e-commerce app in Thailand and Vietnam, ranking fifth and seventh place respectively.
Local E-commerce Performing Well in Its Home Country
In SEA, Tokopedia was the only e-commerce mobile application which was most actively used in its home country. Recently, the Indonesian e-commerce recently received US$1 billion from existing investors, making it the most valuable startup in the country.
According to Bloomberg, William Tanuwijaya, the co-founder of Tokopedia capitalized on the country’s rapid adoption of smartphones and increasing comfort in shopping online. As such, Tokopedia leads in the mobile shopping sector as well as on desktop with the most visitors in its home country Indonesia.
Other e-commerce apps which performed well in its home-country were Qoo10 (second place in Singapore), Tiki (third place in Vietnam), and 11street (fourth place in Malaysia).
Vital Findings on the Most Visited E-commerce Platforms in Southeast Asia for Q1 2019
Although mobile applications are an important aspect of e-commerce, e-commerce websites remain relevant to consumers as well. A study on the State of E-commerce in Southeast Asia noted that consumers were more likely to conduct purchases via desktops as compared to mobile.
Key findings on the most visited e-commerce platforms on desktop and mobile web:
- Shopee takes the reign as the most visited e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia (six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, & Singapore) in Q1 2019 with a total average of 184.8 million visitors.
- Lazada saw a -12% decline in total average visits when compared to the previous quarter, obtaining 179.7 million visitors in Q1 2019 (six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, & Singapore).
- Tokopedia (ID), Bukalapak (ID), & Tiki (VN) were the 3rd, 4th and 5th most visited e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia although they were only available in a single market.
- Despite a -12% decline in its total average visits, Lazada remains as the most visited e-commerce platform in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
- Apart from Indonesia & Vietnam, other locally based e-commerce platforms that performed well were Lelong (3rd in Malaysia), Argomall (4th in Philippines), Qoo10 (1st in Singapore), and Chilindo (3rd in Thailand).
Please click on one of the links below to view the data in detail for each country. More findings in the overall Map of E-commerce Report for Q1 2019.
We are always happy to share our insights with our clients, the press, academia and more. Should you decide to utilise our data or visuals, please attribute us by including this sentence “From the Map of E-commerce, iPrice Group, April 2019” with a hyperlink to one of these URLs:
Report Methodology for Vital Insights on Mobile E-commerce Shopping Apps in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
App Annie Intelligence for iPhone and Android phone were derived from mobile usage data collected from a large sample of real-world users, combined with additional proprietary data sets. For the purposes of this report, an active user is defined as a device having one or more sessions with an app in the time period. A single person may be active on multiple devices in any time period and will therefore be counted as one user per device in the total active users. For example, when a user logs into the app, it would be counted as a session during a given month and counted as an active user.
Monthly Active Users (MAU) rankings in this report are based on unified apps made possible by App Annie’s exclusive DNA. In unified apps, similar versions of the same app with different names and on different platforms are unified. For example, ShopeeSG: Lowest Price Madness on iOS, and ShopeeSG: Men Sale for Android on Google Play are all aggregated and ranked as a single Shopee unified app.
Data in this report reflects App Annie’s current estimates and DNA relationships for all time periods as of the time of publication. This includes data restatements as App Annie is continuously refining its algorithms to provide its customers with the most accurate estimates possible. Historical data may also be restated from a prior publication, a standard practice for the industry. Certain trademarks and/or images used in this report may belong to third parties and are the property of their respective owners. App Annie claims no rights in such trademarks or images.
App Category and Top App Definitions
Mobile E-commerce apps were identified by iPrice Group and App Annie from the Shopping categories on the iOS App Store and Google Play. Our analysis is limited to Apps were identified as coming from organizations that primarily sell physical products to consumers. This includes apps from organizations with no, or a limited number of, physical outlets, or universal shopping basket apps that facilitate transactions through other retailers. The analysis excludes apps that primarily drive C2C transactions, third parties providing vouchers and coupons, and apps not related to selling goods despite being from retailers.
Report Methodology for Vital Findings on the Most Visited E-commerce Platforms in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
All data on the total visits on desktop and mobile web in this study were taken from global traffic figures from the respective websites as of April 2019 from SimilarWeb. The following industries were not included in this list: e-ticketing, financial services, rental services, insurance, delivery service, food & beverage, meta-search, couponing, cashback websites and ecommerce who solely provides classified ads/P2P services.
To ascertain the most visited local and Southeast Asian-based e-commerce platforms on desktop and mobile web, international applications were not included in this category. Insights based on SimilarWeb data.
Report Methodology for Mobile E-commerce Shopping Apps Highest Overall Rank
Mobile shopping applications were ranked by averaging the rank of the selected applications between 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2019. To ascertain the top local and Southeast Asian-based mobile shopping applications, international applications were not included in this category. Data obtained from App Annie’s Rank History feature.
About App Annie
App Annie delivers the most trusted app market data and insights for your business to succeed in the global app economy. Over 1 million registered members rely on App Annie to better understand the app market, their businesses and the opportunities around them. The company is headquartered in San Francisco with 450 employees across 15 global offices. App Annie has received $157 million in financing, including from investors such as Sequoia Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, IDG Capital Partners, e.ventures, Greenspring Associates, and Greycroft Partners.
About iPrice Group
iPrice Group is a meta-search website operating in seven countries across South East Asia namely in; Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Hong Kong. Currently, iPrice compares and catalogs more than 500 million products and receives about 20 million monthly visits across the region. iPrice currently operates three business lines: price comparison for electronics and health & beauty; product discovery for fashion and home & living; and coupons across all verticals.
This article was first published on ValueWalk.