Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, celebrates the growth of the region’s digital economy and shares the impact that e-commerce and digital financial services had on local communities in 2021.
Southeast Asia continued to see accelerated technology adoption, with 40 million new digital users added in 2021. As adoption continues to grow, Shopee is powering digital inclusion by empowering more people and businesses to capture new opportunities online.
In 2021, more were able to access and benefit from technology through Shopee. Across the region, 1 in 6 Shopee orders were made by first-time users, while the number of sellers outside of big cities grew 70% from 2020. Shopee also delivered more fun and convenience for shoppers and groomed talents to thrive in the growing digital economy.
Shopee Philippines Director Martin Yu said, “In 2021, Shopee stayed true to our mission to benefit our local communities through technology, especially the underserved. With more people and businesses coming online, we continued to innovate and serve their needs better, adapting to the new ways people live, work, and shop. As we become more connected, we can make a bigger impact on one another and more importantly, uplift others so that no one is left behind. This is how we forge new opportunities and create value for our communities. Let’s work towards a more vibrant and inclusive digital economy together.”
Fostering inclusion and growth
In 2021, more local communities and businesses were able to access and benefit from the digital economy with Shopee.
• Widening access: Shopee continued to make buying and selling online easier for all. Across the year, it introduced localised campaigns tailored to meet shoppers’ evolving needs and expanded its delivery network so users can shop and receive purchases reliably, even in more rural areas. It also stepped up its outreach to help more MSMEs digitise, especially local producers and farmers at the heart of local economies. Highlights include:
– 70% year on year growth in the number of Shopee sellers outside big cities
– 1 in 6 orders in 2021 were made by users new to Shopee, while the number of Shopee users outside big cities grew by 40%
– The number of ShopeePay users outside of big cities surged 2.5 times, as more people enjoyed the convenience of digital payments, while ShopeePay connected online and offline merchants to new customers.
• Uplifting livelihoods: Through Shopee, local businesses translated their digital presence into tangible growth in incomes and livelihoods. In 2021, Shopee created new tools, features, and campaigns to increase local sellers’ exposure on its platform. One example was its “#TatakPinoy: Shopee Celebrates Local” initiative at its 12.12 Birthday Sale, spotlighting sellers and helping them to reach more shoppers and grow their customer base.
– To help local MSMEs digitise their businesses, Shopee also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry to launch the #TatakPinoy Virtual Trade Fair and the #TatakPinoy: National Food Fair. Through these fairs, Shopee was able to onboard 400 local sellers to the platform and provide them with an opportunity to showcase their products.
– Over 1,000 local sellers exceeded US$100,000 in sales in 3 days of Shopee’s year-end festivals – 9 September, 11 November, and 12 December
– First time online sellers also saw a big boost at the year-end, with sales for new-to-Shopee sellers surging by up to 18 times on 11 November
– ShopeePay Near Me, a new feature that helps users discover deals for offline merchants around them, created 5 million in-store transactions for partners
• Unlocking growth for brands: Shopee Mall continued to power the way forward for its brand partners, pioneering innovative solutions and tools to support sustained growth . Brand partners saw strong growth momentum and reached new milestones, as 42 million users made their first buy on Shopee Mall in 2021, while 5 partners achieved US$100 million in GMV.
Shopee continued to innovate and serve its users better in 2021. As people relied more on e-commerce, Shopee worked more closely with sellers and partners to delight shoppers and deliver better experiences for everyone.
• Creating billions of smiles: Shopee continued to widen its product assortment with its growing community of sellers and brands, allowing users to meet their needs more reliably and conveniently. Supported by an integrated ecosystem, users left 3 billion 5-star product reviews on Shopee in 2021, 60% more than 2020 as users enjoyed more seamless, enjoyable, and reliable experiences.
• Delivering fun and joy: Shopee’s in-app features continued to entertain users and bring people together. 400 million hours were spent on Shopee Live, while its in-app games were played over 40 billion times.
In 2021, Shopee continued to equip local talents, entrepreneurs, and the community with new skills to succeed in the digital economy of today and tomorrow.
• Developing tech talent: Shopee increased its efforts to engage and upskill local tech talents and enthusiasts. More than 20,000 participants took part in Shopee’s tech training initiatives, including its “Tech@Shopee” webinars and the Shopee Code League competition. At Shopee, 8 in 10 employees learned new skills at Shopee Academy, with over 27,000 training hours in total.
• Levelling up local businesses: Shopee continued to step up its learning resources to help all kinds of businesses upskill for an online world. Its digital Shopee University curriculum allows more sellers to conveniently access vital e-commerce courses and skills no matter where they are, while its online Seller Education Hub offers a wide range of courses catered for all levels, from experienced business owners to aspiring entrepreneurs. As of 2021, 1.3 million sellers have enrolled in Shopee University courses.
Shopee also launched two iterations of the Shopee University Summit in the Philippines to ensure that all its sellers have equal footing to thrive in the platform and the e-commerce industry. Through the virtual summit streamed on Shopee Live and Facebook Live, existing and potential sellers learned about online branding and social media marketing to boost visibility and sales on the platform. Combined, both online events were attended by over 800 Shopee Sellers and streamed by over 35,000 potential sellers.
Giving back to communities in need
In the Philippines, Shopee used its platform and resources to accelerate pandemic recovery, and support local communities in most need.
• Supporting communities in need: In December, Shopee launched the Typhoon Odette Support initiative to help provide immediate relief to affected residents and employees in Visayas and Mindanao and over ₱2M in donations to on-ground efforts of its partner charities. The platform also utilized its Shope Xpress network to distribute relief kits in far-flung communities.
• Contributing to pandemic recovery: In 2021, Shopee also launched initiatives to aid in the country’s pandemic recovery efforts. To provide frontliners with exclusive vouchers for their personal needs, Shopee launched the Shopee Bayanihan: Frontliner and Frontliner Holiday Packages. The platform also launched a #FullyVaxxed package to encourage more Filipinos to get vaccinated. Moreover, Shopee partnered with the Department of Health for the latter’s Resbakuna initiative to promote vaccine education through in-app and social media promotions. In partnership with several brands, Shopee also provided snacks, essentials, and refreshments to over 3,900 residents and frontliners in different vaccination centers in Metro Manila.
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