Comparing the Advertising Solutions offered on Southeast Asia’s top marketplaces

Cynthia Luo
Jun 7, 2022

Do you sell on an online marketplace in Southeast Asia?

Then you’ve probably run ads to boost your product’s search rank to reach more shoppers. Below are examples of where ads can show up: 

The three dominant marketplaces in the region - Tokopedia, Lazada, and Shopee - offer their own set of tools to enable sellers to run ads on their respective platforms. Here we dive into Lazada and Shopee advertising solutions to address their strengths, gaps and how ecommerce optimisation software like Epsilo can be used to unify and optimise operations across each marketplace in one dashboard. 

Below is some common terminology we’ll be using:

  • In-platform marketing: running ads on the ecommerce marketplace directly (keyword ads, shop ads, etc.) 
  • SKU: stock keeping unit (your product) 
  • Keyword: word(s) a shopper inputs into the search bar on the ecommerce marketplace to find the relevant product 
  • ROAS: return on ad spend (“how much sales do you get back in return for each $1 ad spend?) 
  • CPC (cost per click): how much it costs you to have a shopper click to view your product/ad
  • Advertising solutions: the tools or services available on each marketplace for sellers to run ads 

*For a longer list of ecommerce terminology and metrics to know, check out our article.

There are five main stages a seller goes through when running in-platform ads and an advertising solution should enable a seller to perform tasks effectively and efficiently at each stage:


  1. Keyword research
  2. SKU selection (stock) 
  3. SKU selection (pricing strategy)

Set up 

  1. Product groups (which products should participate in which campaigns?) 
  2. Campaign management
  3. Keyword mapping


  1. Bid adjustments 
  2. Budget management


  1. Share of search data  


  1. Export historical data > 90 days
  2. Customise report with various metrics

Based on these stages and tasks, we compare Shopee and Lazada Advertising Solutions (data is accurate as of February 1 2022): 

Of course a big factor to assessing advertising solutions is cost.

Shopee and Lazada advertising solutions are both free and mandatory to use for sellers that want to run advertising on their platforms. Both marketplaces also offer in-house support for certain sellers with large enough footprint or they have a network of select Agency partners to support smaller merchants.

Ecommerce optimisation software like Epsilo has all the functionalities of the advertising solutions offered by Lazada and Shopee but offers ad automation and optimisation for a monthly fee.

To assess whether your business requires marketing technology or a digital tool to manage ads, you should first ask yourself the following questions: 


  1. Do I require it?

    Signals pointing to yes: you have 1 Marketer or 1 Agency or 1/2 a Brand Manager handling your "ecommerce marketing". They spend majority of the day simply analysing performance and putting together slides. They might also be ignoring your emails.

  2. Do I know the ROAS for each of my marketing channels?

    Signals pointing to yes: You're unclear what percentage of your sales is driven by Facebook, promo vouchers, emails, or affiliates and at what cost.

    P.S. - too high of a ROAS means you're not investing enough and missing out on potentially larger share of the market   

  3. Do I have the resource to learn how to use the tool?

    Signals pointing to yes: if you're working late nights or weekends to aggregate data or optimise ads during "Midnight Big Bangs", invest to master a tool that saves you and your team time and boost productivity. They'll probably start replying to your emails again.

If you want to try Epsilo for yourself, sign up for a free trial.

For more information about Epsilo, contact us or attend our webinar.

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