Shopee, an upstart e-commerce player in Southeast Asia, is making moves to eat into Lazada’s market share. Source: Shutterstock

Shopee moves into Lazada’s Philippine e-commerce territory

OVER THE YEARS Lazada has pretty much become a household name among online shoppers in the Philippines thanks to its role as a home to many deals and cash-on-delivery payment option that are bait for Filipino buyers. However their dominance could be challenged by a new entrant, Shopee, who is gaining ground in the country. 

The Philippines is embracing e-commerce a bit later than its Southeast Asian siblings. Back in 2015, the overall revenue for e-commerce in the country was valued at a modest US$0.5 billion per year. That’s just 0.5 percent of retail transactions in the country.

The Philippines’ e-commerce market is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, however, with eCommerceiq Asia speculating that the Philippines’ online market would likely balloon to US$10 billion by 2025, as noted in an Export.gov report.

With a significant number of Filipinos gaining access to the internet through their mobile devices, the advantages of e-commerce retailers such as Lazada and Shopee are starting to become incredibly prominent. With this in mind, however, something as established as Lazada might actually end up losing some ground to upstart firms such as Shopee.

Lazada Thailand CEO Alessandro Piscini poses after an interview with Reuters in Bangkok, Thailand. Source: Reuters

One thing that is notably different about the two online retailers is the consumer experience they provide. Based on the features of the two online retailers, Shopee does appear to be superior to Lazada when it comes to consumers’ raw shopping experience.

One thing that many Filipino shoppers are particular about is the security of their purchases. In this regard, Shopee truly shines, as customers have control when their payments are released to merchants.

Apart from this, communicating with Shopee sellers is also a breeze, thanks to the mobile application’s messaging-friendly layout.

Lazada, on the other hand, is starting to gain some reputation for being merchant-centric. The reactions of netizens in a previous Reddit AMA by a Lazada merchant, for one, showed that many customers feel rather discontented by many aspects of the online marketplace.

Online shopping in the Philippines is heating up. Source: Shutterstock.com

As of today, however, Shopee is still pretty much a growing alternative to Lazada. Its Shipping Options, for one, is still inferior to the veteran retailer. Its payment options are also more limited, as it does not have options for PayPal and credit cards.

Nevertheless, the clash between the two e-commerce firms seems inevitable. Just recently, Lazada reacted very strongly to a full IPO prospectus report released by Sea, which owns Shopee. According to the report, Shopee had 2.2 times the number of total orders of its closest competitor in the Greater Southeast Asian region, as noted in a TechInAsia report. Lazada, of course, was not pleased.

For Filipino shoppers, however, the rivalry between Lazada and Shopee is something that would likely translate to great deals and aggressive marketing strategies; and this is something that shoppers in the Philippines genuinely love.