Thriving on Shopee: Performance Marketing for Southeast Asia


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Highlight the best practices in performance marketing for retailers to succeed on Shopee, one of the fastest-growing eCommerce platforms in Southeast Asia.


In the ever-evolving landscape of e-commerce, Southeast Asia has emerged as one of the most vibrant and rapidly expanding markets. Among the multitude of platforms catering to this region, Shopee has established itself as a dominant force, offering unparalleled opportunities for retailers to tap into the vast potential of Southeast Asian consumers. In this comprehensive guide, we explore the best practices for retailers to succeed on Shopee through effective performance marketing techniques, including sponsored ads, flash sales, and vouchers.

Understanding Shopee: A Powerhouse in Southeast Asian

Founded in 2015 by Forrest Li, Shopee has rapidly ascended to become a cornerstone of the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia, a region experiencing explosive growth in digital commerce. This ascendancy has been characterized by remarkable milestones and statistics that underscore Shopee’s influence and reach across its primary markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines. With its headquarters in Singapore, Shopee has leveraged the region’s high mobile penetration rates and a burgeoning middle class eager to engage in online shopping, thereby amassing a user base that numbers in the tens of millions.

By 2023, Shopee reported having over 343 million monthly active users, a testament to its vast popularity and the central role it plays in the daily lives of consumers across Southeast Asia. This user engagement is further bolstered by the platform’s transaction volumes, with billions of dollars’ worth of goods being transacted annually. Shopee’s mobile-centric approach, emphasizing a seamless shopping experience on smartphones, has contributed significantly to these figures, with the platform consistently ranking as one of the most downloaded e-commerce apps in the region.

The secret behind Shopee’s success lies in its tailored approach to meet the local needs and preferences of its diverse consumer base. This includes offering a wide range of product categories—from fashion and beauty products, which see tens of thousands of transactions daily, to electronics, groceries, and household essentials. Shopee’s platform is a vibrant marketplace that caters to a wide array of consumer needs, making it a one-stop-shop for millions.

Shopee’s innovative features, such as its integrated payment system ShopeePay, which has seen adoption rates soar in recent years, and its logistics arm that ensures timely delivery across vast geographies, have been critical in enhancing user trust and satisfaction. In addition, Shopee’s strategic marketing campaigns, like the annual 9.9, 11.11, and 12.12 sales events, have become highly anticipated shopping festivals, driving record sales and user engagement each year. For instance, during the 11.11 sale event in 2022, Shopee reported over 2 billion items sold, highlighting the platform’s ability to mobilize massive consumer participation.

Furthermore, Shopee’s commitment to empowering local sellers through seller education programs and providing them with robust digital tools has enabled thousands of businesses to thrive on the platform. This symbiotic relationship between Shopee and its sellers not only fuels the platform’s diverse product offerings but also contributes significantly to the economic growth and digitalization of the Southeast Asian region.

Performance Marketing Techniques on Shopee: Best Practices for Success

To thrive on Shopee and stand out in a competitive marketplace, retailers must leverage performance marketing techniques that resonate with Southeast Asian consumers. Here are some key strategies to consider:

Sponsored Ads: Maximizing Visibility and Reach

Sponsored ads on Shopee provide retailers with a powerful tool to increase visibility and reach their target audience effectively. By strategically bidding on relevant keywords and targeting specific audience segments, retailers can ensure that their products are prominently displayed to users browsing the platform. Sponsored ads appear in various formats, including carousel ads, banner ads, and search ads, allowing retailers to showcase their products in a visually appealing manner.

Best Practices:

  1. Conduct keyword research to identify high-volume and relevant keywords for your products.
  2. Create compelling ad creatives with eye-catching visuals and clear call-to-action (CTA) to entice users to click.
  3. Monitor ad performance metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to optimize campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

Flash Sales: Driving Urgency and FOMO

Flash sales are a popular marketing tactic on Shopee that capitalizes on the principles of scarcity and urgency to drive sales and create a sense of excitement among shoppers. By offering limited-time discounts and exclusive deals on select products, retailers can stimulate demand and encourage impulse purchases. Flash sales are particularly effective for clearing excess inventory, launching new products, and increasing sales velocity.

Best Practices:

  1. Plan flash sales strategically around key shopping events and holidays to maximize visibility and engagement.
  2. Set attractive discounts and incentives to incentivize participation and create a sense of urgency among shoppers.
  3. Promote flash sales through various channels, including social media, email marketing, and in-app notifications, to reach a wider audience and generate buzz.

Vouchers and Coupons: Encouraging Repeat Purchases

Vouchers and coupons are powerful incentives that retailers can use to encourage repeat purchases and foster customer loyalty on Shopee. By offering discounts, free shipping, or other promotional incentives, retailers can reward loyal customers and incentivize them to make additional purchases. Vouchers can be distributed through various channels, including email marketing, social media, and in-app notifications, to reach a wide audience of potential customers.

Best Practices:

  1. Segment your audience and tailor voucher offers based on customer preferences, purchase history, and shopping behavior.
  2. Create urgency by setting expiration dates and limited redemption periods for vouchers to encourage prompt action.
  3. Measure the effectiveness of voucher campaigns by tracking redemption rates, repeat purchase behavior, and overall ROI to optimize future campaigns.

Case Studies: Success Stories on Shopee

Let’s take a closer look at how retailers have successfully implemented performance marketing techniques on Shopee:

  1. Fashion Retailer A: By leveraging sponsored ads to promote their latest fashion collections and participating in flash sales events during peak shopping seasons, Fashion Retailer A saw a significant increase in sales and brand visibility on Shopee. They also offered exclusive vouchers and coupons to reward loyal customers and incentivize repeat purchases, resulting in improved customer retention and lifetime value.
  2. Create urgency by setting expiration dates and limited redemption periods for vouchers to encourage prompt action.
  3. Electronics Brand B: Electronics Brand B partnered with popular influencers and celebrities to create buzz around their product launches and promotions on Shopee. By collaborating with influencers with a large following and engaging content, they were able to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to their Shopee store. They also ran targeted sponsored ads to showcase their latest gadgets and accessories, resulting in higher conversion rates and sales.

Conclusion: Unlocking Success on Shopee

In conclusion, retailers can unlock the vast potential of Southeast Asian markets and thrive on Shopee by implementing effective performance marketing techniques such as sponsored ads, flash sales, and vouchers. By maximizing visibility, driving urgency, and incentivizing repeat purchases, retailers can increase sales, build brand loyalty, and achieve sustainable growth on Shopee. With the right strategies and a customer-centric approach, retailers can position themselves for success in the dynamic and competitive landscape of Southeast Asian e-commerce.

author avatar
Alan Yong CEO / Founder
Alan Yong is a distinguished eCommerce expert with an impressive career spanning over 30 years, primarily focusing on the consumer goods sector across multiple global markets, including the two largest consumer markets, China and the United States. With a deep expertise in multi-channel eCommerce, big data & analytics, performance marketing, and consumer-based supply chain and logistics, Alan has held pivotal roles as CEO and Global General Manager for multinational consumer packaged goods companies, driving significant digital transformations and eCommerce success.