2018 has been a vital year for e-commerce in Southeast Asia (SEA). An updated report by Google & Temasek declared that SEA’s internet economy hits an inflection point in 2018 by garnering US$72 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV). Comparing with the other sectors in the internet economy, e-commerce has been the fastest growing sector – reaching US$23 billion in 2018 and expected to exceed US$100 billion in GMV by 2025.
As the most dynamic sector of the internet economy, e-commerce is also expected to become more saturated in the coming years – experiencing a decrease in CAGR from 62% (2015-2018) to 34% (2015-2025) in less than six years. With the bulk of users in SEA spending most of their time on mobile phones, we see more and more e-commerce players becoming a ‘mobile-first’ platform or in some cases ‘mobile-only’ – prioritising growth in the usage of their apps. Added with the swift adoption of mobile devices, improved communication infrastructure, and affordability of broadband services, e-commerce will see the addition of more players, seeking to gain a significant part of the market share. This was evident as we saw a major influx of investments into e-commerce such as Alibaba Group, pumping an additional US$2 billion into Lazada, SEA raising US$1.5 billion to fast-track Shopee’s growth as well as other players entering the scene such as JD.com, Amazon and many others.
As such, locally based e-commerce companies such as Tokopedia, Tiki, Bukalapak and others are raising their bar to stay abreast with the increased competition in the next five to ten years. Having worked with leading data providers and major e-commerce platforms across the region, we observed that although the industry and broader technology sector has experienced strong growth and received significant investments, user and especially App tracking is still nascent in SEA.
We acknowledge that available data may not paint an exact picture of actual user behaviour but rather provides a strong indication of users’ affinity towards e-commerce today. Nevertheless, our findings state a consistent message that the e-commerce sector still has much room for growth and that no clear winners have yet emerged. We also believe that the industry as a whole need to invest more resources to establish standards, grow the industry together while gaining a deeper understanding of its users.
In addition to this, we don’t believe any one player is going to win or lose SEA over the next 1-2 years, rather the question is which players have the right mindset, strategy and business models to capture the tremendous potential of the region in the next decade or so. In an effort to improve our market research and to better encapsulate consumer behaviour, we incorporated additional data on mobile e-commerce shopping apps.
Together with App Annie Intelligence, we were able to ascertain mobile e-commerce shopping applications with the highest monthly active users in Q1 2019. Complementing the mobile app data, are other vital data as well such as total visits on desktop and mobile web, social media followers and the size of their workforce.
Vital Insights on Mobile E-commerce Shopping Apps in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
Mobile applications today play a vital role in the development of e-commerce. According to a report by Google and Temasek, there are more than 350 million internet users in Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam). More importantly, more than 90% of Southeast Asians connect to the internet primarily through mobile devices.
This figure is expected to rise as smartphones become more accessible and the rapid improvements of faster and more reliable mobile telecommunication services. In addition to this, the same report by Google & Temasek stated that the internet economy will rapidly grow to become a US$240 billion industry with e-commerce as a key driving force and is estimated to garner as much as US$102 billion by the year 2025.
As e-commerce companies today are racing to realise the digital potential, we conducted a study to ascertain the leading e-commerce shopping applications of today. iPrice Group partnered with App Annie Intelligence, an app market data, and insights company to identify which e-commerce mobile shopping applications were most actively used in Q1 2019. The e-commerce shopping apps were ranked via the average monthly active users (MAU) recorded in Q1 2019.
Utilising MAU, App Annie Intelligence aggregated and ranked applications for six key markets in Southeast Asia (SEA) namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Lazada’s mobile shopping application leads with the highest average MAU in the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore. The Alibaba-backed e-commerce was amongst the top apps as well in Vietnam and Indonesia, ranking second and fourth respectively.
- Shopee, ranked first in MAU for Vietnam, second place in Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand, and third place in Singapore.
- Another prominent competitor is Tokopedia who ranks highest in average MAU in Indonesia. Tokopedia remains a prominent player as the company currently holds the biggest market share in SEA’s largest country in terms of population.
Chinese & American-based E-commerce Apps with the Highest Monthly Active Users
Across the six countries analysed, Chinese and American e-commerce mobile apps remained popular and are actively used in the region with apps such as AliExpress, Amazon, eBay, TaoBao, and Alibaba.com
- Chinese e-commerce apps such as TaoBao performed well in countries where there were more consumers proficient in the Chinese language (Mandarin). This was evident in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia where the app ranked fourth and third respectively.
- American-based e-commerce application remains highly relevant for Southeast Asians as well. Amazon was actively used in the Philippines as compared to Alibaba Group’s applications, ranking fourth above AliExpress (fifth place) and Alibaba.com (ninth place).
- In SEA, Amazon officially launched its services in Singapore in 2017 with Amazon Prime Now and currently ranks ninth place in the list of monthly actively used mobile shopping apps in the city-state.
Local E-commerce Apps with the Highest Monthly Active Users
- Other e-commerce apps which performed well in its home-country is Qoo10 (second place in Singapore), Tiki (third place in Vietnam), and 11street (fourth place in Malaysia).
- In SEA, Tokopedia is the only e-commerce mobile application which is most actively used in its home country. Recently, the Indonesian e-commerce recently received US$1 billion from existing investors, making it the most valuable startup in the country.
Vital Findings on the Most Visited E-commerce Platforms in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
Although mobile applications are an important aspect of e-commerce, e-commerce websites remain relevant to consumers as well. A study on the State of E-commerce in Southeast Asia noted that consumers were more likely to conduct purchases via desktops as compared to mobile.
- Shopee takes the reign as the most visited e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia with a total average of 184.4 million visits on desktop and mobile web as of Q1 2019.
- Lazada saw a -12% decline in total average visits when compared to the previous quarter, obtaining 179.7 million visitors in Q1 2019.
- Tokopedia (ID), Bukalapak (ID), & Tiki (VN) were the 3rd, 4th and 5th most visited e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia respectively although they were only available in a single market.
The Top Five Most Visited E-commerce Platforms in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
Total average visits on desktop and mobile web.
- Despite a -12% decline in its total average visits, Lazada remains as the most visited e-commerce platform in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore
- Apart from Indonesia & Vietnam, other locally based e-commerce platforms that performed well were Lelong (3rd in Malaysia), Argomall (4th in the Philippines), Qoo10 (1st in Singapore), and Chilindo (3rd in Thailand).
The Rivalry of Two Regional E-commerce Platforms in Southeast Asia as of Q1 2019
- Lazada experienced a decline in its overall average total visits on desktop and mobile web when compared to the previous quarter. This was probably due to the differences in marketing initiatives between the two periods (Q1 2019 – Lunar New Year Sale, Lazada Birthday Sale. Q4 2018 – 11.11 Sale, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 12.12 Sale, Xmas & Year-End Sales)
- Shopee experienced a 5% increase in its overall average total visits, primarily driven by the increased visits in Indonesia & Thailand in Q1 2019. This indicates that Shopee was able to maintain its growth momentum from the previous quarter although the first quarter of the year is considered as a non-peak period.
The Highest Ranked Mobile E-commerce Shopping Apps in Southeast Asia in Q1 2019
Ranking the top local or Southeast Asian-based mobile e-commerce shopping apps in the region.
Kindly click on one of the links below to view the data in detail for each country. We are always happy to share our insights with our clients, the press, academia and more. Should you decide to utilise our data or visuals, please attribute us by including this sentence “From the Map of E-commerce, iPrice Group, April 2019” with a hyperlink to one of these URLs: