Everything You Need to Know About Shopee

Last updated on November 14th, 2023 at 10:54 pm

Shopee, a Sea company, is a leading online shopping platform that originated in Singapore in 2015 before expanding internationally. It is the largest eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia, serving both sellers and consumers and offering goods by major retailers and local merchants.

Read on to learn about what Shopee offers, how they work, and how they differ from other eCommerce brands around the world.


What Is Shopee?

Shopee is a tech-forward, consumer-focused eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia that has grown in popularity in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and elsewhere. It aims to give access to a vast array of products and, much like eBay or Amazon in North America, allows both individual sellers and established businesses to sell on their platform.

The company first launched in seven countries across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Now, it is also used in select countries in Latin America and Europe and has a new presence in India..

Shopee originally began as a marketplace, offering consumer-to-consumer (C2C) transactions. It has since transitioned to a hybrid business model that caters to both C2C and business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions.

Shopee partners with a number of different couriers to facilitate product delivery. They call them “supported logistics partners” and offer tracking in their app for shipments.  Partners include NinjaVan, Pos Malaysia and Pos Indonesia.

How Does Shopee Work?

Shopee works similarly to other online retailers in that shoppers can enter what they’re looking for into a search engine or browse by category. If a customer is looking for discounts, the platform makes them easy to find by showcasing flash sales and exclusive deals of the day on their homepage.

Shoppers can also shop by region. Once on the main page, shoppers can choose their country of residence and be automatically redirected to the storefront that services their country and currency.

How Does Shopee Earn Money?

Shopee charges retailers a transaction fee, like a commission, for each sale. They also earn money from advertisements run by individual retailers and merchants. As a marketplace business model, they connect sellers with buyers and take a cut for themselves to facilitate the transaction.

Shopee’s business model is similar to other large eCommerce platforms like Alibaba, AliExpress, and eBay. Lazada is another similar platform, but they are desktop-only, whereas Shopee is mobile, which helps account for its popularity Oberlo reports that mobile shopping now takes up some 72% of online commerce. These eCommerce platforms follow a similar type of business model and earn their money in similar ways.


Is Shopee Safe?

Like most large online retailers, Shopee is not immune to fraud. Some individuals exploit customers through online shopping scams. Some scams seek to attain bank details, payments, accounts, or parcels.

Fortunately, Shopee educates its customers on the types of scenarios they have witnessed and how best one can avoid them. Some of Shopee’s stated safety measures and recommendations include:

  • Shopee backs a policy to help prevent the sale of fake items.
  • Shopee bans users who break their rules about listing items, and if the system flags them, they are automatically suspended. In some cases, they may be permanently banned from the platform to help protect their shopping community and their retailers.
  • The company offers a “Shopee Guarantee,” an escrow service that protects buyers by withholding payments to sellers until the order has been received.
  • Shopee recommends updating your password regularly and taking the time to read seller feedback before committing to a purchase.

What Are Preferred Sellers?

Shopee has a “Preferred Seller” label for sellers who reach certain levels of positive feedback and sales. If you’re selected and choose to be in the program, special labels are added to your seller account to notify potential buyers of your positive record.

Can I Use Shopee?

If you are an individual shopper and the platform services your region, you can use Shopee. Simply select your country and language to browse the deals and items available for delivery in your area.

You’ll also see up-to-date shipping prices for your particular region. You won’t have to worry about adding items to your cart only to find that you can’t complete the transaction due to shipping restrictions. Everything that appears in your search results is available to you.

Why Is Shopee So Popular?

Shopee is largely popular due to its social-first, mobile-centric approach, catering to the digital age we live in. Like many startups, Shopee uses social media to expand its reach and attain new customers. The company works with influential brand ambassadors on Instagram and YouTube to increase awareness and offers retailers social media advertising programs.

The Shopee app (available on iPhone and Android) also offers real-time shopping and a variety of payment methods.

Further reading: What Is an Invoice? A Complete Guide