ONLINE market Shopee intends to further corner the mobile shopping space, as it sees further growth in mobile commerce (m-commerce) versus other types of channels in the medium term.
In a news briefing on Monday, Shopee COO Terence Pang said the forecast for robust activity in m-commerce is encouraging.
“In online shopping, this advent of m-commerce, I think is something that really has brought down the barriers of entry on online space,” Pang said. “Online shopping has been around the last 15 years, but it has not been as fast as we see growth as in the next five years because everyone’s on mobile now.”
Pang added the mobile space is the area that Shopee is very focused on.
Significantly, the migration of online buyers and sellers directly to mobile has shifted the numbers in mobile’s favor. Southeast Asian countries are tagged as “mobile-first consumers,” bypassing PC altogether, Pang said.
Citing a report by Digital News Asia, 54 percent of e-commerce transactions are done through mobile in the Southeast Asia region, he added.
This development isn’t surprising as most of the local sellers in Shopee Philippines—more than half, Pang said, are micro, small and medium enterprises.
With the increasing affordability of smartphones, Shopee’s concentration on the mobile channel is lowering the cost of entry for these smaller entrepreneurs. This doesn’t mean, however, that larger retailers aren’t tapping the online marketplace as an additional channel, Pang said.
“Big companies have another channel to access a different set of buyers; online marketplaces are no longer seen as competition for mallgoers,” he added.
The focus on the growing base of mobile-first consumers has allowed Shopee to realize annualized gross merchandise value of $5 billion.
The Philippines’s average share of this is around 10 percent to 15 percent. Pang said Shopee Philippines enjoyed over 6 million downloads last year, with merchant count at 200,000. It hosts 3 million active listings in any given time.
The company has 250 Filipino employees in its offices in Bonifacio Global City.