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Thanks MajorFool20. In addition to the links provided by Moneyspin in his reply to your post (which I found very helpful), I suggest the following link to those invested in, or interested in, Sea Limited and specifically their e-commerce platform Shopee:

Jeff Towson seems to have a solid understanding of Asian tech trends. He also brings the lens of a venture capitalist. The podcast is part of an online course that he teaches, so you'll hear occasional comments to "modules" etc., but this does not detract from his presentation. The "Lazada faster horse, Shopee better jockey" podcast (July 2020) is good if you want to better understand how Shopee is successfully competing with Lazada. This is my summary:

• This is a "platform competition" between the 2 biggest SE Asia e-commerce platforms (ECP's).
• It's all been done before in other parts of the world, so it's mainly about execution: operational performance and management over time.
• Starting out, ECP's want to establish and increase "demand side scale". The 3 main ECP intangibles are Users, Activity/Participation, and Data.
• Attracting consumers, merchants, and brands across the seven very different SE Asia countries, cultures, and regulatory environments is difficult.
• Concepts: 1) Multihoming, 2) Management Track Record and Incentives
• Multihoming is when users can easily switch to a rival ECP if there's a price or service advantage. To minimize it, it's critical to make things easy for customers (e.g. how to pay) but the big must-have for ECP's is logistics. This increasingly is "smart warehouses" etc. driven by IT. It's really hard to do logistics with such a dispersed geography (so many islands) and so many small businesses.
• Lazada uses in-house resources because AliBaba is very good at logistics ("faster horse"). It will take longer to establish, but it could be formidable when it's mature, and it might offset their management weaknesses (more on this below).
• Shopee uses third party resources, has no history in logistics (and their partner Tencent doesn't do it) but has better management ("better jockey").
• ECP's need to make merchant and consumer user experiences great, especially getting the consumers onside, and Shopee is better at this. E.g. constant promotions and discounts and "gamification" with rewards that can be spent online (for this, their Garena online gaming background helps).
• #1 consumer priority is value for money. Shopee is better here.
• #2 is selection and quality. Lazada is better for electronics. Shopee is better for fashion, health, cosmetics, and he notes that 60-70% of consumer purchases are by women.
• #3 is an easy, seamless experience (for which Shopee is better) but Lazada is better at delivery.
• Shopee localizes better (i.e. it addresses local wants/needs/preferences) and builds bottom-up, whereas Lazada has more of a top-down approach which does not localize as well.
• 30:00 Management Track Record and Incentives: Lazada has had 3 CEO's in 2 years. This is bad. He also talks about general management issues important in any firm. Management should have demonstrated commitment to the region. Avoid parachuting in short-term non-local managers. Shopee is better here.
Lastly, incentive. For Shopee there is no Plan B, no other sewn-up market to retreat to if things don't go well. They are all-in, they must succeed, and so far they are.

Note that the discussion did not include Amazon, which has entered SE Asia. For that I recommend TMF Jeremy Bowman's October article:

15% SE position
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