[Battle of the Brands] Lazada vs Shopee: Which is the Better Online Shopping Site?

Jay Pagkatotohan

Jay Pagkatotohan

Last updated January 17, 2022

The convenience and significance of online shopping were further highlighted over the last two years when the pandemic plagued the country. Due to lockdowns implemented left and right, people were left with no alternative but to source their needs online. Likewise, a lot of Filipinos, especially those who lost their jobs, turned to online shopping platforms to make money.

It seems nothing will change over the next few years. Online shopping is here to stay, but you have to pick the platform that will give you wider options, more reliable service, and of course, value for money.

Which between Lazada vs Shopee is the better e-commerce platform in the Philippines? This comparison review should give you a glimpse of how each company fares in different aspects of e-commerce and customer service, so you can make an informed decision on where to shop online.

Business Models of Lazada vs Shopee

Before we begin comparing Lazada vs Shopee, it’s important to first understand their business models, which affect their pricing, user experience, delivery speed, and other e-commerce features.

Both Lazada and Shopee use the B2B2C or business-to-business-to-consumer model. This e-commerce structure is the combination of B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) models.

Simply put, B2B2C is a model where a business sells its products through another business or platform. In this regard, the former is the merchant while the platform is either Lazada or Shopee.

Lazada Philippines Business Model

lazada vs shopee - lazada logo

Lazada makes a profit through various channels. The most popular are Lazada Marketplace and LazMall. Lazada charges sellers a payment fee, which is the cost of payment processing.

For LazMall sellers, the platform charges a commission, which is based on an item’s price and category. In addition to these charges, sellers will have to pay fees when they offer promos. 

Shopee Philippines Business Model

lazada vs shopee - shopee logo

Shopee, on the other hand, charges seller fees, which are composed of two types: commission fee and transaction fee. A commission fee is a payment that sellers will have to make to Shopee, so they can enjoy the platform’s benefits and services.

Shopee defines transaction fees as handling fees that cover the cost of payment transactions. The said payment also applies to orders tagged as lost by the platform.

Read more: Make Money Online: How to Become a Shopee or Lazada Online Seller

Popularity

Lazada is among the pioneers that made online shopping big in the Philippines. Thanks to its wide assortment of products at cheap prices, many Filipinos find the platform a great place to find what they need and want.

“I see it. I like it. I want it. I got it.” Ariana Grande’s 7 Rings would make you feel like shopping truly can buy happiness. So if you see it, and you like it, and you want it, go ahead and get it on Lazada or Shopee, girl!

While Lazada is one of the foremost players in the Philippine e-commerce industry, Shopee proves to be a formidable competitor, as illustrated by the latter’s popularity. As of this writing, Shopee has more than 76 million monthly web visits. Lazada, on the other hand, has over 39 million visits per month.

Shopee ranks first on both App Store and Google Play Store. Lazada, meanwhile, takes second place in the said application shops.[1]

Globally, it appears that Shopee is trying to gain market shares in the Western Hemisphere. In the first half of 2021, the online shopping brand launched in countries in the Americas, such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico.[2]  This means that Shopee has a chance to become more popular beyond Asia in the coming years. This is something that Lazada has yet to do.

Winner: Shopee

Desktop and Mobile User Experience

User experience in e-commerce refers to how easy it is to navigate a website and perform transactions such as order placement, tracking, cancellation, and refund.

Let's compare Lazada and Shopee in terms of user experience using desktop and mobile devices.

Which Website is Easier to Use on Desktop?

lazada vs shopee - lazada homepage

Lazada and Shopee online shopping websites are user-friendly, complete with easy-to-search and varied shopping categories and filters (based on price range, brand, color, rating, etc.) that help visitors find the exact product they need.

But the difference on the homepages of Lazada and Shopee is noticeable. Shopee’s homepage is visually overwhelming. Lazada’s homepage is full of details, too, but it’s more tolerable and less busy.

Both of these e-commerce sites have a Help Center section (in question-and-answer format) that lets people easily find the information they need about transacting with the site. They also have their own built-in chat service that allows people to directly message sellers for inquiries.

Lazada takes it a step further with its “Questions About this Product” feature where prospective buyers can post questions about the product and get responses from the seller. Others can read the questions and answers on the product page, which help them make an informed buying decision.

Also, the whole transaction process—from browsing products and placing an order to paying for the purchase—is smooth on Lazada and Shopee.

Lazada vs Shopee App: Which Provides Better Mobile Experience?

The Lazada app loads faster and has a neater, more organized design than the Shopee app. Lazada’s product pages have more detailed and easy-to-read product descriptions with more images than its competitor.

The Lazada app is easier to navigate, too. When you open a product page, you can quickly go to sections like Reviews and Recommendations without scrolling down the page, as the links can be tapped at the top of the screen. This makes it easy for mobile users to find great deals on the product they’ll buy.

On the other hand, the Shopee app is quite cluttered. Its overall orange color makes the interface look packed and messy. Meanwhile, Lazada’s overall colorful scheme, which is white, is easy on the eyes. The color allows the user to easily read the text and ultimately find what they are looking for.

The Shopee app may be easy to browse, but it still needs improvement on its speed as its Home screen, search results, and images on product pages take quite a while to load.

Winner: Lazada

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Product Range

The two e-commerce sites have the same range of products: men’s and women’s clothing, groceries, electronics, personal care, appliances, and more. Customers may even buy prepaid cellphone load from Lazada or Shopee.

Lazada has probably the widest range of products across different categories. As of this writing, the online shop claims that it carries more than 10 million products.

Shopee obviously has millions of products, but there’s no specific number available.  Looking at this comparison, it’s likely that you’ll find most of your preferred items on Lazada vs Shopee.

It’s also important to note that both brands have a mall; Lazada has LazMall while Shopee has Shopee Mall. Both malls are actually separate categories that only list products from authoritative, reputable, and high-quality partner brands. As such, customers will have all the assurance that what they’re buying is 100% authentic.

Both Lazada and Shopee offer a money-back guarantee if the customer receives a non-authentic product from their mall. But Lazada has an edge over Shopee in this area as it promises to give its customers five times their money back.

When it comes to returns, it appears that Lazada has friendlier terms. Lazada allows a 15-day return for all LazMall products (except for non-returnable items). So, if you buy from LazMall and you realize that you’re not happy with it or you find that there's a defect, you're given 15 days to return it.

Shopee, on the other hand, only gives an allowance of seven days for returns.

Winner: Lazada

Prices

Although both online shopping sites provide great deals, Shopee generally offers lower prices than its competitor, particularly on gadgets, clothes, toys, and bags. Selling cheaper items has earned Shopee the moniker “online Divisoria” among Pinoy online shopping enthusiasts. Shopee sellers can reduce their prices since they only have a small commission fee.

For instance, the price of a discounted Philips Air Fryer at Shopee Mall is ₱5,899. On Lazada, one LazMall seller retails the product at a discounted price of ₱6,149. If you get this Philips Air Fryer from Shopee, you get to save ₱250, which is a great difference.

lazada vs shopee - shopee prices

There are other reasons why Shopee is a more cost-saving option for online shoppers. For example, some of its sellers offer discounts to customers who buy in bulk. Customers can even haggle cheaper prices with sellers through chat.

Some merchants on Shopee sell second-hand or pre-loved items, providing more affordable options for shoppers on a tight budget.

Shopee also has a Lowest Price Guaranteed (LPG) feature. This gives shoppers 1.2x the value of the price difference via Shopee coins if they find the same product at a lower price from Shopee’s list of approved competitors, which includes Lazada and Zalora.

Winner: Shopee

Sales and Promos

Both Lazada and Shopee tend to go all out when it comes to hosting big sales and promotions. Both companies already hosted successful online sales earlier this year with another big promotion coming up, the 8.8 sale. Let’s take a look at what will happen during this year’s 8.8 sales.

Lazada Sales

Currently, Lazada hasn’t announced yet the theme of its 8.8 sale and the participating brands. But to give you an insight, Lazada held the Love Local Sale on August 8 last year. Customers were able to score up to 88% discounts off Pinoy items across different categories. Furthermore, the sale offered free nationwide shipping with a ₱0 minimum spend.

At any rate, Lazada organizes similar events, such as its Birthday Sale, Lazada 99 Sale, and 2.2 Free Shipping Festivals, among others.

8.8 ShopeePay Festival

lazada vs shopee - 8.8 ShopeePay Festival sale

Meanwhile, Shopee’s 8.8 sale is centered on ShopeePay, the platform’s native digital wallet. Here’s the Shopee sale scheduled for 2022’s 8.8 promos:

  • Opening Sale on August 1
  • Free shipping discount with ₱0 minimum spend
  • Send money via ShopeePay for a chance to win up to ₱1 million
  • Buy 1GB of data for ₱1 using ShopeePay
  • Limited Time Sale on August 8 (Big Midnight Sale, Big Morning Sale, Big Lunchtime Sale, Big Price Drop Sale, Last 3 Hours Sale)
  • Big Midnight Sale on August 9
  • Last Chance Sale on August 10
  • Over ₱4 million worth of prizes on Shopee Games (Shopee Lucky Prize, Shopee Farm, Shopee Claw, and Shopee Candy)

Winner: Shopee

This is because Shopee's 8.8 sales and promotions are diverse, and it gives customers a chance to take home exciting prizes.

Payment Options

Both online shopping sites have a variety of payment options for their customers. Here’s a table of comparison that shows you the payment channels of Lazada vs Shopee.

Both websites accept cash on delivery (COD), as well as credit card, debit card, and GCash payments. They also have their own in-store digital wallet for purchase transactions and receiving and storing refunds.

But looking at the table above, Shopee is the clear winner in this area. Shopee customers can pay for their online purchases through online banking, over-the-counter bank deposit, Coins.ph, remittance centers, and payment centers. Lazada payment options currently don’t have some of those methods for customers. 

Both websites accept cash on delivery (COD), as well as credit card, debit card, and GCash payments. They also have their own in-store digital wallet for purchase transactions and receiving and storing refunds.

But looking at the table above, Shopee is the clear winner in this area. Shopee customers can pay for their online purchases through online banking, over-the-counter bank deposit, Coins.ph, remittance centers, and payment centers. Lazada payment options currently don’t have some of those methods for customers. 

Both offer Buy Now, Pay Later options, but Lazada has more partners when it comes to it.  

Note: Starting June 10, 2022, Shopee no longer accepts over-the-counter, payment centers, and e-wallets (except for GCash and 7-Eleven) as payment options in the marketplace. But you can still use these methods for purchasing digital products (load, e-vouchers, bills payment, etc.), ShopeePay cash-ins, and payments for SPayLater and SLoan.

Read more: Ask Moneymax: What are My Rights Under the Consumer Act of the Philippines?

Lazada vs Shopee: COD Restrictions

Do you prefer the security you get from using COD to pay for your online purchases? Manage your expectation: COD isn’t available for all items, sellers, and locations in the Philippines. This goes for both Lazada and Shopee.

Sellers on both platforms may choose to enable or disable the COD option for customers for all or some of their products. Also, COD may not be offered in your shipping address.

COD on Lazada follows some specific rules. For instance, this mode of payment is only available for orders below PHP 25,000. COD will also be removed as a payment method when buyers refuse to accept COD parcels or there are repeated incidents of failing to receive the package after the second delivery attempt. 

Shopee has a similar rule. Buyers who have two or more failed COD orders will not be able to use the COD function. The said payment option will be suspended for 90 days.

Winner: Shopee

Delivery

In terms of promised delivery time, the two e-commerce sites don’t differ much, except for Shopee’s longer overseas delivery time and Lazada’s longer delivery time for shipments to Mindanao via sea.

Here’s Lazada’s and Shopee’s expected delivery time frame for standard deliveries in the Philippines:

DestinationLazadaShopee
Metro Manila
2 to 3 days1 to 3 business days
Luzon3 to 5 days3 to 8 business days
Visayas5 to 7 days3 to 9 business days
Mindanao
  • 5 to 7 days (via air)
  • 14 to 15 days (via sea)
3 to 9 business days
Anywhere in the Philippines (international deliveries)8 to 17 days7 to 16 business days

Which Delivers Faster?

But when it comes to actual deliveries, this is where Lazada beats its main competitor. Orders usually arrive within the given delivery time frame or even earlier than expected. Some customers even receive their orders within 24 hours.

The standard delivery of Shopee is a hit or miss, depending on the logistics provider used for delivery. Deliveries via Grab Express and Ninja Van are fast, according to feedback from Shopee customers posted online.

Which Provides Same-Day Delivery?

lazada vs shopee - lazada same-day delivery

Both e-commerce sites offer express delivery options to customers who need their orders ASAP.

Lazada can deliver on the same day an order is placed before 1 p.m. Orders made after 1 p.m. will be delivered the next day. This service is available in select areas of Greater Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Cebu, and Davao. Delivery fees start at ₱96 and may vary based on the item’s weight and size. There are also package size and weight restrictions for this delivery option.

While Shopee has its own courier service called Shopee Xpress, it can only offer standard delivery times. The fastest is three days.[3] If you want to save money and don’t mind waiting for your parcel, you can go for Shopee Xpress’ Economy Option which is 30% cheaper with a longer estimated delivery time (+3 days from regular)

Note: The schedule of deliveries heavily depends on the prevailing conditions of the day of the delivery. There will obviously be a delay during inclement weather. Furthermore, the pandemic has affected the dynamics of the delivery industry, so you may experience some changes in schedules without prior notice.

Read more: Reasons Why You Should Be Cautious About Online Shopping

Which Has Cheaper Shipping Fees?

Lazada’s standard delivery fee nationwide is as low as ₱38. However, note that this may change, depending on the item that you buy. For instance, the shipping fee for a dressing table will be obviously higher than that of a t-shirt.

Shopee, on the other hand, gives sellers the liberty to set shipping fees. This means that shipping could be free, or there could be discounts for a minimum order if the seller is generous and considerate enough. As such, customers tend to pay cheaper shipping fees on Shopee vs. Lazada.

Winner: Tie (Lazada for delivery speed; Shopee for shipping cost)

Buyer's Protection

lazada vs shopee - lazada money-back guarantee

A noteworthy feature that gives Shopee an edge over Lazada is its Shopee Guarantee. It gives customers a sense of security over their purchases, protecting them against fraudulent sellers and fake or defective items.

Shopee Guarantee works by holding the payment to a seller and releasing it only when the buyer confirms receiving the order in good condition. If the item turns out to be unacceptable, the buyer can request for return via the Shopee app. Shopee also gives buyers a one-time, three-day extension of the Shopee Guarantee period if they have yet to receive their orders.

Lazada doesn’t have such a feature. The closest that this platform could get to what Shopee has to offer is its Money-Back Guarantee. Nevertheless, it has Lazada Payment Protection that “protects and covers you from unauthorized transactions made using your Lazada Wallet, saved credit/debit cards, and/or saved bank account.”

Winner: Shopee

Order Tracking

Lazada vs Shopee - shopee order tracking

Both Lazada vs Shopee enable customers to track their orders online. On their respective sites, it’s easy to view which orders are pending for payment, being processed, shipped/ready for shipping, and delivered. Both Lazada and Shopee parcel tracker systems allow you to see the journey of your item via the partner couriers’ websites.

But in this aspect, Lazada takes the cake as it allows you to check the delivery status of your item via a CLEO or Customer Lazada Engagement Officer. You can access this service via the app.

Lazada also has a system that consistently notifies customers through SMS and email when to expect their order and when the package is on its way. Sometimes, Lazada’s delivery rider informs the customers via a call or text about the delivery of their parcel.

Lazada vs Shopee - Lazada order tracking

Winner: Lazada

Customer Support

A good e-commerce retailer provides multiple ways for customers to reach the company for questions, feedback, and complaints.

Customers can chat with CLEO. But if there’s a Customer Care Specialist available, you can get in touch with them 24/7 (except for holidays). You can also call Lazada from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (except for holidays). Lazada has also created a Facebook group called Lazada Peers PH where shoppers can get advice from their fellow customers. It’s basically a support community.

On the other hand, the Shopee customer service can be reached via phone (weekdays, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. only) and chat (available 24/7 in-app only). It’s also quick to respond to messages sent via Facebook Messenger.

Winner: Lazada

Return and Refund

Based on feedback posted by customers online, it’s easier to return an item to Lazada vs Shopee. With Lazada, you can just hand over the item via pick-up or drop-off after submitting a request.

Returning items to Shopee can be a little complicated and even frustrating. Once the issue is raised, a Shopee agent will be automatically assigned to review the case. Some cases may even require “evidence” to complete the return or refund request. Check out Shopee’s procedures linked below this article.[4]

Both LazMall and Shopee Mall offer a return policy if the customer receives the wrong or damaged product. However, LazMall has friendlier terms compared with Shopee.

LazMall’s Money-Back Guarantee gives customers 30 days to check if they have received the correct order. In contrast, Shopee Mall only gives buyers seven days for returns.

Winner: Lazada

Lazada vs Shopee: Final Thoughts

Both Lazada and Shopee run towards the finish line neck and neck–it’s a tie! Still, one would ask which is better: Shopee or Lazada?

It depends on your priorities as a shopper. If you want to save more on your purchases (including shipping costs), Shopee is the better place to shop. If you prefer to have items delivered fast, then go with Lazada.

We hope that this Lazada vs Shopee guide helps you decide which platform to use the next time you go shopping.

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Jay is a marketing communications professional who specializes in short-form and long-form content. He has written ads for TV, radio, print, and digital. He has also produced corporate blogs, magazine features, white papers, product listings, reviews, and press releases for clients here and abroad. When he’s not writing, Jay plays the piano or takes pictures for his visual diary. Follow Jay on LinkedIn.