Top e-commerce platforms in Asia
Last year we saw a significant increase in e-wallets, automated retail stores, and stronger omnichannel integration. ‘Click and collect’ also were on the rise, and showrooming – where people visit physical stores before buying products online – become more popular.
This year with millions of people locked up in their houses due to COVID-19 the e-commerce scene saw a huge increase in popularity.
Compared to the rest of the world Asia’s e-commerce scale and growth rate certainly stand out. China alone is the world’s biggest e-commerce market and with an annual growth rate of 35%, by 2020 it is set to be larger than the USA, Japan, the UK, Germany, and France combined.
To showcase the dramatic rise of Asia’s e-commerce, we can simply look at the current world ranking of the most popular websites: China’s Tmall is third in the list, ahead of both Facebook and Baidu, and 11 places higher than Amazon. But China is not the only country in the list to lead the digital transformation, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, or Vietnam are also growing exponentially.
Source: Alexa “The top 500 sites on the web”
Let’s take a look at the most important platforms across the region.
Alibaba Group and Tmall
The Chinese giant covers approximately 80% of online sales in China and operates a huge number of successful e-commerce platforms such as AliExpress, TMall, and Taobao, which cater to the needs of different segments from suppliers to end customers.
Alibaba Group has also recently launched Luxury Soho, a platform that aims at dealing with the stock surplus of luxury brands.
Tmall is a B2C marketplace, with roughly 500 million users and 40,000 sellers. The platform sells branded goods to customers in China as well as neighboring countries. Tmall does not simply connect buyers with sellers but offers a wide range of services for merchants, such as warehouse, logistics, listings management, marketing activities, etc. The platform does not allow every merchant to register and goes through a tedious process to verify the legitimacy of the brands. It is also worth noting that Tmall deals only with brands with a physical presence in China. Brands without a presence in China sell their products on Tmall Global (another platform owned by the group).
Some of the western brands selling on Tmall are Burberry, Zara, Disney, L’Oréal, Adidas, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Gap, Ray-Ban, and Levi’s.
JD.com is the second-largest Chinese B2C marketplace with more than 300 million users, and operations also in Spain, Russia, and Indonesia.
The platform allows foreign companies to sell directly to Chinese customers and it stands out due is its next-generation logistics with drone and robot deliveries.
On JD customers can buy everything from electronic appliances to luxury handbags.
Lazada is the biggest e-commerce website in Southeast Asia, also owned by Alibaba Group. It operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and has over 50 million visitors a month. The product offering ranges from electronics to household goods and fashion. Additionally, is the most followed online platform on social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Zalora is an online fashion marketplace aimed at customers based in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It offers an extensive collection of top international and local brands, as well as in-house labels across apparel, shoes, and accessories for men and women. The company is big on using its internal data to personalize customers’ experience and allow merchants to adjust their campaigns in real-time.
Shopee is one of the leading mobile e-commerce platforms in Southeast Asia and operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. With more than 2 billion visitors across the region, Shopee was the second most visited e-commerce platform in 2019.
The portal features thousands of products with brands like Timberland, Superga, Fila, Calvin Klein, and many others.
With its highly populated countries and rapidly emerging economies, Asia is growing into one of the world’s most important regions for e-commerce. However, it is important to note that the online retail industry moves and mutates very quickly. A trend to watch out in the upcoming years is certainly the further pick up of the social commerce market – to buy goods via social platforms. China is currently leading this trend and the young and tech-savvy population with high social media usage of Asia make it the perfect place for the proliferation of this trend.
Reach out to us if you wish to know more about taking your brand on tmall or how to strategically expand in Asia. Email to: email@example.com