In Malaysia, it feels like there's a new online marketplace launched every other month. Although there's a lot of enthusiasm around marketplaces, most new entrants find themselves unfit to compete, lose steam and stop growing.
For the ones who do survive, and indeed thrive, the rewards are a winner-takes-all market share.
In this article, we take a brief look at online marketplaces that have skyrocketed to the top, those who are still vying for the top position, and a few other old favourites that have fizzled out in popularity.
If you're wanting to sell on an online marketplace, or simply want to get a high-level, bird's eye view on the landscape, here's a quick recap to bring you up to speed.
Top online marketplaces in Malaysia - ranked
Traffic information obtained from SimilarWeb (Updated on March 2021)
Shopee (#1: 46.66m visitors/month)
Shopee is a mobile-first online marketplace in Malaysia. Launched by the SEA group in 2015, Shopee is now Malaysia's most popular online marketplace. At the time of writing, Shopee's web traffic exceeds 46million (that's quite a bit more than Malaysia's entire population, by the way 🤯).
You can buy and sell anything on Shopee - electronics, clothing, groceries, toys, car accessories - anything goes. Both individuals and businesses can start a store on Shopee.
Should you sell on Shopee in 2021? Most definitely - you won't get another marketplace with a wider audience reach than Shopee in Malaysia.
- Shopee's early days saw growth via aggressive free shipping and 0% commission campaigns
- As of March 2021, Shopee's traffic is now more than 3X that of Lazada's since its launch in Malaysia in 2015
- In 2019, Shopee launched its own e-wallet, ShopeePay
- Shopee's Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment, SPayLater, launched in early 2021 in response to the growing popularity of BNPL in the country
A few things Shopee has going for it
- Designed to be mobile-first, capturing Malaysian users who have leap-frogged past the laptop generation to a mobile generation
- A lot of money - SEA group is growing fast, which means there's a lot of money that can go into growing Shopee.
Our guides on Shopee
Lazada (#2: 13.26m visitors/month)
RUNNER UP SPOTLIGHT
Launched by Germany's Rocket Internet in 2012, Lazada made it easy for Malaysians to shop online. It was the closest thing Malaysians had to A-to-Z online shopping.
With the emergence of Shopee, however, Lazada has fallen from popularity. With its slow move into mobile, fierce rival competition, Lazada's traffic has slipped below its highs of over 20 million visitors a month.
These days, Lazada is seeing traffic figures under 15 million a month.
Should you sell on Lazada in 2021? Yes, it's the second biggest online marketplace in Malaysia. Nonetheless, I wouldn't focus on having just a Lazada store. Make sure to have a store on both Shopee and Lazada!
Our guides on Lazada
PGMall.my (#3: 7.31m visitors/month)
PGmall is one of the fastest growing home-grown online marketplaces in Malaysia. Like Shopee and Lazada, PGMall is an all-in-one marketplace where shoppers can get products in just about any category.
Should you sell on PGMall in 2021? If after setting up a Shopee and Lazada store, you still have the bandwidth for another store, you can set up one on PGMall.
Carousell.com.my (#4: 2.45m visitors/month)
Carousell is Malaysia's largest peer-to-peer marketplaces for selling second-hand goods. Although, in recent years, Carousell has been shifting away from the second-hand goods mindset.
Should you sell on Carousell Malaysia in 2021? Yes, if you have a lot of second-hand good for sale.
Zalora (#5: 1.12m visitors/month)
Zalora is a fashion-focused marketplace that was launched by Rocket Internet in 2012. It carries most of the biggest brands in fashion like Nike, adidas, and more.
Should you sell on Zalora in 2021? If you're in the fashion niche, for sure!
eBay Malaysia (#6: 474k visitors/month)
eBay is probably one of the oldest online marketplaces in the world. Although it isn't quite as popular as other online marketplaces, Malaysians are still buying.
The difference between eBay and other platforms is that you can sell second-hand goods and sell them by fixed or auction prices.
eBay also allows Malaysians to sell not just to Malaysians, but also to international customers.
Should you sell on eBay Malaysia in 2021? It depends on the products you're selling.
Lelong (#7: 353k visitors/month)
When it comes to online marketplaces in Malaysia, Lelong is one of the first marketplaces Malaysians bought from in the early 2000s. These days though, Lelong hardly comes to mind when Malaysians, especially those in the younger generation, think about buying from an online marketplace.
Lelong is also one of the few marketplaces in Malaysia where you need to pay to start a store.
Should you sell on Lelong in 2021? With so little visitors, setting up a store on Lelong shouldn't be a big priority for most sellers.
GoShop.com.my (#8: 328k visitors/month)
GoShop is Astro's answer to an online marketplace, linked to its informercial channel. There are products to buy in various categories, but it appears GoShop's focus in the home category.
Should you sell on GoShop in 2021? If you can see yourself selling using Astro's infomercial channel, you could consider selling on GoShop. Otherwise, it won't be worth the effort.
Youbeli.com (#9: 113k visitors/month)
Youbeli is yet another all-in-one marketplace, selling products in every category. With just over 100k visitors a month, Youbeli is sadly flaming out.
Should you sell on Youbeli in 2021? Personally, I think it's not worth your time.
Prestomall.com (#10: 75.15k visitors/month)
Back in the days, when Prestomall was known as 11Street, it was one of two giants in the online marketplace space, standing shoulder-to-shoulder next to Lazada.
These days though, it appears Prestomall is dwindling into oblivion, with a fraction of the traffic of new entrants into the market like PGMall.
Should you sell on Prestomall in 2021? With under 100k visitors a month, there's no reason to start here. Your time and effort is better invested on Shopee and Lazada.
Kravve is a marketplace for handmade food like CNY cookies, handmade ingredients, fresh meats and more. While it's not exactly a marketplace for the mass market, it's a niche-specific platform that has steadily grown through the years.
Should you sell on Kravve in 2021? If you're a maker of handmade food, you should most definitely earmark Kravve as a place to sell.
The online marketplace landscape is experiencing great shifts in recent years. With new entrants vying for the e-commerce pie, it's obvious even the champions of today can't keep still.
If you are interested to sell on marketplaces in Malaysia, I highly recommend setting up store on Shopee and Lazada. These are the top 2 marketplaces, and you'll likely be able to get sales from.
Wishing you all the best in your seller journey!
Have you sold on any of these marketplaces in Malaysia? Share your experience below 🙂