AmCham recently hosted a webinar with the theme “Business Continuity through E-Commerce” with guest speaker Mr. Petrus Carbonell, Head of the Business Development at Lazada. He described the untapped potential of e-commerce and stated a five-year projection of the industry’s growth in Southeast Asia amounting to around $300B.
Carbonell shared three insights for businesses already online to improve their operations and for businesses learning to launch their digital presence:
First, customers go beyond the mere transactional relation with businesses and look into building an online lifestyle. With consumers also exploring how to integrate technology in their way of life, entrepreneurs must be able to provide the goods and services enhancing customer experience.
Lazada has successfully launched its Livestream option that makes promotions, interactions and real-time transactions possible. Their Image Scan feature eases the need to type and quickly search products. Likewise, they engage their customers through LazGames wherein users can win prizes such as vouchers.
Second, with social distancing being implemented, electronic payments are vital to lessen physical contact. While Lazada recognizes the inefficiencies of cash-on-hand, they also offer diverse payment options and utilizes partnerships with banks, e-wallets, employee and customer rewards systems, and lending services.
Lastly, the pandemic has accelerated the need for businesses to embrace technology. Their platform matches businesses or individual sellers to consumers that is easy, and accessible for both parties. Lazada also upholds seller standards through rating systems and protecting intellectual properties.
These general insights give a snapshot of the trends and what we can expect in the succeeding years beyond community quarantine and lockdowns.
To truly appreciate e-commerce and concretely visualize how it adds value to businesses, options that Lazada offers were enumerated:
- Lazada has encouraged food suppliers into its platform due to the increased demand during the on-going ECQ.
- “Seller Incubation” is for those wanting to launch online and Lazada will give the necessary assistance to grow and thrive for 90 days.
- A “Master Dashboard” give sellers full control into their inventory and postings, to view their traffic using analytics and charts, and mainly manage how they operate online.
- Tutorials and short-courses are also given through the “Lazada University” to further become knowledgeable of the platform and maximize its features for sellers.
- Campaigns are one of the driving factors of sales which can increase to up to 600%. Flash sales or promos are frequently done with 11.11 being the most anticipated date for discounts. These also aid in the seller’s visibility to a wider range of users.
- In addition, Lazada has certain “Seller Tools” namely Store Builder, Instant Messaging, Promo Tools, Seller Picks and Lorikeet (“decoration tool for product description” as per their website) . Generally, consumer engagements have shown to increase due to sales, games and the Livestream feature.
- Lazada caters to various business models and sizes. LazMall is quite particular for official brands and distributors for a superior shopping experience. It has some exclusivity to LazMall Campaigns, additional services at their disposal and higher search rankings.
- Logistics may be a complicated matter in the country yet Lazada has found several solutions to address this concern. The platform has its own logistical arm – Lazada Express too. The first option is that Lazada fulfills the entire shipping process. Drop shipping refers to Lazada picking up special (bulk) orders. Drop off is another option as Lazada has partnered with several establishments to ease the burden of orders fulfilled.
- Finally, sellers can opt to deliver the products to their buyers themselves. It is good to highlight that Lazada offers sellers to geo-restrict their deliveries, again cash-on-delivery or online payment and easy returns processing.