Sea's e-commerce arm Shopee is exiting France after its foray into Europe. The site will cease to operate March 6, and Shopee will fulfil all orders till then. The pull out comes shortly after Sea’s game Free Fire saw a ban in India which led a massive tumble of its value by US$16 billion (S$21.7 billion), according to Bloomberg.
In a statement to Bloomberg, Shopee said that following a short-term, preliminary pilot, the company has decided not to continue the Shopee service in France. It added that other markets are unaffected, and Shopee will continue to adopt an “open-minded and disciplined approach to exploring new markets".
Last October, Shopee said that it is looking to grow its presence in Spain with the launch of a new Instagram page. At that point, the expansion into Europe is still in the early stages and that Shopee was understood still testing the waters. Shopee's strategy to enter the Spanish market came shortly after it announced its expansion plans into Poland.
Currently, Shopee also had a gaming unit Garena in Europe. According to Reuters’ sources, Shopee was also eyeing the Latin America market, specifically Argentina.
In the last two years of the pandemic, Shopee saw immense growth through its Shopee Mall, which according to the brand saw an eight times increase in the number of users shopping online at least once a month. To further ride on this wave, the eCommerce platform unveiled three marketing initiatives to grow brand awareness and build deeper brand affinity for its partner merchants.
To increase brand awareness through broader marketing efforts, Shopee is introducing a new mega shopping event on 15 March in Asia. There will also be four new Shopee Premium regional campaigns to help premium brands cater to the increasing demand for premium and luxury products online. Since its launch, the eCommerce brand said Shopee Premium has scaled efforts in reaching digital luxury shoppers, achieving eight times growth in traffic, and shoppers outside tier-one cities contributing to more than 50% of purchases.
At the same time, it will also build a new sampling channel to help brands in the FMCG, beauty and toys, kids and babies categories attract new shoppers. This feature enables shoppers to buy sample-sized products where they will also receive store vouchers to incentivise their next purchase.
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