The e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia has developed rapidly and has become an important driving force in the digital economy.

    According to the 2018 Southeast Asia Digital Economy Annual Report jointly released by Google and Singapore's sovereign investment fund Temasek, it is estimated that by 2025, the Internet economy in Southeast Asia will exceed US$240 billion. Among them, the e-commerce industry has exceeded US$23 billion in 2018 and is expected to exceed US$100 billion by 2025.

    The growth of the Internet economy has largely benefited from the growth of Internet access devices, especially mobile devices. In Southeast Asia, increased network connection speeds and lower mobile data costs have attracted about 3 million new Internet users per month.

    As of June 2018, there were more than 350 million Internet users in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, an increase of 90 million since 2015.

    As more and more Southeast Asians are able to access the Internet, their familiarity and trust in e-commerce will be a key factor in the development of the e-commerce industry in the next few years.

    The following is the experience of Southeast Asia market e-commerce platform Shopee to create e-commerce platform and community, start-ups can use these experiences to give full play to the growth potential of the e-commerce industry and win the Southeast Asian market.

    1. Localized user experience

    The more you learn about Southeast Asia, the more you will find that the region is pursuing the “mobile first” principle. Southeast Asia has skipped several generations of technology and started to use mobile phones to go online.

    Since more than 90% of Southeast Asians go online primarily through smartphones, Shopee must adopt a highly localized strategy for businesses in all areas to attract the attention of Southeast Asian users, thus ensuring the relevance and appeal of the user experience.

    Developing different applications for each country is one of the ways to achieve a highly localized user experience, so that Shopee can flexibly carry out marketing activities based on cultural differences in each market.

    Case study

    Shopee's regional marketing campaigns use localized strategies and products to cater to local preferences.

    For example, in Shopee's Double Twelve Promotions, different event ambassadors were selected in different countries.

    The event ambassador in Vietnam is Bui Tiến Dũng, a popular football player in the area. The event ambassador in the Philippines is Jose Mari Chan, who is nicknamed “Santa Claus in the Philippines” by locals. In Thailand, because of the popularity of the Korean Wave, Shopee chose Bambam, a Thai singer who developed in Korea, as the spokesperson for the Thai Double Twelve event.

    This not only facilitates the high localization of Shopee's sales activities, but also attracts fans of these spokespersons and becomes a loyal user of Shopee.

    Shopee also hosted fan gatherings, live concerts, and live broadcasts on social media platforms to further interact with users.

    2, attract users to participate

    All brands and apps want to win the attention of users.

    However, it is not enough to get the attention of users. As an experiential e-commerce platform, Shopee also wants to maintain the user's participation.

    According to a study by App Annie, a mobile app market data analytics company, there is a strong correlation between the time users spend on shopping apps and e-commerce sales.

    Therefore, the time users spend on the application is an important measure of e-commerce sales. It is for this reason that e-commerce companies will customize the in-app experience for consumers.

    These e-commerce platforms hope to use the elements of application gamification, time-limited snapping, category and product curation to enhance the entertainment and personalization of the platform, so as to attract users to continue to participate.

    Shopee first understands the preferences and motivations of users in the region, and then takes a holistic, multi-channel approach from in-app activities to regional and local event ambassadors to engage users.

    case study

    Shopee found that users in Southeast Asia like to play the “cut food/fruit” game on their mobile phones, so Shopee created the Shopee version of the “cut food/fruit” game and localized it so that users in every market in Southeast Asia Both can enjoy their unique local version of the game.

    For example, Shopee created the Shopee Chop-Chop Curry Pok in the Singapore version. On the local Superbrand Day, users must cut down the curry puffs – a snack that locals often eat. The Indonesian version created Shopee Potong, which means “sliced” in Indonesian.

    Shopee also introduced another in-app game: Shopee Quiz, and invited local celebrities from different countries to host the test, making it an interactive and social experience for Shopee users.

    This is a combined strategy of localization and deeper user engagement.

    Leveraging what consumers are familiar with and creatively adding them to in-app games allows local users to spend more time on the app, driving additional browsing and buying.

    3. Listen to the opinions of users through feedback

    Regardless of the industry, it’s important to put users first, because the entire online experience is based on user preferences.

    Companies often collect user data to continuously improve the online experience, making consumers more satisfied and expected to become repeat customers.

    Active review based on user comments helps the platform to improve its functions and services, and to better meet the needs of users.

    case study

    For example, Shopee's live chat feature has been improved with user feedback.

    The previous live chat feature does not support simultaneous processing of multiple tasks, causing the session to time out and the user having to reopen the conversation. Shopee listened to user comments, updated the chat feature to support multitasking, and introduced additional push notifications to remind users of ongoing chats.

    This “feedback—improvement” process is possible because of a strong feedback loop between Shopee and its user community.

    In the fast-paced and vibrant e-commerce industry, the relevance and importance of data is self-evident in identifying consumer behavior and buying patterns. Combining cutting-edge technology with the resulting data from Shopee helps Shopee better plan and optimize the buyer and seller user experience.

    This combination also helps Shopee understand user needs ahead of time and helps Shopee's sellers manage inventory and logistics when expected orders surge.

    In addition, Shopee also uses artificial intelligence technology in modules such as recommendation engines in the application to alert users to relevant products based on their past browsing and purchasing patterns.

    in conclusion

    With the development of technology and the popularity of online behavior, e-commerce companies must not stop at providing a trading platform for users, but should continue to create greater value for users.

    The founders of e-commerce companies need “my provinces and three provinces” to think about whether their products can be connected with users, whether they can interact with users, whether they can listen to users and improve them.


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