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This country brief is part of an eleven-part series exploring the landscape of B2C e-commerce marketplaces in various East Asian economies. This series offers in-depth insights into the traffic trends for active e-commerce websites, national established and emerging key players, main characteristics of the marketplaces, ease of online selling, the degree of specialization in terms of products as well as the products characteristics.

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Lao P.D.R. shows a moderate internet penetration rate (76%) and a limited proportion of its population purchases goods online (10%). Nevertheless, the density of B2C marketplaces is relatively high with a total of 53 B2C marketplaces for a population of 7.5 million (0.02% of the total traffic in the region studied).

Over the period 2019-2022, the traffic on the 53 B2C marketplaces dropped considerably from 12.5 million visits in 2019 to 4.8 million visits. Among them, online shopping malls account for the largest proportion of marketplaces (73.6%) and capture most of the traffic (76.5%).

The e-commerce market is largely dominated by international companies (91%), including first and foremost the United States (53%), and a commendable proportion are held by companies based in China (13%). Of the total 53 B2C marketplaces, Lao P.D.R. is third holding 9% of the operating companies.

The e-commerce traffic is highly concentrated with the Top 10 websites capturing 98.2% of the total traffic. This Top 10 is led by online shopping malls, 7 in total, and companies are mainly from China (3), the United States (3), and Lao P.D.R. (3).

Regarding the ease of selling on these B2C marketplaces, 74% of them allow foreign sellers to operate and 72% offer open registration to online sellers. A large proportion of these marketplaces are fully transactional (74%) but, as a corollary, this same proportion requires trading fees to sell online.

Lao P.D.R. has a balanced proportion of generic (53%) and specialized B2C marketplaces (47%). Among the 25 specialized marketplaces, 32% specialize in fashion, accessories, and shoes (capturing only 1% of the traffic). The traffic dynamics also show that consumers’ preferences lean toward buying groceries (90% of the traffic) and to a lesser extent towards automotive parts (6%).

Trade, Investment and Innovation Division +66 2 288-1234 [email protected]