Singapore’s Top 20 E-commerce and How They Make Money Online

[18th (Thurs): Last edit Fri: publish]

At just over US$4 billion, Singapore’s e-commerce market size is only second to Indonesia’s US$9 billion market size and slightly ahead of Malaysia’s US$3 billion.

Not only that, according to a study by iPrice, Singapore’s online shoppers also have the largest basket size in Southeast Asia.

On top of that, the e-commerce market in Singapore, like that of its neighboring Southeast Asian countries, is set to see double-digit growth in the next five years. By 2022, the e-commerce market size for Singapore is forecasted to expand to US$8 billion.

This is great news for e-commerce players already in the market as well as individuals and companies that are interested to move into e-commerce.

As such, one of the biggest questions that the latter group of people might have is: what kinds of e-commerce businesses are doing well in Singapore?

They ask this question in hopes of emulating the success of others in their own forays into the digital space.

If this is a question you have been asking yourself, the good news I have taken the time to study and compile this list of the twenty most popular e-commerce websites in Singapore and what they are doing to make money online for you.

Using data from Alexa and Similarweb, I’ve compiled the 20+ of the biggest e-commerce sites in Singapore that are taking up the most of the e-commerce pie here.

If you are running your own e-commerce business or planning to, you might be able to learn from these sites to improve yours.

I have ordered them by their traffic size, starting with the largest sites at the top.

Let’s get to them!

Disclaimer: All Alexa and Similarweb information reflect their positions at the time of publishing.

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Qoo10.sg

Category: Online marketplace (B2C, C2C)
Alexa Ranking: #9 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 9.95m
Year of Establishment: 2008

Qoo10 is Singapore’s most dominant e-commerce player, taking up a third of the entire e-commerce pie in 2017. Its success is mainly due to low prices compared to its competitors.

One of the most popular features of the e-commerce site is the ‘Group Buy’ deals where buyers can take advantage of flash deals to get things at a steep discount.

Qoo10 makes money using the conventional online marketplace model: by charging sellers a commission on every successful sale made on the platform.

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Lazada.sg

Category: Online marketplace (B2C, C2C)
Alexa Ranking: #8 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 6.63million
Year of Establishment: 2012

Lazada’s entry into Singapore and the rest of Southeast Asia was initially driven by the German Rocket Internet group in 2012.

Within a few years of launching, Lazada raced ahead and became one of the top e-commerce marketplaces in Southeast Asia.

Recently, Lazada’s growth has been fueled by a US$4billion investment by Alibaba, giving it resources to compete against rising newcomers like Shopee.

While in the past Lazada used to make most of its money by charging commissions on sales made on the platform, Lazada has taken the route of charging zero commissions in an effort to compete with Shopee which has been doing so since its inception.

Currently, Lazada is making most of its revenue by charging its sellers a fee for sponsored product posts.

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Sg.Carousell.com

Category: P2P Marketplace
Alexa Ranking: #27 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 14.30million (36.6% traffic from Singapore)
Year of Establishment: 2012

Carousell is Singapore’s pioneer peer-to-peer marketplace. It began as a mobile-first platform and continues to be the most popular of its kind today.

On Carousell, people list things for sale and make arrangements themselves on how to buy and sell. Carousell does not help with the monetory transactions that happen. As such, scams on the platform can happen totally out of control of Carousell.

The biggest benefit that Carousell offers its sellers is that they don’t have to pay any payment gateway or commission fees when they make a sale through the site.

Right now, Carousell makes money using display ads, partnerships and ads and promos for sellers to boost their products on the platform.

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Shopee.sg

Category: Online marketplace (B2C, C2C)
Alexa Ranking: #74 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 2.85million
Year of Establishment: 2015

Like Carousell, Shopee is another mobile-first e-commerce marketplace. But unlike Carousell, Shopee acts as a middleman, collecting payments on sellers’ behalf and releasing them once buyers receive their items.

Its growth in Singapore has been quite fast, growing from 1 million sessions to the almost 3 million sessions today.

Shopee does not charge any commissions to sellers on the platform, but they do sell sponsored ads for products.

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Ezbuy.sg

Category: Consignment forwarding from China, US, Korea and Taiwan
Alexa Ranking: #79 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 1.67million
Year of Establishment: 2010

Ezbuy started in 2010 as a platform for helping people buy and ship items from popular shopping destinations like China, US, Korea and Taiwan to Singapore. Now, ezbuy has rebranded into a mainly forwarding company, helping buyers ship in items they buy from those countries into Singapore.

One of the biggest draws is the $2.99 flat shipping fee for ezbuy’s ‘Prime’ customers. This keeps ezbuy’s most active customers happy.

Ezbuy makes money mainly by charging a markup on top of the item price known as the ‘Agent fee’ to the customers.

* * *

eBay.com.sg

Category: Online Marketplace (B2C, C2C)
Alexa Ranking: #285 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 1.59million
Year of Establishment: 

eBay started in the US in 1995 as an auction site. These days eBay has shed most of its auction-based business, however, having transitioned into a conventional buy and sell marketplace where sellers can list both new and used items up for sale.

As a marketplace, eBay is behind local players like Carousell and Shopee, but the popularity of the platform has been rather steady over the years.

eBay makes money by charging listing and transaction fees to sellers who successfully make sales on the platform.

* * *

Redmart.com

Category: Online grocery delivery
Alexa Ranking: #109 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 1.57million
Year of Establishment: 2011

Redmart is Singapore’s most popular online destination for grocery shopping. It not only provides delivery of everyday groceries to the doorsteps of Singaporean homes, it does at discounts for selected items.

As a business, Redmart is yet to be profitable and was acquired by Lazada in 2016. In general, however, Redmart makes money by profiting from the items bought online by its customers.

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Zalora.sg

Category: Fashion e-tail
Alexa Ranking: #177 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 1.24million
Year of Establishment: 2012

Zalora is Lazada’s sister’s site for fashion and the biggest fashion e-commerce site in Singapore. The site carries hundreds of fashion brands for men and women.

Zalora fundamentally makes money by profiting from the clothes it sells. However, it is yet to be profitable but aims to be so by 2019.

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Courts.com.sg

Category: Online home furnishing and electronics store
Alexa Ranking: #456 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 1.22million
Year of Establishment: 2012

Courts is a popular furniture and electronics chain in Singapore with 85 stores islandwide. The Courts online store has almost 20,000 items listed.

* * *

FairPrice.com.sg

Category: Online grocery shopping
Alexa Ranking: #207 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 917,000+
Year of Establishment: 2002

Fair Price is Singapore’s largest supermarket chain where you can buy anything you need for your everyday use. It launched its online store in 2002 as one of the pioneer supermarket e-commerce store in Singapore.

Today, FairPrice’s online store offers free delivery for orders above $59 and click-and-collect at 71 locations for orders above $29.

It makes money by profiting from sales of products bought from the online store.

* * *

Shopback.sg

Category: Cashback site
Alexa Ranking: #188 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 786,000+
Year of Establishment: 2014

Shopback is Singapore’s most popular cashback site. Buyers who make purchases using Shopback’s links will get a percentage of their purchase cost as cashback.

Shopback makes money by keeping a portion of the affiliate income it receives from the merchants while passing on most of the money to the buyers.

* * *

Reebonz.com/sg

Category: Pre-loved and new luxury handbag e-tail
Alexa Ranking: #1,035 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 708,000+ (10.6% from Singapore)
Year of Establishment: 2009

Reebonz started in 2009 as a platform for pre-loved luxury handbags in Singapore. Today, it is one of the most popular platforms for pre-loved and new luxury handbags in Australasia.

Reebonz makes money by profiting from the sales of the luxury bags on its platform.

* * *

Guardian.com.sg

Category: Pharmacy e-tail
Alexa Ranking: #889 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 645,000+
Year of Establishment: 2014

Guardian is one of the most popular pharmacy chains in Singapore. It launched its online store in 2014 not only as an e-commerce website with a wide variety of products on offer but also a place for Singaporeans to get virtual health consultation using their live chat feature. Guardian makes its money by profiting on the products it sells.

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FortyTwo.sg

Category: Online home furnishing store
Alexa Ranking: #137 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 437,000+
Year of Establishment: 2007

FortyTwo is Singapore’s biggest online-first home furnishing site. With more than 20,000 pieces on the site, it’s likely that you’ll find what you’re looking for if you’re out furniture shopping. It makes money by profiting on the products it sells on its online store.

* * *

Sephora.sg

Category: Makeup e-tail
Alexa Ranking: #568 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 433,000+
Year of Establishment: 2011 (as Luxola)

Sephora Singapore started off in 2011 as Luxola, the brainchild of entrepreneur Alexis Horowitz-Burdick. In 2015, she eventually sold Luxola to the LVMH group which promptly rebranded it to Sephora in Singapore and Malaysia.

Nowadays, Sephora dominates the luxury makeup space online in Singapore. Sephora’s physical store presence around Singapore helps the brand.

Sephora makes money by making a profit on the products it sells online.

* * *

Watsons.com.sg

Category: Online pharmacy
Alexa Ranking: #850 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 408,000+
Year of Establishment: 2016

Like Guardian, Watson’s is also a popular pharmacy chain in Singapore, with more than 100 outlets islandwide.

The online store carries hundreds of products buyers who love their offline stores will be satisfied with.

Watsons makes money by profiting on the products sold from its site.

* * *

Klook.com

Category: Travel discount site
Alexa Ranking: #347 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 4.51million (8% Singapore traffic)
Year of Establishment: 2014

Klook is a Hong Kong based travel discount sites for experiences in top travel destinations around the world. On Klook, you can find passes to Universal Studios Japan, sim cards to use in Seoul and so on for offer prices. Other than better prices, Klook also offers travelers a convenient all-in-one destination to conveniently buy travel-related experiences and conveniences.

Although it has not been disclosed, Klook likely makes money by charging a commission to the merchants for the experiences it sells on its site.

* * *

LoveBonito.com

Category: Fashion e-tail
Alexa Ranking: #1,310 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 282,000+
Year of Establishment: 2006

LoveBonito started off as a blog shop in 2006 as BonitoChico, one of the pioneer fashion e-commerce sites in Singapore. Its core products are stylish fashion pieces for the modern Singaporean woman.

By 2010, BonitoChico was rebranded as Love, Bonito. In 2018, it raised US$13million to expand its business in Singapore and around Asia-Pacific.

Like any retail e-commerce site, LoveBonito makes money by making a profit on the fashion pieces it sells on its store.

* * *

Honestbee.sg

Category: Online food delivery
Alexa Ranking: #819 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 243,000+
Year of Establishment: 2014

Honestbee offers a concierge food delivery and grocery shopping services for Singaporeans.

Although Honestbee is far from profitable now, it hopes to make money by increasing volume and driving down the per unit cost, driving up margins.

* * *

ColdStorage.com.sg

Category: Online supermarket
Alexa Ranking: #1,157 in Singapore
Monthly Visitors: 164,000+
Year of Establishment:

ColdStorage is a popular grocery store chain in Singapore. You can find almost everything in thier outlets on their online store.

ColdStorage makes money by profiting from the products sold on its website.

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Conclusion

There you have it – 20 e-commerce websites in Singapore that is taking up most of the e-commerce share in Singapore.

As you might have noticed, these websites span a variety of industries and offerings. This can only mean there is an opportunity to make money online in more than one way.

If you have been thinking about starting your own e-commerce business or even expanding your offline business online, the right time could just be now.

What do you think of this list of e-commerce sites? Know any sites we missed? Do let us know in the comments below!

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