Shopee may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone says luxury, but that’s about to change.

The homegrown e-commerce platform has announced the launch of Shopee Premium, a new online destination for shopping designer brands from fashion, beauty and more. We’re talking the likes of Calvin Klein, Furla and Tommy Hilfiger, as well as high-end beauty labels like Sulwhasoo, Laneige and Paula’s Choice.

Through Shopee Premium, users will be able to follow their favourite brands, letting them in on the latest launches and exclusive deals on the app. They’ll also be able to shop with a peace of mind, knowing that all products bought on the platform are authentic and sold directly by their respective brands.

Luxury brands can also tap onto the app’s various features, such as Shopee Live (a livestreaming tool that rewards watchers with vouchers and virtual “Shopee Coins”) and Shopee Games (ditto, except that users will have to play any of the app’s addictive mobile games). This means that shoppers who engage with the app will be able to make their purchases with even more discounts.

Chinese actress Maggie Jiang in a campaign for Tommy Hilfiger, one of the brands that are launching on Shopee Premium. (Photo credit: Tommy Hilfiger)
Chinese actress Maggie Jiang in a campaign for Tommy Hilfiger, one of the brands that are launching on Shopee Premium. (Photo credit: Tommy Hilfiger)

Luxury brands going online is nothing new. With the slow death of physical retail stores, which has only been sped up by the pandemic, more brands have been turning to digital channels to reach their customers. Some, especially jewellery brands, have begun to offer digital concierge services; others have gone virtual.

Even when they do open an actual store, as Burberry has, the shopping experience is still very much rooted in the digital realm. (In the British brand’s case, it has launched a program that lets shoppers virtually interact with the store, as well as unlock exclusive content through their phones.)

In fact, as of 2019, online channels influenced 75 per cent of all luxury transactions — a number that’s only expected to rise in the years ahead, especially as Asia’s middle class continues to grow.

Which leads us back to Shopee: the Singapore-based platform is one of the leading e-commerce players in Southeast Asia right now. In the second quarter of 2020, it boasted the highest number of monthly visits from online shoppers in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. The app also currently ranks first on both the App Store and the Play Store across these markets, beating out rivals like Lazada and Qoo10.

Shopee Premium will include fashion brands like Calvin Klein, as well as premium beauty labels. (Photo credit: Calvin Klein)
Shopee Premium will include fashion brands like Calvin Klein, as well as high-end beauty labels. (Photo credit: Calvin Klein)

In other words, Shopee is primed to become for Southeast Asia shoppers what Amazon has been for the US: the largest online retailer in the region. And with Amazon having just launched its own luxury shopping platform, it makes sense why Shopee has quickly done the same — and why brands are hopping on board.

Or they will, soon enough. For now, Shopee Premium’s list of brands is lean. On top of the aforementioned brands, it will also feature the following: Biotherm, Dyson, Elizabeth Arden, Foreo, Jung Saem Mool, Jurlique, LG Pra.L, L’Occitane, O HUI, Refa, SU:M37 ̊, Skin Inc, Coccinelle, Dsquared2, Love Moschino and Rado.

The platform will officially launch across Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia on 4 October. The launch will be a part of Shopee’s upcoming 10.10 Brands Festival, a massive shopping event featuring a line-up of flash sales and exclusive promotions from the app’s partners. You can give Shopee Premium a try in the first week, when users will be treated to exclusive content and collaborations through the app’s livestreams.

Until then, consider your other online shopping options for all things luxury, such Marina Bay Sands’ Shopping Concierge, or Zalora’s curation of authentic vintage designer goods.

Discover more on Shopee Premium.

Header photo credit: Omid Armin via Unsplash

Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.