South East Asia’s Most Visited E-commerce Platforms of the Year
- 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 on desktop and mobile web of South East Asia’s top 10 e-commerce platforms grew at an average 53% in 2018
2018 has been really significant for e-commerce in South East 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 conducted a study to find out who were the top players in the region, the competition and point out the most interesting developments of 2018. To derive our findings, we analysed consumer search patterns on Google and total visits on desktop and mobile web on SimilarWeb on Malaysia’s top e-commerce platforms. Utilising data from SimilarWeb, we also analysed the most visited (desktop and mobile web) e-commerce companies on the regional level. E-commerce platforms featured in this study were chosen based on their performance on our study on the Map of E-commerce. All data on the total visits on desktop and mobile web in this study were taken from global traffic figures from the respective websites.
Uptrend Growth in South East Asia’s top 10 E-commerce Platforms
We calculated the percentage of growth of the total visits on desktop and mobile web by the company between January and November 2018 and saw that the 10 top e-commerce platforms in South East 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web to overtake Tokopedia and reduced Lazada’s preeminent position by 66% in its total total visits on desktop and mobile web.
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 total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 only available in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Lazada is a regional player with consumers from 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 on Desktop and Mobile Web between January and November 2018
By comparing the percentage of growth in total visits on desktop and mobile web 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 South East 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 total visits on desktop and mobile web.
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.