April 29, 2021 •
5 Best E-Commerce Marketplaces in Indonesia
The development of technology and the internet has provided convenience in many ways. This convenience is widely felt not only in the information and computer sector but also in other sectors. One sector that develops along with technological advances is the economic sector.
Advances in technology facilitate society in economic activities, both personal and professional life. Economic activities and transactions, such as sales and purchases can now be done online. This is supported by the growth of the Marketplace market available in Indonesia that is increasing every year.
Each Marketplace has its characteristics. These characteristics include reputation, price comparisons, product variations, logistics services, to user characteristics. These characteristics indirectly indicate that each Marketplace has its advantages and target users.
You can use the advantages and target users of each Marketplace for business purposes. For example if you are planning to sell a specific product type, it will be more suitable to be marketed through one of the Marketplaces to get the expected profit. In this article, we will review this in-depth and undoubtedly be your guide to using the Marketplace for business goals.
What is a Marketplace?
Economic transactions through the Marketplace continue to increase significantly. This is because shopping online is seen as a solution to getting lower prices and safer transactions due to the minimal physical contact. With the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit Indonesia since March 2020, online transactions have increased dramatically by up to 400%, based on statistics from iPrice.
With the increase in online transactions and more people shopping at the Marketplace, the term Marketplace itself is increasingly familiar. Before we get to know more about the characteristics of each Marketplace, we should understand what exactly is meant by Marketplace. This makes it easier for you to map which Marketplace is suitable for each type of business.
A marketplace is either a website or a mobile application that connects sellers with buyers via the internet. You can find various items for your every need on the Marketplace. From food, electronics, fashion products to second hand items. After finding the product you want, you can make payment transactions through the Marketplace itself.
The Marketplace has a concept similar to traditional markets that can be found around us. Marketplace and traditional markets provide stalls or places for those who want to sell on the Marketplace or traditional markets. The difference is, in the Marketplace, the seller does not need to pay rent to get a place to sell.
The first Marketplace in the world and the pioneer to popularize shopping culture via the internet is eBay. eBay was first released in 1995, or nearly three decades ago. But now, the most popular Marketplace in the world is Amazon, which sells more than 350 million products.
In Indonesia, several Marketplaces were popularized by local players, Tokopedia, which was released in 2009; followed by Bukalapak, which was launched in 2010. Both are listed as Marketplace startups that have achieved unicorn status with a valuation of more than USD 1 billion or around IDR 14 trillion.
Difference between Marketplace and E-Commerce
Another term that is familiar to the public regarding online shopping activities is E-Commerce. Many people use E-Commerce to refer to the Marketplace even though the two terms refer to two different things, although they are still related.
E-Commerce is a website or mobile application that sells products belonging to the brand itself. Unlike the Marketplace, you won’t find more than one online shop on the E-Commerce website. E-Commerce is created by a brand to specifically sell products from the brand itself through a website or mobile application using shopping carts and payment gateways.
Marketplace Performance Map in Indonesia
According to research conducted by iPrice, 93% of Indonesians use smartphones to shop at the Marketplace as compared to laptops, where there is only 6% of Indonesians to shop online at the Marketplace. Many things can support this.
According to some Indonesians, laptops are standard devices and are only used by students or some workers in the formal sector in Indonesia. Meanwhile, smartphones are used by most people from various educational and economic backgrounds. With these conditions, the Marketplace competitive map can be seen from the ranking achieved on the official mobile application distribution platform for each operating system.
iPrice conducted a study entitled “Map of E-Commerce Indonesia” using reference data from the Q4 of 2020.
This research produces reports on the performance of significant Marketplace players, such as Shopee, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Lazada, and Blibli based on app ratings on the official mobile application distribution platforms, namely the App Store for iOS-based devices and the Play Store for Android-based devices. Here’s the whole insight.
App Store ranking
The App Store is the official platform for downloading various mobile applications for iOS-based devices belonging to a well-known brand, namely Apple. Based on data from iPrice in the Q4 of 2020, Shopee was ranked first as the Marketplace with the most downloads by users. Followed by Tokopedia, the second place as the most downloaded Marketplace by users.
Next, Lazada, Blibli, and Bukalapak are respectively third, sixth, and seventh place as the most downloaded Marketplace. This ranking is based on the average app ranking for the Shopping category. This rating can change over time.
Play Store ranking
Play Store is Google’s official platform for downloading various mobile applications onto Android-based devices. Android-based devices consist of multiple brands, such as Samsung, Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, etc. iPrice provides the following Marketplace ranking data for the 4th quarter of 2020.
In the first place, Shopee is still the winner of the most downloaded Marketplace by users. Lazada is in third place, followed by Tokopedia, who is in fourth place. Blibli and Bukalapak are ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, according to the rankings of the Play Store.
Just like the App Store ranking, this ranking is based on the average app ranking for the Shopping category, which can change at any time.
Apart from Ranking on the App Store and Play Store, the ranking of a Marketplace can be seen from the performance of its website. Through data obtained from SimilarWeb in July 2020, Marketplace website performance was obtained through several metrics. Among them are total website visitors, monthly visitors, unique visitors, pages per visit, bounce rate, average visits, and search traffic.
The following is an explanation of each metric used to produce website performance data for each Marketplace:
- Total website visitors. This is the total number of user visits from the period since a Marketplace website was launched until July 2020.
- Monthly visitors. This is the average monthly user visit from when a Marketplace website was launched until July 2020.
- Unique visitors. Is the number of user visits from one IP. The higher the number of unique visitors, the greater the potential for success that can be achieved from a website.
- Page per visit. Is the number of pages visited from a Marketplace website in one stop. The more pages visited, the greater the potential for economic transactions on a website.
- Bounce rate. It analyzes the percentage of users who come and immediately leaves a website page after visiting one website page. The higher the bounce rate, the more users will go but do not take any action on the website.
- Average visits. This is the average time a user spends on a Marketplace website. The higher the duration of the user visiting, the greater the target Marketplace website is achieved. This indicates that a Marketplace website provides products that users are looking for.
- Search traffic. It is how busy the traffic of a Marketplace website is. Search traffic reviews how well a Marketplace’s marketing activities are working.
The following is a recapitulation of website performance data on the five largest marketplaces in Indonesia in July 2020.
Meanwhile, the following are the rankings achieved by the five largest marketplaces in Indonesia for each metric used.
Based on data processing that has been carried out on the performance of the websites of the five significant Marketplaces in Indonesia based on several metrics, it can be seen how much public interest in using the Marketplace is. On the Website total visitors metric, Shopee ranks first followed by Tokopedia Bukalapak, Lazada, and finally Blibli.
The five Marketplaces can have total visitors of more than 50 million visitors until July 2020. Meanwhile, in the Monthly visitor metric, the rank occupied by each Marketplace does not change. All of these Marketplaces are visited by more than 15 million visitors each month on average.
This shows that Indonesian society has experienced a cultural shift in the realm of buying and selling. If previously buying and selling activities were carried out by the community traditionally and offline, it has now shifted to buying and selling modern and online activities. This is supported by the fact that all Marketplaces operating in Indonesia can meet the needs of the Indonesian people on online buying and selling transactions.
In the Unique visitor metric, there is a shift in the rankings achieved by several Marketplaces. Blibli was able to rank fourth and beat Lazada, who had to settle for fifth place. The first place is still occupied by Shopee, followed by two local marketplaces, namely Tokopedia and Bukalapak.
Next is the Page per visit metric, or the number of pages visited in one visit. Shopee is still winning in the first place, while Tokopedia is still stalking in second place. Meanwhile, Lazada moved up to the third place, followed by Bukalapak and Blibli in fourth and fifth. The more pages that are visited, the higher the potential for payment transactions made by users.
Unlike other metrics seen from the most significant numbers, the Bounce rate metric is the opposite. The smaller the Bounce rate, the higher the chance that a Marketplace will encourage visitors to carry out activities on the website for a longer time. On the other hand, a high bounce rate indicates that more and more visitors come and leave a Marketplace website immediately after visiting one Page.
For example, this can mean many things, such as the user interface of a Marketplace that is less attractive and a user experience that tends to make users uncomfortable. Or it could be that a Marketplace cannot meet user needs, so users switch to another Marketplace website. Blibli holds the highest bounce rate, followed by Lazada, Bukalapak, Tokopedia, and Shopee, who are in the last place.
In the Average visit metric, the average user spends 4 to 7 minutes accessing the Marketplace website in one visit. This duration is the average duration that all users have during their stay and activities on a Marketplace website.
The last metric is the Search traffic metric or cross-search of the Marketplace website, which is a pretty good parameter to see how much interest users are in a Marketplace. The higher the search traffic, the easier it is for a Marketplace to increase website visits. It will always have the potential to be in the top position in search engines, such as Google. All of these significant Marketplaces have total search traffic of over 4 million traffic.
Map of Marketplace User Behavior in Indonesia
Apart from the performance of a Marketplace itself, the user behavior also needs to be mapped. Marketplace users have their characteristics, such as the commodity products purchased, average spending on shopping, and Marketplace usage trends based on gender. In addition, users also have ratings and issues with each Marketplace.
User behavior is essential to know, especially for those of you who are in the business world. By understanding the behavior and characteristics of users from each Marketplace, you can more easily determine the business strategy that will take for the sake of a business goal, namely to make profits. Business strategies include the types of products marketed, the selling prices offered, the promotional activities carried out, and much more.
eIQ or ecommerceIQ conducted a study involving 1240 Marketplace user respondents. In the survey, eIQ asked several factors for user ratings of the five big marketplaces in Indonesia. The report from the eIQ was officially published in 2018.
The report consists of several things, such as user assessment factors for each Marketplace which includes several metrics, commodities or product types that are most purchased, the amount of the budget for shopping online, issues or things that users complain about on the Marketplace, options payments provided, to Marketplace usage trends based on user gender. The following is a complete explanation.
User Rating of Marketplace
Based on the findings of the eIQ on five major marketplaces in Indonesia, patterns that characterize each Marketplace can be mapped. Blibli has the advantage of a good reputation and service, as well as guaranteed authentic products. In comparison, Shopee is liked by users because the products offered are cheaper and have free shipping services. Tokopedia has the advantage of the many products to choose from, while Lazada excels in various payment methods.
User Behavior Based on Products Purchased
In general, electronic and fashion products are still the commodities most sought after by users. The two items were sought after by users with almost equal numbers. Followed by groceries, but the difference is quite significant when compared to electronic and fashion products.
Bukalapak is the leading Marketplace for electronic product commodities, while Shopee is the leader for the fashion product category. Shopee is also still the champion for beauty product commodities, while Blibli is the most sought-after user to fulfill their groceries. This clearly shows that users tend to choose a marketplace that has a guaranteed quality to buy electronic goods. On the other hand, a marketplace that offers lower prices tends to be selected by users to purchase fashion products.
User Behavior Based on Average Spent
What is also important other than what products users spend is how much the average user spends on shopping. This is because the two things are related. Most users state that they pay around IDR 100,000 to IDR 500,000 to shop on the Marketplace.
In this range of numbers, Shopee dominates with a percentage gain of up to 75%. This makes sense because fashion products, of which Shopee is the leader in this commodity, are on average priced at IDR 100,000 to IDR 500,000. Meanwhile, Blibli is far superior to its competitors in the range of IDR 1,100,000 to IDR 1,500,000.
User Complaints Against Marketplace
In general, logistical problems are still the main issue that users complain about. The entire Marketplace is having problems taking long delivery until the user receives the product. They cannot fully control the problem because the Marketplace is working with the third party expedition to deliver the product to the user’s hands.
Apart from logistics, there are several other issues that users have complained about on each Marketplace. Shopee, Tokopedia, and Lazada receive complains regarding the return policy. Bukalapak has problems with User Experience when users access the website, whereas Blibli has issues with the price of products which tend to be too expensive.
User Behavior Based on Payment Options
Based on the eIQ report, the Bank transfer option still dominates the payment options that users in all Marketplaces widely use. Meanwhile, Lazada stands out in the Cash on Delivery (COD) payment method. Meanwhile, the payment option via credit card is widely used by users who shop at Blibli.
It can be concluded that the payment process is no longer a significant issue that users complain about when shopping on the Marketplace. But the thing to remember is that this research was conducted three years ago. It is not impossible that within three years, the user’s favorite payment options may change.
Marketplace Usage Trends Based on User Gender
In general, almost all Marketplaces are dominated by male users with different percentages. The only Marketplace that women mainly use is Shopee. This makes sense with the fashion and beauty product commodities that are in high demand on Shopee.
Meanwhile, the Marketplace with the highest percentage of male users is held by Bukalapak. If you look at the user behavior metrics for the products purchased, Bukalapak is widely used by users looking for electronic products. This is by the tendency of men who like gadgets and electronic products.
Which Marketplace Is Right For Your Business?
By knowing the performance of each Marketplace and user behavior towards the 5 Marketplaces in Indonesia, you can adjust what business strategies are suitable for each business condition. Each Marketplace offers various advantages, but some differences make a Marketplace more preferred by a certain type of user. The following is a detailed explanation of the characteristics of each Marketplace based on user behavior and its advantages for the success of your business.
Shopee is a Marketplace that began operating in Indonesia in 2015. Shopee, under the parent company Sea Limited, is the Marketplace with the most significant number of users in Indonesia. This can happen because of the intense promotion in various media.
Users tend to shop at Shopee because product prices are relatively lower than competitors and offer free shipping. The primary commodities at Shopee are fashion and beauty category products. This is not surprising, as 58% of Shopee users are women.
Users also visit Shopee to shop for small items at prices that are not too expensive, for example fashion. Shopee has the advantage of a wide variety of products. However, it has disadvantages such as a poor user experience and the emergence of grey sellers selling products that are not guaranteed authenticity.
Shopee is suitable for those who have a business whose target customers tend to buy fashion and beauty products. Shopee is also ideal for those of you who sell products at relatively affordable selling prices, which are below IDR 500,000. Moreover, selling on Shopee tends to be profitable because of the massive number of users.
Tokopedia is a local startup that has achieved unicorn status in the Marketplace category. Tokopedia first operated in Indonesia in 2009 and is a pioneer in shifting modern trading culture. What are the characteristics?
Tokopedia has the advantage in terms of the large variety of products it sells and the easiest-to-use interface. Users often visit Tokopedia to find products that are not available on other Marketplaces. The three most sought-after commodities on Tokopedia are electronics, fashion, and groceries.
Like Shopee, Tokopedia is visited by many users looking for items at prices that are not too expensive, which is under IDR 500,000. Items that are much sought after on Tokopedia are various kinds of unique items. However, Tokopedia also has a weakness, namely the emergence of products whose authenticity is not evident.
Tokopedia is suitable for those of you who sell unique items that tend not to be found in other Marketplaces. Things like this are usually sold at relatively low prices. In addition, there is nothing wrong with products such as electronics, fashion, and groceries to be marketed on Tokopedia.
Like Tokopedia, Bukalapak, which was launched in 2010, is also a local marketplace that has achieved unicorn status. In the eyes of users, Bukalapak has three main advantages. Each is a relatively inexpensive product price, a wide selection of products, and a good reputation.
Most of the users visit Bukalapak to shop for electronic and fashion products. Indeed, in general, the items most purchased online at the beginning of the Marketplace were electronic goods and fashion items. Just like the two previous Marketplaces, users spend the most money shopping at Bukalapak in the range of IDR 100,000 to IDR 500,000.
Like Tokopedia and Shopee, Bukalapak is suitable for those in a business selling gadgets, electronic goods, or fashion products. Especially if the item you are selling has a price below IDR 1,000,000. However, one thing Bukalapak has to improve is the unpleasant user experience when accessing the Marketplace website.
Lazada is a Marketplace under the parent company Alibaba Group which started operating in Indonesia in 2012. Just like Shopee, Lazada also often carries out massive promotions in various mass media. One thing that is unique about Lazada is the power balance in almost all metrics.
That’s why users choose to buy items on Lazada because the strength is evenly distributed across all categories. The primary commodities at Lazada are electronic products, fashion, and groceries. Users tend to choose Lazada to shop for relatively affordable items, which is under IDR 1,000,000.
Lazada offers a wide selection of payment methods, one of which is the option to cash on delivery (COD). This option is a payment option that Lazada users are interested in and the payment method via bank transfer. Lazada has also built its own logistics network, namely Lazada eLogistics.
So, what kind of business is Lazada suitable for? Almost all goods can be marketed through Lazada, of course, with the dominance of products in the electronics and fashion categories. If you market products on Lazada, make sure to provide the COD payment option because that’s where Lazada’s advantage lies over its competitors.
Last but not least is Blibli, one of the local Marketplaces that is pursuing unicorn status. Blibli started operating in Indonesia in 2011. What makes Blibli different and makes it unique from other Marketplaces?
Blibli puts forward the vision that the user is the top priority. Blibli focuses on offering guaranteed authenticity and the best possible user experience. Blibli is also known to have a strong reputation, as seen that it occupies the top position on the reputation and good user service metrics.
Users visit Blibli compared to other Marketplaces if they want to find groceries products. Besides that, electronic products and fashion are also the primary commodities here. This makes sense since Blibli is known to sell products, particularly electronics, which are guaranteed authenticity.
The exciting thing is, Blibli users tend to shop for items that are more expensive than other Marketplaces. Such as the price range of IDR 1,000,000 to IDR 1,500,000 or even more than IDR 2,000,000. Indeed, electronic products are usually sold at this price, right?
Users don’t like Blibli because of the lack of product variety offered and the price of goods that tend to be more expensive. However, this is by what they get, namely products that are guaranteed authentic. The credit card payment option is the primary payment method used by Blibli users.
So, what kind of business is Blibli suitable for marketing? Electronic items such as smartphones or notebooks are very relevant to be marketed here, but make sure the items you are selling are genuine products from well-known brands. In addition, providing an installment payment method via credit card is also highly recommended for the continuity of your business.
The development of technology has made it easier for us in many ways, one of which is economic transactions. The emergence of the Marketplace has made us have many choices in buying and selling activities, both as sellers and buyers. Each Marketplace has its characteristics, which make it superior in the eyes of users.
By knowing the characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of each Marketplace, we can better plan business strategies. In addition, the user behavior of each Marketplace needs to be mapped carefully for similar reasons. A good business strategy is a weapon to win in the competition in an increasingly firm business world to achieve the desired business goals.
Hopefully, this discussion will be helpful as a consideration for those of you who are compiling a digital business strategy. See you later!