[ Door Gift from Shopee‘s launch: necklace from White Fiction and Original Source Christmas Limited Edition Gift Pack from Original Store ]
This blogpost can be summed up in two words: Carousell, beware!
But here’s why they should keep an eye out for Shopee…
Shopee was “soft-launched” early this year in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Taiwan. And it appears to me that they are a strong contender for a (huge) slice of the mobile e-commerce pie. Let’s start with finding out who the CEO is…
Shopee’s CEO, Chris Feng, is also Garena’s Head of Mobile Business for Southeast Asia and Taiwan. He was previously the Regional Managing Director of Zalora Southeast Asia, and Regional Managing Director and Chief Purchasing Officer of Lazada Southeast Asia.
In his own words, Shopee allows users to “buy and sell in less than 30 seconds, anywhere and anytime”. As a seller, you simply snap a picture of the product, add a description, set a price, and you’re ready for business. Shopee charges no listing fees, no commissions, no credit card fees, or any other fee right now.
And if you’re wondering how Shopee will make money without charging fees, Chris says they will follow Taobao’s model soon: charge search and placement fees, and also get advertising revenue.
Buyers will love the Shopee Guarantee: if products are not received in the previously agreed-upon condition, payment will be refunded to the buyers in full. This helps to eliminate fraud and transaction risks. Shopee’s CEO admits that escrow services are nothing new, but they will keep the money first to ensure buyer satisfaction. I do wonder what will happen if buyers don’t confirm that they have received the product, and the money doesn’t get released to the seller – I suppose Shopee will step in at some point.
For sellers, there’s Shopee’s Seller Assistant which aims to help individuals become successful entrepreneurs. But the best part probably is that you don’t have to register a business in order to make some money by selling products online. :)
The Live Chat function and hashtag functions are also popular with buyers and sellers. With live chat, you get to send your questions to the seller; the person who knows the product best, and with the relevant hashtags, you can find trending products easily.
At the media launch, we also got to meet 4 of the current Shopee vendors:
[ Shopee vendors Belinda, Randy, Andy, and Hazel fielding questions ]
Andy is from Original Store – I received their limited edition Christmas gift pack in the door gift…
[ Mint & Tea Tree, Mango, and Strawberry & (pink) Peppercorn, with a free loofah ]
I’m currently using the Mango shower gel and I love it! :D Do check out Original Store on Shopee – they are the authorised sellers of personal care products from Original Source. I ordered these 6 products below from them too (Buy 5 Get 1 Free, for S$25, inclusive of delivery). Each one came individually wrapped in bubble wrap, and were delivered within 4 days of my placing the order. I got to use the Live Chat function on Shopee too! :D
The only two drawbacks for me when purchasing from one of Shopee’s limited-time-only campaigns is firstly, the lack of a filter – so I’m seeing perfume, clothes and shower gels all in the same page when I’m actually only looking for shower gels. Secondly, as I’m shopping using my mobile phone, I can only scroll through the pages with 2 items per row. And it takes a really long time for me to scroll through them all. I cannot simply rotate my phone for a ‘horizontal’ view and scroll through, say, 4 products in a row. Something for the Shopee folks to work on, I guess.
The other vendors featured are from:
Imperial Studio: sells locally-sourced and imported licensed Marvel, DC, and anime figurines
White Fiction: sells women’s apparel and has a wholesale store in City Plaza
SD Perfume: sells perfume at 5 brick-and-mortar outlets in Singapore but likes Shopee because there is no need to apply for VISA terminals (customers’ handphones become “VISA terminals”) and there’s no high rental and labour cost
You can download Shopee for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play. If you want to list items for sale, do it while there are (still) no fees charged. :D