Despite having a comparably small population, eCommerce is big in Taiwan and foreign sellers can reap great yields by selling the right products with the right marketing tactics.
Compared to mainland China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, many sellers have little knowledge about the Taiwanese eCommerce market. What are the biggest eCommerce websites? What products are popular? Do I have to converse and translate product listings to Chinese?
These are just a handful of questions that are typically asked among foreigners who want to enter the Taiwanese market. In this article, we list the most popular eCommerce websites in Taiwan and what makes them unique. Let’s get started with the biggest one.
Shopee was founded as late as 2015 and is primarily focusing on Southeast Asian markets. Taiwan is one of a few markets located outside Southeast Asia and where Shopee is available under the domain Shopee.tw. Korea is the only exemption.
At the moment, you can find Shopee in the following markets:
- Singapore (Shopee.sg)
- Malaysia (Shopee.com.my)
- Thailand (Shopee.co.th)
- Vietnam (Shopee.vn)
- Indonesia (Shopee.co.id)
- Philippines (Shopee.ph)
- Taiwan (Shopee.tw)
- Korea (Shopee.kr)
Thus, cross-border sellers typically choose Shopee as their go-to website in addition to Lazada. Why? Because the websites attract a vast amount of buyers from all over Asia.
What makes Shopee so popular is primarily thanks to the wide product assortment, free shipping, and ease of start selling on the website. Compared to Lazada, there are significantly more C2C sellers on Shopee.
Over the years, Shopee has rolled out sophisticated shipping and fulfillment solutions, including Fulfilled-by-Shopee (FBL) which is primarily used among top-sellers or sellers that lack fulfillment capabilities.
So, contrary to Lazada that pushes sellers to use Fulfillment-by-Lazada (FBL), Shopee sellers typically have to find fulfillment and shipping services on their own.
If you want to know more about how it works when selling on Shopee, I recommend you to read our separate article that explains all the details.
Taiwan often follows trends to that of Japan, it’s not strange as it’s culturally similar to the latter one. Both Yahoo! Shopping is widely used in both Japan and Taiwan, something that is not typically seen in other places.
Another Japanese website that is widely used in Taiwan eCommerce is Ruten. In short, it’s an online auction website, similar to that of Auction.co in Korea. While online auctions have become popular in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, it’s not common in other Asian eCommerce markets.
Recently, Ruten started collaborating with eBay and launched as many as 13 million products on Ruten.com. The main goal is to make more American products for Taiwanese buyers, for example.
Besides, recently the website started to collaborate with Rakuten and by integrating their cross-border e-commerce platforms. Ruten is a website to count by in Taiwan, even if it primarily serves the Japanese and Taiwanese markets only.
In 2018, Ruten saw transactions that surpassed NTD 8 billion during the Double 11 festival, which is impressive. Together with Shopee.tw and Taobao.com, Ruten is claimed to be the biggest eCommerce website.
Momoshop is rarely heard of among foreign eCommerce sellers, but the website has managed to grasp great market shares in Taiwan. It is a leading apparel & fashion company and has the vision to build a robust eCommerce ecosystem to create life-changing experiences for sellers and buyers alike.
Here, you can find many kinds of products, including home appliances, electronics, furniture, clothes, tourism services, computers, and more.
According to MIC, Momoshop is the second-biggest eCommerce platform, only behind Shopee:
- Shopee (48.7%)
- Momoshop (26.7%)
- PChome 24 (18.6%)
- Yahoo! Auctions app (18.4%)
Taobao Taiwan used to be one of the biggest eCommerce websites, but they decided to close down in late 2020 due to a registration row with the mainland. The background is that the government told Taobao Taiwan to register as a Chinese company to comply with regulations.
As such, Taobao will no longer be one of the biggest eCommerce marketplaces in Taiwan.
Yahoo! Taiwan Shopping
Yahoo! Shopping is predominantly big in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, but with little market shares elsewhere. Yahoo! Offers both a website for regular shopping and one for shopping. The first one is called Yahoo! Auctions and accounts for 18.4% of the market.
The other website is called Yahoo! Shopping Taiwan and accounts for 17.9% of the market, thus being slightly smaller than the auction site. In fact, auctions become increasingly popular in the East Asian region, something that might spread to other markets.
The website offers cross-border sales services to merchants based in both Hong Kong and Taiwan, meaning that sellers can ship products between the two.
PCHome is by far one of the biggest eCommerce platforms in Taiwan that struggled much in 2017 but managed to move from being a loss-making venture to becoming one of the most popular ones.
PCHome was established as early as 1998 and currently has around 4.6 million members, They ship to as many as 105 countries, meaning that you’re not limited to living in Taiwan.
Worth mentioning is that Ruten is a subsidiary of PCHome, therefore, the company has a large share of the Taiwanese eCommerce market. The company has also signed up for a strategic partnership with the Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten.
Thanks to its wide selection of payment options, the company has managed to attract even more customers. Mobile payment services Apple Pay, Google Pay, Line Pay, Samsung Pay and Pi Mobile all work with PCHome.
Below I have included some commonly asked questions and our replies.
Which products are popular in Taiwan?
We see a particularly high demand for the following products:
- Beauty and skincare
- Computers and accessories
- Grocery, food, and beverage
- Household goods
- Media products and videogames
- Mother and baby products
- Shoes, bags, and collectibles
- Travel packages, hotels, and flights
Which markets does Taiwan primarily import products from?
Taiwan primarily imports products from Mainland China (72.7 percent), Japan (40.1 percent), and the United States (22.9 percent).
Do I have to list my products in Chinese if I sell in Taiwan?
Yes, traditional Chinese is predominantly used in Taiwan and sellers have to translate product listings to and provide customer support in Chinese. For more information about specific websites, I recommend you to contact them separately.