Shopee: Detailed Review on Expanding your Ecommerce Business

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What is Shopee?

Shopee is a Singaporean e-commerce platform headquartered under Sea Group (previously known as Garena), which is a global consumer internet company founded in 2015 by Forrest Li. Shopee first launched in Singapore in 2015, and since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brazil. It serves users in Southeast Asia and Taiwan to buy and sell products online. Shopee presents an expansive range of products, a social community for exploration, and smooth and satisfactory services. Due to the mobile and social element built within the concept, Shopee was described as one of the “5 disruptive e-commerce start-ups we saw in 2015” by Tech In Asia.

History

In 2015, Shopee launched in Singapore as a social-first, mobile-centric marketplace where users can browse, shop, and sell on the go. Integrated with logistical and payment support, the asset-light platform aims to make online shopping easy and secure for both sellers and buyers.

Subsequently, the app-based platform launched a website to rival other fast-growing e-commerce websites in the region like Lazada, Tokopedia, and AliExpress. To differentiate itself, Shopee offers online shopping security through its own escrow service called “Shopee Guarantee”, where it withholds payment to sellers until buyers have received their orders. 

On 3 September 2019, Shopee officially opened its new six-story regional headquarters at Singapore Science Park. The new building has 244,000 square feet (22,700 m2) of space, which can accommodate 3,000 employees and is six times larger than the previous headquarters at the Ascent Building. The building was previously tenanted by WeWork in Singapore. The co-working space giant has a presence at more than 700 locations globally as of 2020. The lease was subsequently relinquished to Shopee due to its rapid expansion. By doing so, it strengthens its push into the digital economy.

What does Shopee sell?

Shopee online shopping works uniquely, adopting a pure marketplace model. This means all products sold on the site come from third-party retailers. Because it does not have its own inventory or warehousing, it uses third-party logistics companies for product deliveries.  On the other hand, Shopee does not charge commissions. There is no official information online on how exactly Shopee earns from its business. Shopee’s products retailed include men’s and women’s clothing, groceries, electronics, personal care, appliances, and more. Customers may even buy prepaid cell phone stock from Shopee.

What makes Shopee distinct from Lazada, Qoo10, Carousell?

Shopee generally offers lower prices than its main competitor Lazada, particularly on gadgets, clothes, toys, and bags. Selling cheaper items has earned Shopee the monicker “online Divisoria” among Pinoy online shopping enthusiasts. Shopee sellers can reduce their prices since they do not pay commission fees.

Lazada online shopping has a combination of retail and marketplace models. It started and continues to use a retail model in which it manages and sells inventory from its own warehouses. Eventually, it added a marketplace model, opening its doors to third-party merchants who sell their products using the e-commerce platform.

Shopee first started as primarily a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) marketplace but has since moved into both a C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) hybrid model.

Shopee partners with over 70 courier service providers across its markets to provide logistical support for its users. In Singapore, it collaborated with logistics startup, NinjaVan, for item pickup and delivery. Other delivery partners in the region include Pos Malaysia and Pos Indonesia.

Shopee, like Qoo10 and Carousell, is an interface to connect sellers with buyers. Many retailers on Shopee tend to be small enterprises and suppliers seeking to connect with a larger online customer base while Carousell usually allows individuals to sell personal used possessions like laptops, furniture, musical instruments, musical equipment, electronics online and allows sellers to arrange meet-ups with buyers to exchange their used items for the buyer’s cash on a mutually negotiated and agreed price. Qoo10 functions like Shopee by connecting small suppliers to shoppers but features more products shipped from China, Korea, Taiwan, and the USA. Qoo10 can offer prices cheaper than Shopee on many items shipped from China and Korea, especially electronics.

How to enroll as a merchant?

Firstly, do ensure that:

 To take a new photo of your product, tap the “Camera” button. To choose an existing photo from your album/gallery, tap the “Photos” button. Filters and photo editing tools are available. You can also import photos from Instagram. Up to 9 photos can be added to each listing.

Fill in the product details such as Category, Price, Stock, Variation, Weight, Shipping Fee, and Days to Ship. Don’t forget to add hashtags to your product! Tap on the”” (Android) or “Submit” (iOS) button. Your product is now listed on Shopee!

Below are the steps to list products from Seller Centre:

  1. Click on “Seller Centre” at the top left-hand corner
  2. Click on “My Product
  3. Click on “Add New Product”
  4. Insert your product name, our system will suggest the most relevant category based on your product name
  5. Insert your product details and brand.
  6. Insert your product price and stock. You may attach up to 9 pictures to your product.
  7. Finally, insert the product weight, choose which courier service you would like to use to ship this item, save the product listing, and publish.

Forms of assistance Shopee extends to merchants 

Shopee expedites payment through Seller Wallet:

1. Your Account allows the storage of money you receive from your sales proceeds made on the Platform (“Seller Wallet”). The sum of this money, minus any withdrawals, will be reflected as your Seller Wallet’s balance.  

2. You may transfer funds from your Seller Wallet (up to the amount of your Seller Wallet balance) to your linked bank account (“Linked Account”) by submitting a transfer request (“Withdrawal Request”) a maximum of once per day. Shopee may also automatically transfer funds from your Seller Wallet to your Linked Account on a regular basis, as determined by Shopee. Shopee shall only process such transfers on business days and such transfers may take up to two business days to be credited to your Linked Account. Shopee is only able to make payments to Sellers via bank transfer. Hence, Sellers are required to provide Shopee with their bank account details.

3. Sellers are entitled to one (1) free Withdrawal Request per week (“Weekly Withdrawal Limit”). Shopee may impose a fee of SGD0.20 for each additional Withdrawal Request made in excess of the Weekly Withdrawal Limit (“Withdrawal Fee”). The Weekly Withdrawal Limit and the Withdrawal Fee are subject to change at Shopee’s sole discretion. Sellers are entitled to one (1) free Withdrawal Request per week (“Weekly Withdrawal Limit”). Shopee may impose a fee of SGD0.20 for each additional Withdrawal Request in excess of the Weekly Withdrawal Limit (“Withdrawal Fee”). The Weekly Withdrawal Limit and Withdrawal Fee are subject to change by Shopee.

4. Money from your sale of items on Shopee shall be credited to your Seller Wallet within three days after the item is delivered to Buyer or immediately after Buyer has acknowledged that they have received the item.  

5. Once submitted, you may not modify or cancel a Withdrawal Request.

6. If there is an error in the processing of any transaction, you authorize us to initiate debit or credit entries to your designated bank account, to correct such error, provided that any such correction is made in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. If we are unable to debit your designated bank account for any reason, you authorize us to resubmit the debit, plus any applicable fees, to any other bank account or payment instrument that you have on file with us or to deduct the debit and applicable fees from your Seller Wallet in the future. 

7. You authorize Shopee to initiate debit or credit entries to your Seller Wallet:

Shopee publicity for merchants: Advertising

Advertising services for Sellers on Shopee:

 

Shopee fees for successful transactions

18 No-Fail Tips to Boost Your Shopee Sales

Since we have learned the history of Shopee, its benefits to merchants, how it works and why it’s a good platform for business, let’s now explore some tips to boost sales on this disruptive e-commerce platform.

Conduct Market Research

Market research answers one critical question: What products should you sell?

Here are two types of products that you can consider;

Put A Reasonable Price Tag

It’s essential to conduct market research to determine your competitors and the pricing range for their products.  Since most retailers sell the same products, an affordable lower price will set you apart from your competitors unless there are exclusive pricing criteria. 

Online customers mainly check and compare the price ranges for the same products from different retailers. Understanding customer behaviors will help you set the correct pricing for your products.  

Use Clear and Attractive Product Photos

According to Justuno, 93% of customers consider visuals in their purchasing decision. Therefore, to effectively sell goods on Shopee, use good quality photos to attract customers and bring your products to life.  It’s also essential to upload several photos to demonstrate several features of the products.

Shopee also has a decoration feature that you can utilize to improve your shop’s visuals making it more compelling and attractive to customers. Store owners can add banners, videos, contact information, brand introduction, etc. As a result, customers feel more secure, boosting your shop’s credibility.

Include A Compelling Product Description

Besides the product’s appearance, online shoppers also pay a lot of attention to product description. It should be clear and comprehensive, with details such as color, brand, size, and origin.

Here are few pointers to write a compelling product description.

Provide An Excellent Customer Service

Customers are more likely to buy more of your products if you offer excellent customer service, including timely answering their questions, offering timely delivery, and running promotional events. 

On the other hand, a business that provides terrible customer service risks being removed from the platform. Their products denied promotional features and priorities, which will affect your revenue in the long run. 

Consider incorporating these four critical elements in your customer service. 

  1. Reduce redundancies and customer friction. At the end of it all, a customer should feel that you could accurately and consistently solve their challenges. 
  2. Provide self-service options such as FAQ documentation for products or create additional documentation answering frequently asked questions. 
  3. Provide training to your customer service team to learn how to recommend your products and respond to questions regarding your product in the most authentic way. 
  4. Take customer reviews seriously by providing timely solutions.

Adhere To Shopee Rules and Regulations 

To effectively utilize and reap the long-term benefits of the Shopee platform, you have to adhere to its rules; this means following their terms and conditions to prevent your store from being suspended or, worse, closed down. 

Some Shopee violations include:

Choose Your Ideal Logistics Courier

While selling on Shopee, identify and choose delivery packages from the platform’s partners couriers. Select the ones that are beneficial to your business. Consider the below pointers;

Leverage Shopee Additional Assistance Features

The e-commerce platforms offer 100-200VNC/click, which retailers can utilize to push their products to rank higher on the search and make them stand out from the competitors. 

Shopee offers seasonal and occasional sales events that retailers can create their brand’s exclusive coupon codes to stimulate customers and orders. 

Other enterprises can join Shopee to support buyers’ shipping costs, attract more buyers, and improve customer experience services.

Participating in the Shopee program will assist in promoting the shop, reach more customers, and boosts your shop’s interactions and engagements. 

Participate In a Campaigns

Shopee runs campaigns and promotions regularly to boosts sales and customer engagements. You can also nominate your store products for free, provided they fit the requirements of the ongoing campaign.

Here is a simple process to do that: 

On Shopee > Go to Seller Centre > then Marketing Centre > My Campaigns to nominate your products.

Pro-tip: To increase your chances of being selected by Shopee administrators, ensure you have quality photos for your products, a compelling description, attractive pricing, and discounts.

Utilize Flash Sale

Qualified shops on Shopee have a flash sale feature that allows retailers to create their campaigns within the shop. It’s displayed on top of your store to encourage purchases at discounted prices. 

To utilize flash sale feature:

Go to Shopee> then Seller Centre> select Marketing Centre > Flash sale to create a new campaign, select products, pricing, and the time frame for the campaign. 

Guidelines your shop should fulfill to enable flash sale features include:

Additionally, for your products to join flash sale campaign, they must fulfill the following criteria: 

Multiple Channel Marketing

Besides utilizing Shopee Ads to promote your store, consider spreading the message across multiple platforms to boost your sales opportunities and reach more customers. 

 Some social platforms that you can consider for marketing include:

Leverage Shopee Ads

Besides free tools provided by Shopee to promote your store, you can run Ads to reach more customers. There are two types of promotion Ads:

 Easily manage your product’s content, duration, and budget for Ads in your account, My Ads section. Your ad’s performance and results will be displayed for your reference and improved targeting for subsequent ads.  

Boost Your Products

Shopee “Boost Now” feature allows retailers to boost their products to increase product views ranking them higher on Shopee search. The feature is only available in Unicart Business Gold Plus Plan and above. 

  1. While on Shopee, navigate to your Unicart Admin panel, Marketplaces, and Shopee Auto boost.
  2. Shopee’s all synced products will be displayed. Add the product you wish to boost in the Shopee seller canter into the Boost List.
  3. Navigate to the Boost List tab. Shopee boosted product status is displayed in “Boosting.” 

 You can only boost five products every 4hours. Retailers can, however, add products to the Boost List queue for consistent boosting. 

Follow Prize 

The Shopee “Follow Prize” feature allows sellers to reward customers for following their store using customized vouchers. As followers, customers can quickly get updates and make purchases from your store. 

 To enable this feature, Go to Shopee > Market Centre > Follow Prize.

 Become a Shopee preferred seller 

Potential customers visit your store more frequently if you provide outstanding offers and good customer service. Attending Shopee Preferred Seller Program distinguishes you from other sellers as an exceptional merchant. 

 Shopee marks Preferred sellers so that they can enjoy extra benefits and privileges. 

 Shopee’s monthly Preferred sellers are selected based on the below criteria.

Voucher & Discount Promotions

Voucher and product discounts serve as effective ways to increase buyers’ purchase decisions as they browse your store. There are two types of vouchers;

Go to Shopee > Marketing Centre to create, manage and limit the number of issued vouchers.

Discount promotions allow sellers to drop their product prices for some time to increase awareness of the product. Ensure you have the correct discount limit to avoid bulk buying and enter the correct time frame.

Shopee utilizes discount offerings and promotions in occasional events to boost sales and increase traffic on eCommerce marketplaces. 

Shopee Top Picks

Top Picks is a feature that assists sellers in promoting their products better.  It is one of the most popular Shopee boost sales tips that enhance coverage of the brand image. The stores can create a collection of up to 8 products that they can recommend to buyers. 

 When buyers browse your shop, products from this collection are featured, increasing customer reach and conversion rate.

 To access the Top Picks feature: 

Go to Shopee > Seller Centre > Marketing Centre > Top Picks from the shop. 

Shopee Bundle Deal 

Using the Shopee bundle deal feature, you can create product bundles with discounted offers to attract more customers. It makes it easy to mix and match products and select your preferred discount type. There are three common types of product bundles: 

 In addition to the above tips, you can check out more Shopee services such as Boxme, a multichannel management solution that you can easily integrate with all your existing resources. It enables worldwide merchants to sell their products online in this region without establishing a local presence. 

Shopee’s Marketing Strategy

Reasons Shopee is a good platform for small businesses to sell their wares

With around 90 percent of the Southeast Asian population accessing the internet through their smartphones, Shopee’s mobile-first approach has been an eminent reason for Shopee’s growth over the years.

Within 4 years, Shopee has successfully managed to establish the hold above the other marketplaces. The second-largest eCommerce marketplace in the region, Shopee, purveyed around 147.6 million monthly visits record in June 2018.

Shopee’s growth is the result of its dynamic work module and strategic expansion plan in the Southeast Asian region. Its presence over the social media channels and user-friendly languages have made it more popular among buyers. The ease of selling draws, attracts accumulating, growing sellers to sell on its platform.

Shopee has grown over the years at a rapid pace and has acquired the Southeast Asian market swiftly. With e-commerce popping up as the new trend in the Southeast Asian region, Shopee is to reach new heights in the coming years.

Reviews of Shopee

Although all online shopping sites provide great deals, Shopee generally offers lower prices than its competitors, particularly on gadgets, clothes, toys, and bags. Selling cheaper items has earned Shopee the monicker “online Divisoria” among Pinoy online shopping enthusiasts. Shopee sellers can reduce their prices since they do not pay commission fees.

For example, an iPhone X (64GB) currently costs PHP 58,989 at Lazada.

But an iPhone X with the same spec’s costs PHP 49,500 at Shopee. The price difference is substantial at PHP 9,489.

There are other reasons why Shopee is a more cost-saving option for online shoppers. For example, some of its sellers offer discounts to customers who buy in bulk. Customers can even haggle cheaper prices with sellers through Shopee chat. Wholesale suppliers offer competitive warehouse prices on Shopee.

Some merchants on Shopee sell second-hand or pre-loved items, providing affordable options for shoppers.

Shopee has a Lowest Price Guaranteed feature that allows customers to claim 120% of the price difference (in Shopee Coins, which can be used to get discounts on next orders) if they find the same product with a lower price.

Avenues for customers get redress for issues (such as shipping, faulty, product not as described)

Phone call at +65 6206 6610 (Monday to Sunday – 8.00am until 10:00pm) including Public Holidays

Live Chat via Shopee App (Monday to Sunday – 8:00 am until 2:00 am)

Future of Shopee

By the beginning of 2019, Shopee was the clear leader in Southeast Asia’s E-commerce mobile shopping.

Despite entering the market significantly after Lazada, Shopee has been able to rise in the ranks faster than any other player and even eclipsed Lazada in site visits during 2019.

With regards to Shopee, the company can provide a customized online shopping experience to both buyers and sellers across different markets. 

This is where engagement comes in, which Shopee has innovated for the South East Asian context.

As Shopee shows, though, the future of commerce is social. 

Shopee’s GMV run rate is ~$18Bn, higher than even Flipkart and Amazon. While it has a much lower take rate – or revenue as a % of GMV, it demonstrates the size of the opportunity it is tapping through a different model.

Through live feeds, interactive shopping, and increased engagement, winning the Indian E-commerce consumer will come down to who can provide the immersive end-to-end experience. By tapping into the habits of bargaining, bartering in Asia, Shopee has replicated noisy “bazaars” on users’ smartphones. It has reinvented e-commerce in South East Asia, and after being a runner-up, it may well ascend to first place. 

 

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