We analyzed 370 e-commerce sites in Asia: here’s what we found

Which e-commerce verticals have been most successful in drawing traffic? How are the different e-commerce verticals shaping up in terms of engagement?

In this article, we compare the growth, engagement, and sources of traffic across 5 e-commerce verticals:

  • Fashion
  • Home & Electronics
  • Beauty
  • Luxury
  • Food & Groceries

This analysis is based on our market reports, where we analyze over 370 popular e-commerce websites in Asia Pacific. To see the full list of companies that are included in this analysis, please check out our reports.

The traffic and engagement data you see here is sourced from a third-party, independent source called SimilarWeb. SimilarWeb uses sources such as local internet service providers, monitored devices, web crawlers, and direct measurement sources to estimate traffic data, time on site, bounce rate, and other metrics.

How is the market growing and which are the fastest-growing verticals?

  • In 6 months, most verticals are seeing high single-digit to double-digit growth in web and mobile web traffic. The data is consistent with double-digit full-year growth estimates for the e-commerce industry.
  • Over the past 6 months, the Food & Groceries vertical has been growing the fastest, with more and more consumers opting for the convenience of getting their food delivered to their doorsteps
  • On the other hand, the Beauty vertical is the only segment that is experiencing negative growth.

How do engagement metrics compare across verticals?

  • For the Beauty vertical, minutes on site and pages visited are less than the inter-industry average. This indicates that O2O and offline experience is a key part to customers interacting with the businesses.
  • Companies in the Food & Groceries vertical have more minutes spent on site and pages visited. This matches a pattern where customers have more products in their basket and hence visit many pages to find all the groceries they need.
  • The Home & Electronics vertical sees high minutes on site but low pages per view. This could mean that customers visit e-commerce sites with an idea of what particular piece of furniture or gadget they want and spend time reading product details and reviews instead of browsing through the site to seek inspiration. This kind of buying behavior may be due to the high cost of furniture and electronics, which are typically not impulse buys.
  • In the Luxury vertical, pages visited is high and bounce rate is low, compared to the average. This could imply that customers tend to browse through luxury product catalogs to be inspired and to put items onto their mental wishlist.

How does each vertical draw web traffic?

  • Fashion receives a high proportion of traffic from direct visits, while luxury companies do not.

  • Fashion, beauty, and luxury e-commerce companies draw more traffic via display ads, given the focus on aesthetics within those verticals.

  • Luxury companies make the most use of email to draw traffic. This could indicate that personalized emails to valued customers may be seen as a better and more targeted way to build brand exclusivity than mass advertisements.

  • Referrals from other sites comprise a larger proportion of web traffic for the food & groceries, beauty and luxury verticals, and a smaller proportion of web traffic for home & electronics and fashion.

  • Fashion receives less web traffic from search, while luxury receives more traffic from search. Many luxury companies in our index sell clothing and apparel, so the variation is due more to customer behavior than product type. The spelling of European luxury brands may be unfamiliar to the SEA market we surveyed, so customers may use search engines to locate those luxury brands, while directly keying in the URLs of mainstream fashion brands. This matches our earlier observation that fashion companies receive more traffic from direct entries while the reverse is true for luxury companies.

  • Use of social networks to draw web traffic is more prevalent in beauty and fashion, suggesting that customers in these segments could be swayed by peer pressure.
  • On the other hand, luxury companies tend not to use social networks, which may be due to their apprehension of diluting their brand image. Food & Groceries e-commerce companies are also less reliant on social to draw web traffic.

Over to you

We hope this information has been useful, and we welcome your feedback and sharing. To find out more about what we do at Metisa, reach out to us at hello@askmetisa.com.

If you are interested in the details of companies that are included in this analysis, please check out our market reports.