Over the past four years, Shopee has gone from a fast-rising star in the Southeast Asian eCommerce sphere to being every bit the equal of rival marketplace Lazada. Since its launch in 2015, Shopee has experienced explosive success throughout the region, rapidly growing to best Lazada in some countries while putting up a good fight in others. The platform began as a mobile-focused, C2C-oriented marketplace, but now posts strong numbers from desktop buyers and from its B2C side. Just like its biggest rival, Shopee charges no setup fees for new sellers, and so the platform presents a good opportunity for brands looking to sell online in Southeast Asia.
Shopee currently operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Taiwan. Shopee also allows cross-border sellers to sell from mainland China and Hong Kong. Shopee is the top eCommerce marketplace (judged by monthly traffic) in Vietnam and Malaysia; is second place to Lazada in both the Philippines and Thailand; is second place to Tokopedia in the Philippines; and is third place behind Lazada and Qoo10 in Singapore.
One of the strongest parts of Shopee’s branding early on was its Shopee Guarantee, which withholds payment from the seller until the item is registered as having arrived with the buyer. This helped local buyers throughout Southeast Asia to trust that sellers on the platform were genuine and would act in good faith, and returns and refund policies that are both transparent and fair helped further solidify this trust in the platform and sellers.
Setting Up a Store on Shopee
To set up as a domestic seller on any of Shopee’s regional sub-platforms, you will need to be a registered business entity in the relevant country. It is also important to note that if you are an existing business that has already sold on other platforms in the past (or are currently doing so), you will need to prove that you sell or have sold 50 different products on said other platforms.
To set up as a cross-border seller you will need to be a registered business entity in either mainland China or Hong Kong, as Shopee does not permit cross-border sellers from other territories at present. Like with domestic sellers, cross-border sellers who already sell products on other platforms must prove that they have a minimum range of products – though for cross-border sellers this minimum is 100 rather than 50.