Southeast Asia: Ecommerce Market and Top Online Marketplaces

26 May 2021
Southeast Asia: Ecommerce Market and Top Online Marketplaces

Southeast Asia is an exciting and fast-growing ecommerce region where eleven countries are flourishing and striving to improve their online influence. Although international sellers might first consider China as first on the list when expanding into Asia, Southeast Asia can soon become a gold mine for the brands and retailers that have established and consolidated their cross-border trade strategy in the region.

The Southeast Asian Ecommerce Landscape

According to the latest data from Statista, six countries in Southeast Asia are leading the way toward a profitable ecommerce ecosystem: Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. As the table below shows, these countries are rapidly affirming their presence in the global ecommerce landscape and represent a unique selling opportunity for foreign merchants.

Country Revenue growth by segment (2021) Revenue by segment (2021) User penetration
Indonesia        10.21% $38,195m 57.4%
Thailand 8.47%, $8,900m 52.3%
Vietnam                   5.67% $7,010m 52.7%
Malaysia 14.97% $5,540m 44.0%
Philippines 14.75% $4,421m 39.0%
Singapore 16.1% $2,723m 55.9%


Although the infrastructures and logistics need to mature, sellers can quickly expand and access this territory by integrating with online marketplaces, which reach an audience of 655 million people (combined population of the six countries). While Amazon and eBay are the top shopping destinations in several regions, the Southeast Asian ecommerce market is dominated by local online marketplaces that offer a product range similar to the two international giants.

In the following sections, we will explore the key characteristics and dive deeper into the seventh most popular online marketplaces in Southeast Asia, ranked by total monthly online visits by SimilarWeb.

# Name Region/Country Product Category SE Asia Visits/month
1      Shopee Southeast Asia General 197.8M
2 Lazada Southeast Asia General 161.7M
3       Tokopedia Indonesia General 72.4M
4 Bukalapak Indonesia General 26.8M
5.    Tiki Vietnam General 22.0M
6 Blibli Indonesia General 15.8M
7 Sendo Vietnam General 11.4M


#1 Shopee

Part of the Sea Group, Shopee was launched in 2014 in Singapore and has rapidly become the largest online marketplace in Southeast Asia. Recording 197.8 million monthly visits, Shopee covers the first, second, or third position in the top online marketplaces ranking of each Southeast Asian country.

As a pure-play online marketplace, Shopee only trades products from third-party sellers, providing merchants with a complete set of services, including supply, logistics and payment solutions. According to the latest Sea’s report, Shopee has recorded a $12.6 billion GMV in the Q1 of 2021, representing a 103.2% growth compared to the same period last year. 

The strength and success of Shopee come from its business strategy, which focuses on the mobile app and experience. “Both in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, Shopee ranked first in the Shopping category by average monthly active users and total time spent in the app on Android for the first quarter of 2021”.

#2 Lazada

Founded in 2012 by studio Rocket Internet and then acquired by Alibaba in 2016, Lazada is the second most popular online marketplace in Southeast Asia. The online marketplace connects over 2,500 brands, 100,000 local and international sellers and 560 million consumers.

Recording 161.7 million visits every month, Lazada is just a step behind Shopee, which has recently overtaken the latter after years covering the first place in the ranking. While Shopee has most of the online visits coming from Indonesia, Lazada has a solid following from Thailand and the Philippines, representing 23% and 22% of the traffic.

#3 Tokopedia

Launched in 2009, Tokopedia is a famous Indonesian online marketplace that records over 72.4 million visits every month. Indonesia comprises 17 thousand islands, so the marketplace has been founded with “the mission to democratise commerce through technology” by providing an efficient service that makes it easy for merchants of all sizes to access remote areas and vice versa.

Over the past few years, it has strengthened its presence in the region and secured funding from major enterprises, including Softbank and Alibaba Group. Currently, Tokopedia ranks as the third most visited shopping destination in Southeast Asia and covers first place in Indonesia.

#4 Bukalapak

With 26.8 million monthly visits, Bukalapak is the third most browsed online marketplace in Indonesia, behind Tokopedia and Shopee. Like Shopee, Bukalapak trades only third-party sellers’ products and strives to empower the Indonesian MSMEs.

Founded more than ten years ago, the marketplace boasts six million ‘Pelapak’ (meaning sellers in Indonesian), 5 million Bukalapak Partners and over 90 million active users.

#5 Tiki

Born as a start-up selling books online in 2010, Tiki has soon become a leading online marketplace in Vietnam, trading a wide range of products. Counting over 22.0 million online visits every month, Tiki is the fifth most popular site in Southeast Asia and one of the favourite shopping destinations in Vietnam.

Today, Tiki offers 10 million products from 26 categories serving millions of customers nationwide. With the motto “All for Customers”, Tiki always strives to improve the quality of its products and bring a unique shopping experience to Vietnamese customers, including a fast delivery service.

#6 Blibli

Like Tokopedia and Bukalapak, Blibli is a well-known online marketplace offering a wide range of products to Indonesian shoppers. The marketplace was launched in 2011 and has grown incrementally since then – today’s Blibli counts over 100,000 merchants selling actively on the platform and displays 17 product categories on the site.

Blibli boasts over 15.8 million monthly visits that make the marketplace cover the sixth position as a popular marketplace in Southeast Asia and the fifth in the homeland.

#7 Sendo

Alongside Tiki, Sendo gains the favour of Vietnamese buyers when it comes to shopping online. With 11.4 million visits every month, Sendo covers the third position as the most popular ecommerce site in the country and the seventh in Southeast Asia.

Founded in 2012, the marketplace has strived to improve its services and enhance the consumer shopping experience over the past few years. Today, Sendo has created an ecommerce ecosystem where 80,000 sellers trade and offer over 5 million items.

Emerging Online Marketplaces in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a flourishing and fast-growing ecommerce region where online marketplaces are increasing in number, and new emergents, such as Zalora and Qoo10, are quickly gaining the favour of local online buyers, who are gaining a first-mover advantage.

The former is a fashion marketplace founded in 2011 and currently operating in Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia, and also extends its domain in Australasia, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Qoo10 is a pure-play online marketplace based in Singapore, becoming increasingly popular in the nation and region. Currently, it counts 3 million registered loyal users, and 90% of its online visits come from the homeland.

While it’s important to have a presence on the big marketplaces, don’t underestimate the value in catering to the small, up-and-coming marketplaces too. Building a reputation early on new marketplaces will allow you to grow as the marketplace itself grows in popularity.

Trusted by major brands and retailers, Arcade Retail is a market-leading technology and service provider, which provides a flexible solution that removes the hassles of selling across international borders via online marketplaces, including Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10. Get in touch today to discover how we can make your cross-border expansion easy!

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