Comparison of Different E-Commerce Platforms in Indonesia

Indonesia is fast becoming a digital-first nation and Indonesians are some of the most enthusiastic users of digital technology in the world. On average each person spends four hours a day accessing the internet on their mobile smart phone. Indonesia has a growing digital ecosystem that not only includes online e-commerce but also ride-sharing services, media distribution services and financial services. HQTS can help companies and clients with e-commerce products quality control, to ensure top-quality products are being sold online.


E-commerce can be defined as buying and selling physical goods online via the internet. Indonesia has the highest proportion of e-commerce users in the region.  Ninety percent of the country’s population between the ages of 16 and 64 regularly use the internet. Furthermore, in 2017 it was estimated that $8 billion was spent online and it is predicted to rise considerably in the next few years to an estimated $55-65 billion by 2022.

Online selling and buying has had a significant impact on Indonesian society. It has been a significant factor in enabling and empowering women into the business world. E-commerce has also broadened financial services and opened up a broader, more inclusive marketplace. In fact, Indonesia has the largest online commerce market in Southeast Asia, which generates around $2.5 billion in revenue, with 55% of online commerce spending coming from the main cosmopolitan area of Indonesia, Jakarta.


Indonesia has 122 million Facebook users which surprisingly is the fourth-largest audience in the world. They are also the largest Instagram story producer in the region, while Jakarta is the most active city for Twitter users in the world. One-third of Indonesian’s population are between 16 to 35 years old.


At the start of 2020, the top e-commerce websites in Indonesia are Shopee, Lazada, Tokopedia and Bukalapak.

Shopee was launched in Singapore in 2015 originally as a consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and immediately became similar to e-Bay. They have since grown and expanded rapidly and now operate throughout South-East Asia, including Indonesia. Their site now includes both the original C2C service as well as a significant business-to-consumer (B2C) model which also includes partnerships with over 70 logistics service providers. In Q2 of 2019 their orders increased by 92.7% on the previous year to 246.3 million. And, in 2017 a survey showed that “for Indonesian mothers, Shopee was a first-choice shopping platform (73%)”. They had a very successful 2019 by reaching new milestones; receiving around 147.6 million monthly visitors with a daily average of 2 million orders and they have around 8000 employees. They hope to broaden their website in the future by introducing in-app games to bring users more fun and entertainment.

Similarly, Lazada launched in 2012 and owned by the Alibaba Group, with the intention of establishing a business model similar to Amazon. It now provides a wide range of B2C products from electronic devices, to clothes and fashionwear, as well as automotive and motorcycle products. In 2016 Lazada claimed that it recorded a total of $1.36 billion in annual GMV across it six markets in South-East Asia making it the largest e-commerce player in the region with around 5.3 million users per month, 145,000 sellers and 300 million of those views coming from mobile devices.

Furthermore, Tokopedia is an Indonesian-based technology company specialising in e-commerce services since 2009.  It is known as a ‘unicom’ which is a privately-owned start-up company valued at over $1 billion.  It 2019 it was reported as being the most-visited e-commerce website in Indonesia with average visits approaching 66 million a month. Tokopedia’s business model has been defined as “network orchestrators” meaning that they not only sell products and services but share reviews and build relations throughout their business network. Similar models are used by Uber, AirBnB, TripAdvisor, Amazon and Alibaba. Tokopedia has around 10 million users, 6 million active sellers, 16.5 million products are sold monthly, 100 employees and the website receives an average of 1.3 billion page views a month.  

Equally, Bukalapak is another unicom organisation and one of the largest e-commerce companies in Indonesia. It was founded in 2010 initially as an online marketplace to enable Small to Medium enterprises (SMEs) to go online but has since expanded into many areas since including online-to-offline services to support mom-and-pop stores called ‘warung’ to be active partners. In 2019 Bukalapak had more than 4.5 million SME sellers, 70 million active users, 1.9 million ‘warung’ partners and averaged two million transactions per day.

As can be seen from the examples above, e-commerce in Indonesia has been on the rise for a while now. Each website is equally user-friendly, and they all offer a range of different products. Shopee seems to be the best choice for mothers, Lazada is a top-quality website for online shopping in Southeast Asia, compared to Tokopedia, which specialises in technology and electronics and Bukalapak is as an online marketplace to help small to medium businesses sell items. The e-commerce sector is not expected to stop anytime soon, in fact, while the COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted almost all business sectors in the country, it has had a positive impact on the e-commerce sector and a 50% year-on-year growth is expected this year to an estimated value of $35 billion.  And is forecasted to exceed the $130 billion mark by 2025. During the pandemic a whole new cohort of consumers are turning to e-commerce with 30% of users saying they are new to the online marketplace and 40% said they would continue to use online even after the outbreak has passed. While businesses may decline slightly as controls are relaxed, growth will soon pick up and are likely to increase as predicted.

About HQTS

With over 25 years of experience in quality assurance, HQTS is ready to help your online business build a robust quality assurance process. Our many service locations are prepared to be your one-stop-shop for your e-commerce inspection needs, Including, production monitoring, pre-shipment and sorting inspections and everything in between. Contact us today to find out how we can help you navigate current quality control challenges.

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