It’s being dubbed the next big shopportunity and it’s taking place right here in Southeast Asia.
A combination of increased spending power among the region’s growing middle class (Nielsen estimates that the fastest emerging middle classes will hail from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore), an increasingly digitally-enabled populace and the long term growth of e-commerce that is being projected for the region (Frost & Sullivan estimates e-commerce transactions to grow by 24% across Asia-Pacific between 2011 and 2016), means that chances are you’re already spending more of your time and money shopping for savings online.
But just which sites are shoppers visiting to bag those bargains? We rank the top five biggest e-commerce sites in ASEAN by turnover. The results might just surprise you.
# 5 Zalora
Headquartered in Singapore, with operations across Southeast Asia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Rocket Internet’s beloved Asian online fashion behemoth, Zalora is credited with holding the record for the largest e-commerce investment in the region after it received a healthy S$112 million injection in December 2013. Performance-wise the company recorded a turnover of approximately S$51 million in 2013 and while it still records losses, it is predicted to become profitable by 2015. Now having extended its reach even further with launch of a marketplace for third-party merchants in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, it will be interesting to see what else is in store for this style giant in the months to come.
The Samwer brothers’ startup incubator continues its march across ASEAN with its 2012 launch of Lazada. Described as ASEAN’s version of Amazon, Lazada originally focused on selling electronic items, but the B2C has since diversified its offerings to include nearly every product category under the sun. Valued at S$1.12 billion with a 2013 turnover of S$91 million, Group CEO Maximilian Bittner has described Lazada as “maintaining the highest web traffic of any online mall within its current markets across Southeast Asia.” This includes Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and most recently Singapore, where it is based. The company has also recently launched a C2C called Lamido in Indonesia and Vietnam.
Founded in Singapore in 2009 by Samuel Lim, Daniel Lim, and Benjamin Han, and presently valued at over S$250 million, Reebonz is arguably one of Singapore’s biggest e-commerce success stories. Capitalising on the region’s insatiable appetite for luxury goods, Reebonz has made a name for itself on the back of its exclusive limited-duration, members-only slashed price bags, shoes, and accessories from coveted designers labels, and recently set itself apart yet again by extending its offerings to include pre-owned premium items (the latter makes up less than 10% of total sales). That model has so far gained the confidence of investors such as Intel Capital, Vertex Asia Investments as well as Singapore’s Media Corp and Infocomm Investments. Its 2013 turnover is estimated to be S$125 million, and in March this year it expanded its portfolio when it picked up SingPost’s online luxury goods store Clout Shoppe for an undisclosed sum.
Nasdaq-listed Chicago-native Groupon first entered ASEAN in 2010 through the acquisition of Beeconomic in Singapore and Philippines before buying its way through the rest of the region. Parent company Groupon Inc’s market capitalisation presently sits at around S$5.1 billion. Its Southeast Asia operations are performing strongly with market sources putting turnover in 2013 across its Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia markets at S$145 million.
#1 iBuy Group
ASX-listed iBuy-Group sits atop of the e-commerce pile with the highest turnover at S$153 million. Specialising in flash sales, the group, which is based out of Singapore and valued at S$164 million, has operations in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, through its sites Beecrazy.hk, Deal.com.sg, Mydeal.com.my, Dealmates.com, LivingSocial.co.id, LivingSocial.com.my, Ensogo.com and Ensogo.com.ph. Its recent acquisition of LivingSocial Southeast Asia from the Washington-based Living Social Inc was part of a move to rapidly scale up in order to attract quality manufactures and ever larger discounts, and in May it announced its move into the luxury goods space with the roll out of D’Luxe in Singapore which features current season goods from premium luxury brands.
Disclosure: Catcha Group is the biggest shareholder of iBuy and the holding company of REV Asia.