The state of Southeast Asia e-commerce, 2017 - an infographic

E-commerce has been the poster child of the investment landscape in Southeast Asia for the past few years. In this graphic, we compare a few of the movers and shakers in terms of traffic, engagement metrics and major customer acquisition and retention channels.

Most of the raw data you see is sourced from a third-party, independent source called SimilarWeb. Look forward to reading your comments, feedback, and tips on how we can improve the usefulness of the information below.

Scroll down to see the rest of the e-commerce infographic:


Who are the biggest players?

  • A lot of the web and mobile web traffic -- for instance, from Lazada, Tokopedia, Elevenia, Bukalapak -- hail from Indonesia. This is indicative of the early potential of a 250 million strong population.
  • Horizontally integrated e-commerce players tend to adopt a marketplace model. This means they opt for a leaner model with less operational and inventory risk.
  • Niche, vertical players like Reebonz and Fashionvalet are more likely to adopt inventory models where they can provide greater convenience, service, and speed to their customers

Who has the best customer engagement?

  • Traffic, or users, a metric that investors commonly look at does not necessarily mean good financial performance. The data shows that the quality of users differs widely across platforms.
  • Many niche players tend to have customers who are more engaged - spending more time on site and viewing more pages. This could be a sign that their customer lifetime values are higher and could be closer to profitability, albeit at a smaller scale.

How are they acquiring customers?

  • Most traffic still comes from direct and search
  • Despite all the hype about social, it still contributes a small percentage of traffic (>10%) consistently across retailers
  • Traffic from mail ranges widely between players. This tells us that a lot of players have been successful with their lifecycle marketing and campaign mail strategies. This could be an opportunity area for other players.
  • Certain players (e.g. Elevenia) have much more referral and partnership driven models


Raw data from this e-commerce infographic comes mostly from SimilarWeb. This makes it comparable and independent.

This data only considers web and mobile web traffic. Nowadays, a lot of the activity and engagement in e-commerce is on mobile apps. In other words, take the data with a pinch of salt.

Finally, we have done enough research to know that third-party data is rarely accurate. Use the numbers above indicatively.


Hope you enjoyed this e-commerce infographic. Feel free to drop us a line with feedback and comments. If you are a retailer or e-commerce company who is interested to see how we can help you turn your data into sales using machine learning, feel free to reach out at