eCommerce goes SEA!

Will Tokopedia Turn out as Good as it Promises?

The eCommerce business is no stranger to start-ups. Although large players started their companies more traditionally, tech-focused startups like Wish and Tokopedia.com are now dominating the marketplace landscape. With the news that Tokopedia, an Indonesian marketplace, has recently raised an extra $1billion of funding, comes the realisation that the eCommerce business is nowhere near saturated just yet. With places like Europe and America having firm favourites like Amazon, clever upstarts are looking elsewhere for customers. And considering Tokopedia quadrupled its revenue in 2018, it’s a safe bet that the South East Asian market is a good guess.


What is Tokopedia?

Tokopedia is an online marketplace based in Indonesia. Started by a factory workers son, they have managed to turn their marketplace into big business. Today, Tokopedia claims to have 80million monthly active users and 4million merchants. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokopedia). In Indonesia, they managed to be the most popular app downloaded on the Apple app store in 2018, even beating Whatsapp and Facebook.


What does the future hold for them?

Tokopedia have started picking up some recent press because one of their investors, Sequentia Capital are a fund backed by the Alibaba group. They have obviously shrewdly seen this as an opportunity to access a marketplace that they are not currently very active in. Interestingly, even with the investment, Tokopedia are not keen to invest abroad. Perhaps they realise how strong they are domestically and how much competition they would have from the likes of Amazon and Wish. (Source: https://t3n.de/news/alibaba-e-commerce-startup-1132094/?utm_source=t3n-Newsletter&utm_medium=E-Mail&utm_campaign=Shop-Betreiber+aufgepasst%21_). Although it may seem counter-productive to create competition between themselves after recently injecting $2billion into the Lazada marketplace, which operates in the same region, Alibaba seems to be steadfastly finding their competition and buying it.


What are the issues with Tokopedia?

Now that they have an investment from a huge player like Alibaba, Tokopedia will need to combat their counterfeit problem if they are to continue to grow. South East Asian marketplaces do not need to submit to the same type of regulation as American and European marketplaces which therefore means that fake products can get into the supply chain a lot more quickly and easily. This is bad news for your brand, especially if you sell your legitimate products on the same marketplace. It remains to be seen what “plan” they will put in place to tackle this, but many legitimate sellers will be hoping it is put into place quickly. One of the main issues in reviews is that there is no-one to complain to if you receive a faulty product (Source: https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/tokopedia.com). Hopefully this will be a “quick fix” for Tokopedia and they can continue to expand.


Tokopedia is one of the marketplaces we can monitor for you and complete test purchases as well. Contact us to find out more.