Shopee takes over Lazada as SEA’s most popular eCommerce app

Shopee has come out as the most popular mobile eCommerce app in Southeast Asia having the most monthly active users and being the most downloaded in the third quarter of 2019.

This is according to iPrice’s recent study done in collaboration with App Annie and SimilarWeb.

MARKETING magazine spoke to Shopee on its trade secrets and interviewed its regional managing director, Ian Ho recently to get a take on how the app has managed to achieve this.

Ho said the end-goal was never about market position and the focus was always on getting the product, services, offerings and customer experience right.

“This we do by using several approaches. For example assortment and pricing. People visit a shopping mall to look for products they want and need. Similarly, we are an online shopping mall. Consumers come to Shopee because they can find the products they want and need – whether it is food, fashion, home appliances, smartphones, we have the supply.

“We also go one step further by working closely with our brands and retailers on a pricing strategy to ensure that consumers can get what they are looking for at a price point they are comfortable with.

Ho said that hyper-localisation was also a key factor.
“Despite being in seven countries across Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Shopee uses highly localised strategies across all areas of the business to capture users’ attention and ensure that the user experience is relatable and engaging. Each country has a different app, which is one of the ways that allow Shopee to create hyper-localised user experiences, resulting in nimble marketing campaigns that directly target local cultural nuances.”

Ho cited several examples in Malaysia:
We are the title sponsor of the Shopee Piala FA, a national football league, for two years in the running. This initiative has enabled us to create greater brand recall especially amongst the mass Malay market and essentially the bulk of the Malaysian market.

Shopee Celebrity Squad featuring top Malaysian celebrities such as Dato’ Seri Siti Nurhaliza (Malaysia’s Queen of Pop), Datin Hajah Fauziah Gous, Che Puan Sarimah Ibrahim, Harith Iskander (2016 Laugh Factory’s Funniest Person in the World), rising star and influencer Tyra Kamaruzzaman, Fynn Jamal and more.

To-date, Shopee has over 30 celebrities who have their official store on Shopee. Part of the celebrities’ involvement in Malaysia is also to organise meet-and-greets with their fans as well as launch parties and special appearances at Shopee events.

Shopping and entertainment, all in one App
“We have placed great emphasis on deepening user engagement through exciting and entertaining retail experience in order to deliver the very best online shopping experience that is engaging and social.

“This is done via our integrated in-app games on our platform; to-date, we have over 15 different types of games that offer exciting prizes and rewards for users including Shopee Quiz, Shopee Shake and Shopee Catch.

“Our live stream feature Shopee Live allows brands and sellers to be able to interact with their customers while the latter can watch and make purchases at the same time. Together with our celebrities, brands and partners, we bring to our users high quality live content such as the Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza mini concert presented by Shopee and SIMPLYSITI, Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) with Cristiano Ronaldo, the exciting Piala FA finals, the much anticipated Ombak Rindu The Series and more.

Free Shipping Programme
Shopee provides nationwide free shipping which makes shopping online so much more attractive.

Basically what we have been doing is simply a demonstration of our comprehensive understanding our users’ needs and wants, and response to them by catering to their demands.

As a result, we gained market leadership. The outcome is merely a pat on the shoulder for the entire Shopee team. We are happy with our achievements, but we know that we can never rest on our laurels.
Now that we have the trust and support of the market, we must challenge ourselves to maintain this momentum and serve our users better every day.

Retaining the number one position

Going forward, Ho says that Shopee will continue to harness new technologies and introduce more in-app entertainment and gamification features to create an engaging and social experience.

“But we will not forget about advertising and marketing to remain relevant and stay top of mind.We always take a 360 branding approach and utilise all channels available both offline and online to achieve maximum impact.

Shopee Ships Free

“While we are a tech company, we continue to see value in traditional advertising like newspapers, television, radio, billboards and even using flyers to complement our online marketing efforts.”

“Aside from that, we will also look at more initiatives in collaboration with brands and partners to make our platform more exciting whilst being practical in serving the needs of consumers.

“One of our newest initiatives is the Shopee Mum’s Club in partnership with Drypers, PETPET, Philip Avents, Enfagrow and Johnson & Johnson. For starters, members are rewarded with a welcome gift of choice, which includes either a pack of diapers, disposable breast pads or baby wipes.”

Members also have exclusive discounts, vouchers and content just for them.
● These deals are constantly refreshed and it addresses the markets’ needs as raising a child or children is a costly ordeal.
● By always introducing new initiatives like this, we keep our platform fresh and interesting for our users to encourage them to come back often.

Future plans

Ho said that the company plans to empower local entrepreneurs to succeed as many still lack access to the skills and knowledge to grow their businesses online.

“As logistics and payments continue to be a key concern for users, we will continue working closely with our industry partners’ to improve on these areas in order to keep up with customers’ expectations.

“We will also continue optimising the shopping experience through technology by refining our machine learning capabilities to make online shopping easier and seamless for buyers, and reduce the friction that brands and sellers face when going online.”

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