Lazada and Shopee are now two of the largest and most popular e-commerce marketplaces in Malaysia. As such, some of the most commonly asked questions I get from people who want to sell on marketplaces are:
"Should I sell on Lazada, or Shopee?"
"Which platform should I sell on?"
"What are the fees like on each platform?"
To help my readers answer this question in more details, I've decided to compile this quick article to give you an overview of each e-commerce marketplace as well as the similarities and difference between them.
Lazada launched in 2012 by Rocket Internet as one of the fastest growing e-commerce marketplaces in Malaysia.
May 2019 Statistics
21.87million sessions (SimilarWeb)
#44 most popular app in Malaysia (SimilarWeb)
Pros of Selling on Lazada
Cons of Selling on Lazada
Shopee launched by Sea Group (formerly Garena) as a mobile-first e-commerce marketplace in Malaysia in 2015.
May 2019 Statistics
22.95m sessions (SimilarWeb)
#20 most popular app in Malaysia (SimilarWeb)
Lazada and Shopee: 5 Ways They are Alike
Free to list
You can create a seller account for free on both Shopee and Lazada and start selling right away. There aren't any registration or annual fees.
Right now, Lazada and Shopee doesn't charge commissions on any sales made on the platform. Other than a 1% payment fee, you get to keep all profits you make without having to give the marketplace a cut.
Although there is no sales commissions, both Shopee and Lazada charge a payment fee for transactions made on the platform.
Large amount of traffic
Lazada and Shopee are currently two of the largest e-commerce marketplaces in Malaysia. If you want to expose your listings to a large traffic, these two marketplaces are your best bet.
No cross-border sales using Malaysian seller account
Although both Lazada and Shopee have websites in countries outside Malaysia, unfortunately you won't be able to sell in those countries if you have a seller account in Malaysia.
Instead, if you want to sell on Lazada Singapore, for instance, you'll need to incorporate a Singapore company.
Lazada and Shopee: 5 Ways They are Different
Shopee is mobile-first, Lazada is desktop first
Shopee launched in 2015 as a mobile-first e-commerce marketplace, taking advantage of the increasingly mobile first behaviours of Malaysian shoppers.
Lazada, on the other hand, started as a desktop marketplace, struggling to perfect its seller app, which remains buggy.
Shopee is open to both individual and corporate sellers, Lazada is only open for corporate sellers
Although Lazada used to be open to individual and corporate sellers, now only SSM registered sellers with corporate bank accounts can sell on the platform. On the other hand, both individual and corporate sellers can freely sell on Shopee.
Staff accounts on Lazada, single account on Shopee
Shopee is built for the single seller, without the team in mind. Lazada, on the other hand, allows you to create staff accounts. If you have a big team, you can give each of your staff a role specific account.
Shipping is just better on Shopee than Lazada
Shopee offers a lot of free or discounted shipping programs right now, but Lazada doesn't offer any kind of shipping program. Sellers have to create their own shipping offers.
On top of that, Shopee's shipping process is pretty straightforward, whereas for Lazada, sellers are often overcharged for shipping, eating into their profit margins.
Return process on Shopee is simpler than Lazada
If you have a dispute with your buyer on Shopee, the process is streamlined and fast. But on Lazada, things can get complicated. Lazada has attempted to solve this problem using Direct Return to Merchant (DRTM), but only time will tell if more improvements will be made.
Verdict: Which One Should You Sell On?
Now that you've taken a look at each platform in more detail, which one should you sell on?
Personally, I would say sell on both. It's free to list anyway, so if you think you can handle operations for two sales channels, then go ahead.
Do note that you'll need to adopt different strategies on each platform.
Let me know: does this help answer your questions about the similarities and differences between selling on Shopee and Lazada? If not, let me know what other questions you have in the comments below.
Get to know more about selling on Shopee and Lazada using my guides: