Lazada and Shopee are the two biggest players in Southeast Asia’s ecommerce app market, although greater competition is leading consumers to diversify their choices, according to a new report from iPrice and AppAnnie.
The study focuses on Q1 2019 insights for six Southeast Asian markets: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore. Analysing each app’s monthly active users (MAU) in each market, iPrice and AppAnnie found Shopee and Lazada to be most successful overall.
This would seem to correlate to the huge investment both platforms have received recently, with Alibaba pumping US$2 billion into Lazada and Shopee raising US$1.5 billion in funding. However, notably, Shopee is the only app to see an increase (5%) in its overall total visits compared to Q4 2018, while Lazada saw a 12% drop.
iPrice and AppAnnie partially attribute this to the difference in marketing strategy for big sales events between the quarters, such as 11.11 and Christmas in Q4 2018 versus Lunar New Year and Lazada’s Birthday Sale in Q1 2019.
Another potential factor is the rise of more, local ecommerce apps for Southeast Asian consumers. Indonesia’s Tokopedia and Bukalapak, and Vietnam’s Tiki were the next most-visited ecommerce platforms in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019, despite only being available in their home markets. Tokopedia is the largest of the single-market apps, having recently received US$1 billion in funding from existing investors.
As for the Chinese and US apps—excluding Lazada, which Alibaba owns—their success has been moderate so far, with Taobao and its ilk doing better in Chinese-speaking nations, and Amazon performing best in the Philippines and Singapore, where the brand fully launched Amazon Prime last year.
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