Three companies have consistently dominated the Philippine e-commerce market for the last two years since iPrice Group tracked e-commerce platforms’ monthly web visits and social media following in 2017: Lazada, Shopee, and Zalora.

Lazada scored a total average visit (desktop and mobile web) of 25,652,100 during the first quarter of the year, followed by Shopee with 15,373,900 and Zalora with 1,669,400. Argomall and eBay rounded up the top five list with 1,290,500 and 896,900 desktop and mobile web visits, respectively.

Lazada, Shopee and Zalora also emerged on top in a research done by iPrice Group in partnership with app analytics firm App Annie Intelligence on the most visited mobile applications in Q1 2019.

The question is why? And, perhaps, more importantly, how?

Lazada reigns supreme

While it is no surprise that Lazada’s hefty backing from giant Chinese company, Alibaba, has put it at an advantage in terms of having a solid war chest to support business strategies, the key to the company’s success lies in its ability to innovate and quickly adapt to its clients’ needs.

Lazada’s performance and its recent initiatives suggest that it understands its consumers: a fun, youthful generation adept in technology, constantly connected via social media, and always on the go.

To reach this market in the Philippines, the e-commerce company launched LazMall, in a bid to draw more attention to its mobile app with attractive shopping and entertaining content.

Launched in August 2018, we believe this additional feature played a pivotal role in helping it achieve the top spot in the country both in terms of total visits on desktop (and mobile web) and with the highest monthly active users on its app.

Harnessing the power of digital technology and pop culture appeal, Lazada created in-app games, i.e. Fruit Slash, Birthday Blast and Popping Balloons to keep users entertained for its week-long 7th birthday celebrations last March.

Winners were given redeemable vouchers as rewards. Also, the company staged a Super Party in Jakarta, Indonesia last March 27 featuring international popstar Dua Lipa and Ms. Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.

It live streamed the concert to allow more customers from all over Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, to be part of the celebrations.

Lazada reported that by the time it wrapped up its week-long celebration, it had garnered over 318 million visits to its platform. The Super Party drew 12 million views both in-app and on television, while a total of 2.5 million people played the games.

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No wonder App Annie registered the highest monthly active users via mobile apps for Lazada in the Philippines in Q1 2019. Its e-commerce platform also ranked highest in terms of total average visits on desktop and mobile web during the first quarter.

Shopee catches up

Meanwhile, Shopee consistently plays second fiddle to its key competitor with roughly 15.4 million visits to its e-commerce platform in Q1 2019. App Annie also ranks it second in mobile app visits.

Despite being among the youngest platforms in the Philippines, Shopee has become one of the fastest growing e-commerce company in the country and in the Southeast Asian region.

It continues to expand its online catalogue of products from the current three million listings, according to Shopee’s regional marketing head, and does well in increasing its brand recall and maintaining its edge over other international and local players.

Shopee placed second in the most number of social media followers (14.4 million on Facebook, 294,400 on Instagram and 17,500 on Twitter) based on iPrice Group’s data.

This e-commerce player can be expected to catch up fast on innovations to increase its market share, as funder Sea is raising up to $1.5 billion to support its businesses.

Techcrunch reported last March that “Sea would use the capital for ‘business expansion and other general corporate purposes.”

Given that Sea’s main focus recently is Shopee, majority of the funds will likely be allocated to the e-commerce company.

Local faces for Zalora

Landing third place in the list is Zalora, as it tailors its marketing strategies to suit the Filipino fashion style and win more loyal followers.

More than just offering designs from global brands, it has partnered with Philippines’ fashion and social media icons Georgina Wilson-Burnand, Isabelle Daza-Semblat, Liz Uy, and Solenn Heussaff-Bolzico for an exclusive collection under the label, the__edit.

Interestingly, it grabbed second place in the most number of Twitter followers (29,000) and ranked third for Facebook (7,719,000) and Instagram (181,800).

Adopting a local face is a boost to the brand, allowing it to appeal to the novel Filipino aesthetics and fashion sense.

Popular US, Chinese apps 

Finally, securing the fourth and fifth spot as most visited mobile apps based on App Annie’s data are Amazon and AliExpress.

E-commerce empire, Amazon, has penetrated markets around the world. In the Philippines, customers turn to this company for products not available locally.

Similarly, Chinese e-commerce companies such as AliExpress are becoming prominent in the Asian region considering its proximity and its readiness to offer products not available in the Philippine market.

Its strong performance can also be attributed to the increasing popularity of Chinese sale events such as 11.11 or the Singles’ Day in November.

The Philippines has a total population of 107 million and 71% of which has access to the internet and social media based on Hootsuite and We Are Social’s 2019 digital report.

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As the country further develops its technology infrastructure—increasing internet speed and connectivity—it promises exponential growth for e-commerce businesses to flourish in the coming years.

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Please click on one of the links below to view the data in detail for each country. More findings in the overall Map of E-commerce Report for Q1 2019.  

We are always happy to share our insights with our clients, the press, academia and more. Should you decide to utilise our data or visuals, please attribute us by including this sentence “From the Map of E-commerce, iPrice Group, April 2019” with a hyperlink to one of these URLs: 

Indonesiahttps://iprice.co.id/insights/mapofecommerce/en/  

Vietnamhttps://iprice.vn/insights/mapofecommerce/en/ 

Thailandhttps://ipricethailand.com/insights/mapofecommerce/en/ 

Philippineshttps://iprice.ph/insights/mapofecommerce/en/ 

Malaysiahttps://iprice.my/insights/mapofecommerce/ 

Singaporehttps://iprice.sg/insights/mapofecommerce/