Shopee Malaysia to hit 1mil users ahead of target
By Goh Thean Eu March 31, 2016
- Attributes growing traction to focus on security and fraud
- Has more than 500K users, up from 200K at official launch
MOBILE marketplace company Shopee Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a unit of Singapore-based consumer Internet platform provider Garena Online, is claiming that it will hit its target of one million users in the country, ahead of its year-end target.
Shopee Malaysia’s consumer-to-consumer (C2C) services were available since last June and officially launched at the end of last year. At the time, it said it had 200,000 users, a number which has grown to 500,000 today.
“We are way ahead of our target to hit one million users by year-end,” Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho (pic) told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.
According to Ho, one of the reasons why it has gained traction faster than expected is the company’s focus on fraud and security.
“Fundamentally, I think we answered the unmet needs that our competitors were not performing well in.
“Fraud and transaction risk are common issues in existing C2C platforms, seriously compromising the benefits of online shopping and the user experience.
“We hope to change that by being a secure and hassle-free marketplace,” he declared.
Ho conceded that Shopee users have reported several cases of attempted fraud on the platform, but claimed that it is “not aware of anyone getting scammed while transacting on Shopee so far.”
“This is due to several factors, including providing a secure payment gateway that eliminates transaction risks, upholding a rigorous screening process, and ensuring that items listed on Shopee are of high quality,” he said.
“We also … work closely with leading logistics providers to ensure reliable and efficient end-to-end deliveries for our users,” he added.
Another factor that helped Shopee gain traction is its localisation strategy, according to Ho.
“Shopee’s products are localised and customised for each market, hence we respond to local needs much better and faster,” he said, adding that ‘one-solution-for-all’ platforms cannot cater to this.
Ho said that Shopee also recently rolled out Malay-language support that would allow it to reach a wider audience.
Understanding customer demand
Shopee competes with several players in the C2C space, including established companies like Mudah.my and startups like Carousell. In some ways, it also competes with business-to-consumer platforms like 11street.my.
Given the intense competition that saw even Japanese giant Rakuten vacating the space in South-East Asia, how will Shopee ensure it is in it for the long haul?
Ho believes that Shopee can remain relevant by helping its sellers – from individuals to SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and large distributors – become successful.
“We are continuing to improve our Seller Assistance Guide, which guides individuals on how to manage their retail business on our platform,” he said.
“Sellers can use it to easily organise their inventory, manage their buyers, measure their income, and evaluate their store’s performance.
“This guide is free to use, which means the cost of capital is kept low for individuals who want to start a business, yet sophisticated enough for businesses with larger requirements,” he claimed.
For now, users can sell their products without any listing fee, and Shopee has no immediate plans to charge such a fee.
“Our focus now is to build on user engagement and help all sellers on the platform grow and be sustainable in their markets as we strive to become the leading C2C platform in the region,” Ho declared.
Currently, Shopee is available in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
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