Singles’ Day 2019 in Southeast Asia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 12th December 2019 – The Malaysian Digital Association (MDA), the apex representative body for online publishers, advertising agencies and digital service providers in Malaysia, today released a report on Singles’ Day 2019 in Southeast Asia, which is produced by SimilarWeb. The MDA recently appointed SimilarWeb as its measurement partner for Market Insight. The report provides an overview about one of the most important online shopping festivals in the region and compares Malaysia’s activities with our neighbouring countries.
2019 Traffic Overview
Taking the top 100 shopping sites across Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore), we calculated the baseline average daily visits for Sunday – Monday in the month leading up to Singles’ Day (Oct 1 – Nov 9 2019), and arrived at a total average of 22.6M visits. This average increased to 33.2M visits on Sunday-Monday of Singles’ Day (Nov 10-11) – a 46.6% increase.
This increase of over 10M daily visits, stemmed mostly from the largest country in our set – Indonesia, which saw a 30.3% increase in daily visits (about ⅓ of the total traffic increase on Singles’ Day). While it is the biggest, Indonesia did not have the most dramatic relative increase – as smaller countries: Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore all saw an increase of over 70% in daily traffic to shopping sites.
Unlike the rest of the world, where AliExpress is the owner of Singles’ Day, Southeast Asian shoppers focused on other stores – the multiple properties of Lazada, Shopee and JD all saw overall more traffic, and a far more significant increase in traffic during Singles’ Day than did AliExpress. The largest site in our group, Shopee saw an increase of 62.7% over its baseline traffic of 5M visits. Second-largest player, Lazada, saw an even greater improvement, with traffic more than doubling on this shopping holiday. A significantly smaller player, JD, was the third largest in total volume increase, more than tripling its daily traffic.
Site Growth by Country
Among these top growing sites, JD and blibli.com received 85% or more of their traffic from Indonesia, so an analysis of their country-specific growth is irrelevant. Looking at Lazada and Shopee, which see a more uniform traffic distribution across countries, we find that for Lazada, growth was more-or-less proportional to baseline traffic, as each country’s representation in growth was similar to their representation in baseline traffic volumes.
On the other hand, Shopee saw more growth in some countries than others – for example, while it received 38% of its baseline traffic from Indonesia, the country only contributed to 28% of its growth. On the other hand, Philippines were over-represented, sending the site just 12.7% of its traffic on the baseline, it was responsible for 20.9% of growth.
Singles’ Day 2018 vs 2019
However this year’s traffic did not fare well in comparison to last year: overall traffic to the top 100 shopping properties was down 16.2% YoY. The most dramatic decrease occurred on the day before Singles’ Day – when traffic was 22% lower than in 2018.
The most significant decrease was again, in the largest country – Indonesia, with a 29.3% decrease in shopping traffic on the two days of Singles’ Day. Smaller countries – Philippines, Thailand and Singapore, were the least affected by this year’s traffic dip, as their traffic only slightly decreased, if at all. Unlike the other five countries, Vietnam actually saw a 13.8% YoY growth in traffic.
YoY Site Winners
As we’ve seen, traffic on Singles’ Day has actually decreased this year over last. Taking a closer look at what happened to some of the top players reveals that this decrease was mostly uniform across the top 10 sites. Shopee can be declared winner, as it is the only major site to see traffic increase over 2018 – with a 26.3% gain. All other sites in the top ten saw traffic dips, including Lazada, with a 20.9% decrease.
Finally, we reviewed the country-specific traffic to the top two sites – Lazada and Shopee, to find the source of growth and decline. For Lazada, traffic decreases were mostly related to drops in Indonesia and Malaysia – each responsible for 32% of the site group’s traffic decrease. On the other hand, Shopee’s growth was mostly fueled by growth in traffic in Philippines and Vietnam, each of which contributed to over 22% of growth – double their share of baseline traffic.
Finally, we look at app performance over time. We examined daily active users of some of the top shopping apps in Southeast Asia: Tokopedia, Lazada, Bukalapak, Blibli, AliExpress, and JD.
While overall app usage was up 43.4% over the baseline average for Sunday-Mondays in the month leading up to Singles’ Day, this was still 20.7% lower than app usage in Singles’ Day 2018. Most dramatically, app usage in Indonesia was down 27.9% over last year, most prominently on Tokopedia – which had the most usage in Singles’ Day 2018, and dropped 38% on the same days in 2019.
*Shopee’s app was not analyzed, as they utilize various different apps throughout the year, and during holiday sales.