E-commerce platform Shopee details how beauty brands could benefit from expansion drive

By Amanda Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

Shopee is eyeing a golden opportunity to tap into previously hard-to-reach demographics, opening up new opportunities for beauty brands on the online platform. [Shopee]
Shopee is eyeing a golden opportunity to tap into previously hard-to-reach demographics, opening up new opportunities for beauty brands on the online platform. [Shopee]

Related tags: e-commerce, SEA

South East Asian e-commerce firm Shopee is eyeing a golden opportunity to tap into previously hard-to-reach demographics, opening up new opportunities for beauty brands on the online platform.

Speaking during the inaugural Shopee Brands Summit on Jan 25, Shopee COO Terence Pang said one of the firm’s chief goals was to acquire more consumers, which in some ways has become easier in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Specific to the backdrop of COVID, what we see is certain areas of growth where it used to be slightly harder to penetrate, now it’s starting to become easier. We’re looking outside the tier-one cities, older users, more premium users,”​ said Pang.

“This is an area where we feel this year and the years going forward would be the right opportunity and the right time for us to aggressively venture into.”

To reach more affluent consumers, the platform launched Shopee Premium last year. It is a dedicated platform that provides consumers with direct access to authentic luxury brands such as Sulwhasoo and L’Occitane.

With the platform, Shopee is able to help its brand partners address the specific needs of their consumers.

“In terms of beauty brands, there are mass-market and premium brand, each and every one of these brands have their unique wants and differences and we need to customise for them. For instance, with Shopee premium, what brands want is a premium segment for them to showcase their brands,”​ said Ian Ho, regional managing director and head of regional brand partnerships, Shopee.

The firm, which is owned by New York-listed Sea Limited, said it would be scaling up Shopee Premium with more campaigns as well as more beauty and fashion brand offerings.

Aside from expecting more brands on the platform, Ho teased more changes to the interface to give brands more interesting opportunities to tell their stories.

The beauty category is one that is constantly changing and innovating. We need to be very flexible with how we deal with the brands. We are starting to learn what consumers and brands want from Shopee Premium. We are making a lot of changes from a user interface perspective. For example, we will be able to let brands tell their stories better with more pictures, more videos – better visuals overall.”

In addition, the firm will also be rolling out a slew of new initiatives and improvements to help brands acquire new consumers, increase consumer retention and optimise their online performance.

This includes the creation of a brand membership programme to allow brands to increase consumer retention and reward their loyal customers.

Later on, the company said it plans to roll out a service that allows users to shop now and pay later.

“What we're doing with e-commerce is replicating what's happening in the offline world. For instance, buy-now-pay-later essentially is letting you pay via credit card,”​ said Ho.

Path to greater growth

Since its launch in 2017, orders on Shopee Mall have grown 10 times, outpacing the overall platform growth.

Driven by the ongoing pandemic, the platform saw two times more brands on Shopee Mall in 2020 compared to the year before. There are now over 20,000 brands on the feature.

As a testament to the firm’s belief in continuous growth in 2021, it announced during the summit the launch of the 100 Million Dollar Club, a challenge to get brands to achieve US$100 million in GMV in 2021.

The first 10 brands to reach the milestone will be privy to special perks including access to exclusive business insights, increased campaign exposure and media support.

“Most brands right now are starting to see more brands put more effort into e-commerce than before, putting it at the forefront of their strategy. What COVID brought was an acceleration of the process. We want to align with the brands, because the better they do, the better we do,” ​said Ho.

This challenge is open to the whole region and all categories across the platform – including beauty.

Additionally, Shopee also announced the launch of the Regional Champion Brands Programme, a by-invitation programme comprising 16 brands that will receive priority support from Shopee in the areas of marketing, innovation and insight.

Among the 17 brands are beauty and personal care giants, L’Oréal, Proctor & Gamble and Unilever.

“These are the brands we want to work with more closely in terms of technology and data. For instance, we have already worked with L’Oréal and Unilever to build in their technology into our platform and increase the conversion rate,”​ Ho elaborated.

“On the data part, we want to use that data to help them grow their sales. It could be getting better ROI on marketing or giving them data on a particular segment of users that are largely untapped with high potential.”

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