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Social mobile marketplace opens in PH

12:00 AM February 15, 2016
(From left) Shopee regional managing director Terence Pang, Shopee PH executive Macy Castillo and Shopee regional marketing head Agatha Soh at the launch of Shopee Philippines.

(From left) Shopee regional managing director Terence Pang, Shopee PH executive Macy Castillo and Shopee regional marketing head Agatha Soh at the launch of Shopee Philippines.

A NEW SOCIAL mobile marketplace has opened its doors in the Philippines, guaranteeing a fast, easy and more secure option for the shopaholic Filipino.

Shopee, a free mobile app that allows customers to shop and sell, recently joined the growing e-commerce industry in the country.

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The platform, which is initially tailor-fitted for Southeast Asia, combines the authenticity of a customer-to-customer marketplace with payment support that is more convenient to users.

“With Shopee’s availability here in the Philippines, Filipinos can now fully experience a free, highly intuitive social mobile interface, where anyone can buy and sell in less than 30 seconds, even when on-the-go,” says Terence Pang, regional managing director of Shopee.

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Pang says roughly 25 percent of current users are sellers.

For the newbies, Shopee can help them become effective sellers by providing access to consumers at zero cost.

“A lot of times, the buyers come in and start selling as well,” Pang says. “Anyone can be a seller. So if you install the app, you can start as a casual seller or a professional one.”

When it comes to security, Pang says Shopee addresses common issues faced by users such as fraud, transaction risks, and face-to-face meeting hassles. Through its secure payment service called Shopee Guarantee, consumers are assured their products are delivered at their doorsteps.

“We ensure legitimacy through Shopee Guarantee. We don’t pay the seller unless there’s a confirmation from the buyer,” Pang said. If the purchased items are not received in pristine condition, buyers will be refunded in full.

Pang says Shopee has a team based in Quezon City that diligently monitors all the listings, making sure that whatever that gets uploaded by the seller is legal and abides by local regulations.

Shopee also has an in-app live chat function that allows the buyer and seller to communicate at their own convenience.

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“Mobile allows the buyers and sellers to access it anytime, anywhere. When it’s on-the-go, the responses will be prompt and automatic,” Pang says.

On competing with existing e-malls, Pang says Shopee is unique because of several reasons.

“One is that we are focusing on mobile first, which we believe is the future. We also have social elements on luring the sellers and buyers,” Pang says.

Two to three years ago, mobile traffic was only 4-5 percent.

Now, it’s common to see 50-70 percent traffic from mobile users, he says.

“We believe that’s the trend and that’s the direction we are heading,” he says.

Shopee is available for free downloading on App Store and Google Play across Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.

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