Take a SIP as an e-commerce platform celebrates its fifth year and attributes its staying power to knowing what drives e-consumers.

In the prelude to Shopee’s fifth birthday, the Southeast Asian and Taiwan e-commerce platform has announced three key trends that have shaped and will continue to drive the growth of e-commerce: Social, Integration and Personalization.

This 12.12, Shopee believes the three aspects of e-commerce will be a mainstay in 2021 and beyond. The firm’s CEO Chris Feng commented: “Shopee was born with the vision of making online shopping accessible, easy and enjoyable. This year’s 12.12 Birthday Sale has added significance as we celebrate our fifth birthday, and as we come together with our brand partners, sellers and shoppers to support one another through a challenging year. As we look back on our journey, we are proud to have adapted quickly to serve the needs of our local communities.” 

Feng noted that 2020 has been a transformative year. It has shown the importance of technology and its ability to not only connect people and meet their basic needs, but also to entertain and engage. “As we wrap up the year with our 12.12 Birthday Sale, let’s continue to look out for one another, uplift those in need and welcome the new year on a high note,” he cheered.

Elaborating on the three e-commerce trends everyone in the industry can keep focused on, here are the firm’s insights:

  1. Social: Bringing the human touch to online shopping
    Advancements in technology, coupled with changing shopper habits, have resulted in online shopping evolving from a transactional experience to a social past-time.

    Today’s users are more social than ever and they demand a more engaging online shopping experience with rich and unique content. To replicate the human touch, Shopee was one of the first e-commerce platforms in the region to launch a live chat function in 2016, enabling direct conversations between buyers and sellers. Today, an average of 30 million messages are exchanged daily on Shopee Live Chat.

    New in-app engagement features such as Shopee Games, Shopee Feed and Shopee Live help to make the online shopping experience even more social.

    Looking ahead, Shopee anticipates this trend to stay, with e-commerce increasingly becoming a platform for people to connect and enjoy shared experiences. The firm will continue to drive this trend through unique initiatives like Shopee Mum’s Club, which provides like-minded consumers with one-stop exclusive access to baby product deals and parenting content, as well as Book Club for a new generation of digital readers in Vietnam; and a “Pawrents” club to meet growing online demand for pet products in Singapore.
  2. Integration: Creating a seamless customer journey
    Retailers must deliver a seamless customer journey across all touchpoints. Shopee helps brands and sellers of all sizes do this by providing fundamental operational support through integrated payments and logistics, while creating innovative experiences that value-add to the overall customer journey.
    • Delivering an experiential home shopping experience
      Shopee introduced its first-ever experiential online Show Me My Home initiative, which allowed shoppers to discover and shop for popular household items in a simulated household environment. This brought greater convenience for stay-home consumers, while mimicking the offline experience of walking in a store.
    • Creating richer experiences through diversified retail strategies
      Most recently, the firm piloted a 11/11 campaign to drive sales, traffic, and engagement for retailers across six shopping malls belonging to the same management. Shopee designed a new version of the Shopee Slice game to allow users to play and earn shopping vouchers that could be redeemed in-store to boost traffic for offline retailers.
  3. Personalization: Catering to the ‘Me’ economy
    Personalization is critical in pandemic-era e-commerce. A highly-personalized experience is crucial to make online shopping more efficient, enjoyable and unique for consumers while helping brands and sellers drive increased traffic and growth.

    The firm takes a hyper-localized approach by running seven different apps in each of its markets and localizing its in-app features. It also continually refines its recommendation engines to offer more customized and relevant shopping suggestions made to fit consumers’ needs.

    Brands and sellers that offer personalised recommendations to shoppers help to increase overall awareness and conversions. Businesses that use Shopee’s in-app advertisements generate 65% more sales activity than those that do not. This is powered by Shopee’s own AI capabilities, which ensure that advertisements are delivered to the right users at the right time and place.

As the industry progresses further into what is now known as the ‘me’ economy, businesses will need to innovate in order to improve the online customer journey.

In the coming year, the platform expects to see the rise of smart shoppers, a new demographic of young, tech-savvy individuals, who expect a highly-personalized online shopping experience.