The Philippines has one of the biggest populations in Southeast Asia and its eCommerce market plays a vital role in that of ASEAN.
While sellers can solely sell in China alone and make great profits, one often has to sell in multiple Southeast Asian markets.
Luckily, many websites are present in most ASEAN markets, allowing you to list products in up to six countries, or even more.
We have written several other articles, explaining top eCommerce websites in places like Korea, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
In this article, we analyze the Philippines’ eCommerce market and review the most popular marketplaces, which countries they are available in, what sets them apart, and more. Let’s get started.
Shopee has surpassed Lazada and is currently the biggest eCommerce marketplace in Southeast Asia.
It mainly excels thanks to its superior shipping and customer service, resulting in a steady upward trajectory of new buyers and sellers.
The website was launched as late as 2015 and one of China’s largest tech companies, Tencent Holdings, has almost a 40% in Sea, who owns Shopee.
Despite being introduced just a few years back, Shopee has expanded to multiple markets, including Singapore, Taiwan ROC, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Korea.
It also has plans to expand to the Southamerican market.
Costs of selling on Shopee
One of the benefits of selling on Shopee is the low setup fees and the ease of getting started. There are many guides and tutorials available online and cross-border sellers can open a store with just a few hundred US dollars.
Running the store is also comparatively cheap and Shopee doesn’t charge any commissions on sales made. You don’t pay any shipping fees generally either. Instead, Shopee makes most of its money from advertising.
This might change in the future as the eCommerce market landscape becomes more competitive and additional revenue streams are needed.
Shipping & Fulfillment
Shopee has in-house fulfillment and shipping services, making it convenient for sellers to use the marketplace.
The fulfillment services are referred to as Fulfillment By Shopee (FBS) and they manage your storage and pick and pack.
They can also help with the shipping to your country of destination. Unfortunately, FBS isn’t as widely promoted as Lazada’s fulfillment services but only dedicated to certain sellers. Examples include top-selling brands.
Lazada was one of the first eCommerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia, founded in 2012. Rocket Internet was the creator of the website, which was later sold to Alibaba Group.
Lazada is undoubtedly one of the biggest platforms in Asia, available in multiple countries.
At the time I’m writing this article, Lazada is available in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Contrary to Shopee, it’s not available in Korea or Taiwan.
From my personal experience, Lazada has the widest product assortment, particularly when it comes to Western-branded products.
Thanks to the concept of LazMall stores, brand-owners can open stores that assure 100% authenticity, superior returns services, and more.
Examples of brands that have LazMall stores include Nike, Adidas, Huggies, Philips, Bioderma, and Watsons. Many sellers decide to use both Shopee and Lazada when reaching Southeast Asian clients, thanks to the low costs.
Costs of selling on Lazada
Worth mentioning is that it’s slightly more expensive to sell on Lazada as they pocket commissions of around 1% to 4%.
On LazMall, the rates can reach up to 5%. Luckily, you won’t have to work with expensive Tmall Partners though that can charge additional commissions in the tens of percent.
Shipping & Fulfillment
Lazada offers both fulfillment and shipping services to your country of destination. The fulfillment services are found in Hong Kong and managed by Timeslogistics. They take care of the inbound, storage, and pick & pack.
Later, sellers use Lazada’s own dedicated shipping services called Lazada Global Shipping to deliver the products to all Asian markets. This allows for lower rates and convenience.
Amazon is one of the biggest eCommerce websites in the world and was founded as early as 1994.
Despite being popular in many Western countries, it’s not commonly used in Asia. Examples of countries where Amazon has a minor or no presence include China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Amazon pioneered the eCommerce fulfillment industry by introducing concepts such as Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA), as well as anticipatory shipping that is patented by the company.
While Amazon is present in the Philippines, it’s not as popular as Shopee and Lazada. For some reason, the company had difficulties in gaining ground in Asian markets and even decided to leave China completely a few years back.
It’s easy to start selling on Amazon and you should have a look at the marketplace if you’re serious about selling in the Philippine market. This is particularly the case if you sell in Western markets and are used to the Amazon ecosystem.
Carousell is an Asian eCommerce marketplace that isn’t as well-known as Lazada and Shopee. Having said that, it’s widely popular in Singapore, where it’s also headquartered.
In addition to Singapore and the Philippines, Carousell is available in Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Yet, the company only has around 200-500 employees in total.
Compared to other marketplaces, buyers can also get access to both new and second-hand products here.
The product categories available on Carousell include
- Cars & Property
- Home & Living
- Electronics & Mobiles
- Hobbies & Games
In addition to the above, you can also find jobs and services on the platform. For more information, I recommend you check the website directly.
Zalora was founded in 2012, the same year as Carousell and Lazada, by Kinnevik and Rocket Internet. The website focuses on fashion products and is available in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Brunei.
Due to the limited product categories, Zalora is not an optimal choice for all sellers. Thus, we won’t go into greater detail in this article.
Examples of brands that can be found on Zalora include Michael Kors, Celine, Gucci, and Longchamp.