Shopee to monetise platform via paid ads

Although this move is seen to build up capital revenue, our focus is still on growing our reach through increasing our sellers and brands, says MD

By SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / Py By TMR

Shopee Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd plans to introduce paid advertisements for its merchants to allow the marketplace to gain revenues.

Shopee regional MD Ian Ho said the platform plans to introduce the paid advertisement option to sellers who choose to increase the traffic for their products.

“We have been operating for two years and have been leveraging on our free service. But at some point, we have to bring in revenue to strengthen our market share,” he said at Shopee’s 9.9 Online Shopping Day media briefing yesterday.

“It is part of our monetising strategy. Although this move is seen to build up our capital revenue, our focus is still on growing our reach through increasing our sellers and brands,” Ho said, adding that the platform will start its monetisation by year-end.

Shopee also announced plans to partner more recognisable brands as part of its move to respond to rising consumers’ demand.

“There are requests for big brands from our existing customers. We started off with promoting small and medium enterprises’ brands, but as we progressed and being recognised, more people request for items that sell at offline retails, but with a cheaper price,” he said.

Started off with a mobile-centric platform, Shopee is now accessible through a website to give the customers a sense of security when transacting a large payment.

“We built our name as a mobile application e-commerce platform to give an easy shopping experience to our customers. As we are growing, there are requests for us to move to web-based as some customers need to have the advantages that websites can provide,” he said.

On its 9.9 Online Shopping Day, Shopee expects to gain fivefold and threefold increase in orders and visits respectively through its two-day promotion deal.

“In a recent survey we did, we found that Malaysians are most likely to alternate between different online platforms to compare the prices, before purchasing an item. That gave us an insight of what the purchasing process is like.

“Thus, for this year’s promotion, we will be featuring the lowest-price guarantee, where you can get 120% in refund if there is another similar product with a lower price from another e-commerce platform,” Ho explained.

For its second-year running, the promotion will be held from Sept 9 till Sept 11 through Shoppe’s website and mobile application.

It is also available in other countries that the platform is established in — Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

In addition, Shopee provides extra incentives to customers, such as free shipping within the country and offline payment method.

“For those who cannot pay through credit card or online banking, we accept payment through cash deposit and cash on delivery,” Ho said.

Launched in December 2015, Shopee has achieved more than 50 million mobile downloads regionally. It also has achieved US$3 billion (RM12.84 billion) in annualised gross merchandise value in the first-half of 2017 across the seven markets that it has presence in.