Rahul Sachitanand
Sep 2, 2020

Shopee tops Singapore ecommerce market, Zalora struggles, Amazon's shadow looms

While homegrown platforms dominate the rankings, Amazon's numbers have rapidly risen in the past year, according to an Iprice report.

Shopee tops Singapore ecommerce market, Zalora struggles, Amazon's shadow looms

Shopee, the SEA Group-promoted ecommerce platform, has made the most of consumers being locked down in Singapore by the Covid-19 pandemic, registering a sharp increase in visitors to its platform, according to data compiled in an Iprice report. The data also show that homegrown platforms dominate four of the top five places. with Amazon the only multinational operator to break up the ranking.

Platform Total traffic in Q1 2020 Total traffic in Q2 2020 Growth Q1 - Q2 (%)
Shopee 17,890,000.00 32,640,000 82
Lazada 23,360,000.00 25,700,000 10
Qoo10 19,940,000.00 22,340,000 12
Amazon.sg 8,500,000.00 10,960,000 29
EZBuy 3,095,700.00 5,040,000 63
Courts Singapore 3,137,180.00 3,520,000 12
Zalora 3,450,000.00 2,805,350 -19
eBay 2,412,160.00 2,600,060 8
Source: SimilarWeb

Shopee's surge in visitors comes thanks in part to its many marketing initiatives designed to push value-driven shoppers during the circuit breaker period. These included its Shop From Home, 4.4 Flash Sale, Super Mart Month, 6.6 – 7.7 Great Shopee Sale and several others.

"2020 has changed the way people live, work, and shop online," Ian Ho, regional managing director for Shopee told Campaign Asia-Pacific in an interview in May. "The current situation has materially accelerated a shift to online lifestyles that is broad, deep, and irreversible."

These shifts are visible in the significant increase in the basket size for ecommerce platforms in Singapore. As the pandemic has set in and people have gotten used to being confined at home, the average size of their purchase has swelled. 

For example, average electronics basket size in Singapore has gone up from $63.67 in the first half of 2019 to $103.47, while in as the the case of home living products it has increased from $32.92 to $56.39. Sports and outdoor gear purchases saw an uptick too, with average order size going up from $24.62 to $52.39. Predicably, consumers in Singapore lost their interest in fashion, with the category seeing a 3% decline in basket size from $77.58 to $75.35. 

Overall, the report reveals that ecommerce platforms in Singapore experienced 23% growth in total web visits (desktop and mobile web) throughout the first half of 2020. Shopee saw an increase of 82% from Q1 to Q2 2020 (when the country went into lockdowns), garnering nearly an additional 5 million in average visitors in Q2 alone.

Platform Total traffic in Q2 2020 Total traffic in Q2 2019
Shopee 32,640,000 11,024,554
Lazada 25,700,000 22,561,810
Qoo10 22,340,000 21,008,974
Amazon.sg 10,960,000 421,868
EZBuy 5,040,000 3,918,889
Courts Singapore 3,520,000 2,354,016
Zalora 2,805,350 4,590,749
eBay 2,600,060 2,346,235
Source: Similarweb

For the first half of 2020, Shopee racked up 50.5 million visitors from Singapore, compared to 44.2 million in the comparable period last year. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, Shopee had 32.6 million visitors in Q2 2020, versus 22.5 million a year ago.

However, its reign was far from unchallenged. Second-placed Lazada was close behind on half year metrics, at over 49 million visitors, up from over 43 million last year. Its year-on-year quarterly numbers too rose, from 21 million to over 25 million.

Data also suggests that Shopee's growth may be flagging. After five consective months of growth between January and May 2020, from 5.46 million to 11.75 million, its numbers slipped in June to 11.17 million. Some of this slack could be attributed to Lazada holding its ground, even as Amazon begins to make deeper inroads in Singapore.

Shopee and the other Asian ecommerce labels will have Amazon looming in their rearview mirrors. Over the past 12 months, the American tech giant's presence has grown sharply in Singapore—it had over 751,467 visits in H1 2019, which climbed to over 19.4 million in the first half of this year. From just 176,198 users in June 2019, this figure grew to over 846,000 in a year. On a quarterly basis its numbers shone too; they went up from just under 422,000 in the second quarter of 2019 to nearly 11 million in the comparable period this year.

Some of Amazon's gains may be at the cost of laggard local platforms such as Zalora, which has struggled to pivot from its fashion focus to providing products suited to the pandemic and lockdown. For the first six months of 2020, its traffic was down 19% year on year, and in June it attracted fewer than a million visitors, per this data. In fact, for the second quarter its user numbers declined nearly 39%, seeing it fall from third place in the city-state to seventh.

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