Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Sea Limited, the parent company of Shopee, was founded in 2009. It started out as online gaming company Garena, and it didn’t jump into e-commerce only until 2015.
Shopee was launched in 2012, and Lazada was already a leading e-commerce platform in the region when Shopee first entered the market.
However, Shopee quickly went from being a new entrant to taking the crown as the most-visited e-commerce platform in Singapore by the second quarter of 2020.
The company saw an 82 per cent increase in the number of users from the first to second quarter of 2020, gaining nearly an additional five million in average visitors.
The surge in the number of visits was also potentially driven by its strong promotional efforts through initiatives such as the 4.4 flash sale and Super Mart Month during the circuit breaker period.
Although Shopee was a latecomer to the game, we take a look at how it has managed to overtake Lazada and climbed its way to be the top in Singapore.
According to a study by Google and Temasek, SEA’s average usage of mobile internet is the highest among regions (3.6 hours per person a day).
Shopee also noted that mobile — not desktop — is the main battleground for e-commerce in the future. Moreover, app users tend to be more loyal and spend more money per order than web users.
In fact, Shopee observed last year a 40 per cent increase in the time users spent in-app per week. This is a testament to Shopee’s ability to provide more than just transactional shopping experiences.
If you need assistance to get your shop onboard the e-commerce platform, you can book a session with our consultant
In the third quarter of 2020, Shopee continued to record strong momentum, as it ranked first in the Shopping category by downloads, average monthly active users, and total time spent in-app on Android in SEA and Taiwan, according to App Annie.
Campaigns Featuring Relatable Icons Shopee’s 9.9 shopping event in 2019 featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Baby Shark saw three times more orders than the year before.
The soccer star was seen dancing to a remix of the viral children’s song while swiping on Shopee’s mobile app in the company’s advertising campaign.
It may be cringe-worthy for some, but it turned out to be a viral hit with thousands of people sharing the video all across the region.
Last year, Shopee’s campaign featured mascot Phua Chu Kang, with his familiar Singlish accent as he banters with viewers and urges them not to miss the good deals on the campaign’s online and offline channels.
It’s clear that Shopee’s campaign strategy is to use relatable brand ambassadors in order to stand out from other e-commerce players, thereby drawing more traffic and sales to them.
Shopee Adopted Lazada’s Tactics And Did Even Better
Lazada saw the success of in-app entertainment features by parent company Alibaba and rolled out ‘Laz Live’ in June 2019, allowing sellers and invited hosts to conduct live streaming shows to engage with their users.
Termed ‘Shoppertainment’ by Lazada, this feature was launched in Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
In the same month, Shopee also launched the same feature. Theirs is called Shopee Live, and covered the same markets as Lazada as well as other markets.
Shopee did not stop there. Taking it a step further, they launched ‘Shopee Quiz’ together with their livestreaming function.
An interactive game show, ‘Shopee Quiz’ is hosted by familiar faces of local influencers.
To gain more traffic, they gave away Shopee Coins and multiple products from participating brands as well as allowed users to invite participants.
Subsequently, they also introduced Shopee Feed, which replicated the ‘Instagram experience’ on Shopee, allowing brands to hold giveaways, and enabling users to comment and ‘like’ posts.
The user interface is well-designed and user-friendly, featuring specially curated posts by brands and gave more credibility to the site.
Lazada had also launched a similar feed function back in early 2019, but it did not gain much traction. The user interface was not as intuitive, and the posts seemed like they were AI generated.
This, as a result, could have deterred customers from using the function.
In order to build brand loyalty and create memorable experiences for users, Shopee’s business model focuses a lot on hyperlocalised activities to cater to the demands of each market.