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Shopee’s Localisation Strategy for Driving eCommerce Success

Seeing growth spurts in Asia’s eCommerce, Shopee adopts a unique market approach for targeted markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan.

With accelerated adoption of internet and technologies, eCommerce business is poised to expand in an unprecedented scale. A major eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia, Shopee sees tremendous growth since its establishment in 2015, and is planning to further scale up its global operation, with Hong Kong and Mainland China as one of its priorities serving sellers with distribution channels in Southeast Asia. 

Shopee is an online marketplace where sellers can set up an online shop and list their products on its platform, helping them to explore new markets. It supports sellers with one-stop solution including promotion, logistic and payment for local and cross-border transactions. Seeing a high demand for Hong Kong based brands and products from its consumers, the company started recruiting Hong Kong sellers in 2018, including well-known brands and shops, which helped generate good traction and confidence for Hong Kong sellers for their expansions into Southeast Asian market.

Logistics and location are the key for eCommerce

According to Jianghong Liu, Head of Cross Border at Shopee, Hong Kong is a strategic location for Shopee for its status as Asia’s eCommerce hub. Shopee has established an operation to provide consultant support to sellers, such as Southeast Asian market analysis and business development advice. They are also planning to organise events such as seller workshop for idea and strategy exchange. 

In addition, Shopee has also built its own logistic centre, Shopee Logistics Services (SLS) in the city. “Logistics is crucial for eCommerce business,” Liu said, “Hong Kong has sophisticated logistic infrastructure that supports our supply chain operation, allowing us to build better services for our cross-border eCommerce. Also, the city’s proximity to Taiwan and Southeast Asia gives us advantages to reach our customers within short flight time. The city also offers wide range of payment options with high internet penetration rate to facilitate eCommerce business.”

He added, “Moreover, Hong Kong is geographically close to Southeast Asia and Taiwan and operates in the similar time zone, all these advantages have been instrumental for Shopee’s operation in Hong Kong.” 

Localisation: the formula for success

Liu shared that localisation is Shopee’s key to success. Besides setting up a local team to serve its seller partners in different markets, the company also develops customised standalone mobile app for different markets. “With our local teams in place, we formulate localisation strategies at different levels, such as launching customised product selection, service portals and marketing campaigns in different regions,” Liu explained, adding that they are planning to double the size of the Hong Kong team to support its operation. 

Liu expressed great appreciation for InvestHK’s effort in accelerating their growth. “InvestHK has been a good partner offering us networking opportunities and PR support. They introduced us to relevant government departments and funding schemes and are working together with us to promote eCommerce ecosystems through webinars and other activities. There are a lot of synergies between us and we are looking forward to more collaborations.”


Fast Facts

  • Shopee is one of the main eCommerce portals in Southeast Asia and Taiwan
  • Its business covers Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam
  • It has offices in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong providing cross border eCommerce services

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