MOHAMMED AL SHAHRI WRITES– Trade has evolved owing to technological advances. Technology has developed remarkably, with the resources and tools helping people access information more efficiently. The modern e-commerce has extensively used the World Wide Web, e-mail, mobile applications, and telephone as a way to reach out to ever-larger audiences.

Nowadays, one does not need to go out and buy goods or services physically. Obtained from the comfort of a computer or a phone through e-commerce platforms Amazon. Lazada and Shopee are among the three e-commerce giant in Asia. Both of the two large online stores in Southern Asia offers an easy way for sellers to bridge the existing gap to buyers sellers. Online shops have gained popularity in Taiwan, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Jacob Wolinsky, the founder of Value — a blog site that deals with politics, economics, business, technology, and value investing– worked out a method of comparing the popularity of Lazada and Shopee in certain Asian countries by tallying up the average visitors to the respective platforms; the summary of the results is shown below. The table states that Lazada is more popular than Shopee in Southeast Asian countries. In a broad perspective, Lazada can be seen to enjoy huge traffics in four of the countries selected. On the other hand, Shopee scores high regarding online visits in the other two states. By comparing the two online shops, it’s evident that despite Lazada being a leading shop, Shopee is equally a formidable competitor.

 

E-commerce platforms have made purchasing of commodities easier. Online advertisements stir people to seek specialties they might not have known about before. An easy way of obtaining these commodities is online purchase instead of physically going to shops and supermarkets to search for the products. Besides some products may not be locally available.

Alibaba is one of the most popular online shops today with its shops across the globe.

It has been regarded as the fastest growing e-commerce marketeer. For this reason, the Chinese giant has moved into southeast Asia, where Lazada and Shopee operate so well, like a storm. For Lazada and Shopee to gain more audience, therefore, they must compete with the likes of gigantic Alibaba.

Apart from Lazada and Shopee, not to mention Alibaba, there is Tokamedia, which garnered a prestigious award in 2016 for its  huge progress in e-commerce. This illustrates again that Shopee and Lazada need to up their game should they want to compete with successful online platforms like Alibaba and Tokamedia.

The competition between the platforms is good for consumers. Each platform tries to outdo the other by making better offers. For instance, some platforms offer free delivery of purchased commodities within a given region. Others throw in a gift when a customer buys a given product. The consumer, therefore, can’t lose.

E-commerce platforms have made it easy to buy commodities from anywhere in the globe. However, this technology has also provided several challenges to both the buyers and the sellers. Due to an increasing number of these platforms, buyers are confused about the best platform to use. Also, the platforms have reduced the number of people employed in a physical shop. Identical products are found in various platforms, but the speed of delivery after purchase and price could determine choices a consumer makes before choosing a particular platform.

Additionally, it may be challenging to get some products from regionally acclaimed platforms like Tokomedia while such products can be obtained from international brands like Alibaba. In the near future, programmers will be faced with the task of providing consumers a platform that provides as much variety as possible, fair prices and superior customer care services like quick delivery.  Not to mention that occasional free gift!

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