Following its soft launch in end June this year, Shopee - touted as a "mobile-first social marketplace" - has officially been launched at The Refinery in Singapore last Friday (November 20, 2015).
Besides Singapore, the platform was also soft-launched in other countries across Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.
With this app, users can list a product for free in less than 30 seconds by simply snapping a picture, and then provide a description and set a price. Shopee users can browse for a range of products listed on the app via categories and sub-categories; as well as explore popular trends by tapping on the featured hashtags.
As fraud and transaction risks are commonplace in existing customer-to-customer platforms, Shopee eliminates these issues with its in-app secure payment service. Called Shopee Guarantee, buyers are assured that they will receive their orders in the condition as promised or advertised; otherwise they will get a full refund.
Shopee also works closely with local e-commerce logistics providers, such as Ninja Van, to provide users with reliable and efficient end-to-end delivery services. To ensure that items reach their buyers on time, sellers can opt for pick-up services and track the delivery process within the app. Once a purchase has been agreed on, Shopee will collect the product and deliver it to the buyer on the seller's behalf, usually by the end of the next working day.
Another key feature of the app is the Seller Assistant, which guides individuals on managing their retail businesses on Shopee. Sellers can use it to organise inventories and measure store performance to easily figure out which products to restock or offer a discount on.
Additionally, its Live Chat function enables buyers and sellers to engage in real-time conversations through the in-app instant messaging function. Buyers can enquire about products, fostering a better understanding of both the seller and the product before a purchase decision is made.
"Today, a large part of online purchases in Southeast Asia take place on mobile ... Our team aims to create a secure, fun and fuss-free C2C shopping experience with integrated social experience. With live chat, social sharing and hashtag features, our platform has brought a truly social marketplace to life," said Chris Feng, CEO of Shopee.
"Individuals often wish to set up their own online shops but lack the know-how. Shopee makes it easy for anyone to list products and manage their inventories, while facilitating financial transactions and delivering products on their behalf. With tools such as the Seller Assistant, Shopee helps everyday individuals sell like a professional retailer and become successful entrepreneurs," he added.
Shopee is currently available for download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
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