#AsiaeCommerceAwards highlight: How Lazada embedded itself within the local business community

 

Lazada is known for its ability to deliver real value to its customers – including brands and sellers – to uplift the end-to-end shopping journey and build a sustainable and healthy business.

With the consistent growth across its ecosystem, the LazMall presently houses over 18,000 leading brands, making it one of the largest virtual mall in Southeast Asia. Lazada has been increasing its consumer engagement through LazLive where brands and sellers adopted the livestreaming feature to diversify their revenue streams and directly connect with customers.

As the first eCommerce platform to introduce the 11.11 shopping festival to Southeast Asia, Lazada has successfully scaled its annual flagship event into a widely anticipated mega shopping campaign that infuses entertainment to uplift the online shopping experience, while providing exclusive one day access to attractive deals on a consumer lifestyle destination.

Its 11.11 shopping festival in 2019 achieved excellent results with 26 brands achieving more than USD$1million in sales within 24 hours as its total users increased by more than 10 million year-over-year. The festival also enabled homegrown SMEs to expand presence beyond Southeast Asia through the Alibaba ecosystem.

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way businesses operate, Lazada’s expertise in commerce and technology successfully helped the brand to live up to its purpose of building a sustainable and healthy business through its notable campaign, “Lazada: Accelerating Progress Through Commerce and Technology”, clinching the gold for Best eCommerce Marketplace / eRetailer and silver for Best Integrated eCommerce Campaign.

Challenge

The spread of COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses worldwide, disrupting local economies and the livelihoods of locals. With the change in consumer behaviour and lifestyles, many small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) were pivoting towards digital platforms and eCommerce.

In 2020, the pandemic led Lazada to adapt campaigns, including its eighth birthday shopping festival, around rallying for its sellers, customers and partners with a #HomeEdition theme. Along with lockdown restrictions implemented in countries across Southeast Asia, interesting purchasing trends emerged that suggested a shift in consumer lifestyles. Through the performance of its festival, it was highlighted that there was twice the number of participating selling sellers compared to previous year and more than 1.3 million viewers in Indonesia tuned in to LazLive livestreams.


The key challenge that Lazada faced as it continues to focus its business on accelerating progress in Southeast Asia, was to tap onto its platform’s expertise to provide support for SMEs to digitise and diversify their revenue streams.

Strategy

With its campaign “Lazada: Accelerating progress through commerce and technology”, it aims to provide greater support to local businesses and communities across Southeast Asia through the following key initiatives:

O2O Innovations to enhance consumer experience :

In partnership with Amorepacific, Lazada launched its first permanent physical store in Singapore in December 2019. The offline-to-online (O2O) concept store also serves as a testbed for demand, importing new products from Korea that have not yet launched in Singapore. It provides an experiential consumer shopping journey to test products at the physical store, and the convenience of purchasing through the Lazada app.

From January to March 2020, the Amore Store on Lazada saw 5X increase in sales. Over 80% of customers were new Amorepacific buyers, and 20% of buyers were new Lazada customers.

Creating a new category of jobs for local community through LazLive:

Through LazLive, Lazada is also helping the local community to develop relevant skills in a fastgrowing digital economy and discover new careers within its ecosystem.

It developed a Grassroot Livestreamers Incubation Programme, providing young talents training to hone skills as professional livestreamers to work with Lazada’s merchants who are increasingly leveraging LazLive to reach customers. The programme onboarded over 3,000 livestreamers. It first launched in Vietnam in November 2019, and subsequently expanded to Thailand.

Supporting the community through COVID-19:

In Malaysia, Lazada launched Jom Cari Kerja, a digital job fair campaign to enable companies who were hiring to connect with job-seekers in Malaysia through the Lazada platform. Close to 50 companies from various industries participated in this campaign that launched on 13 May 2020.

In Singapore, the circuit breaker measures implemented in April 2020 meant that “non-essential” businesses were unable to operate until measures eased. This impacted offline and large-scale events, including Singapore’s quarterly IT sale event in March which had to be cancelled. Lazada developed the Online Tech Show campaign to bring the event online for consumers, and provide an alternative sales channel for sellers who had already prepared high volumes of stocks for the cancelled offline event.

Responding to rising consumer demand for online groceries, Lazada launched a fresh food category in Vietnam in April this year, and the Philippines in May. This enabled traditionally offline sellers an alternative channel to offer fresh produce to customers, and access to Lazada’s data and logistics network to build a sustainable business model for the long run.

When Singapore raised the DORSCON level from Yellow to Orange, it triggered a wave of panic buying. While some customers aggressively stockpiled essentials, others faced the challenge of securing a delivery slots and daily necessities. To ensure all households would have access to daily essentials, Lazada adjusted its assortment to focus on essential items, and implemented purchase limits on certain product categories.

Lazada continued to tailor operations to adapt to the evolving consumer needs. This allowed RedMart customers to get orders delivered once every three days. All the implemented measures ultimately enabled RedMart to serve 50% more customers. 

Execution

Lazada not only helped SMEs with cash flow by offering fast microloans with fixed weekly payments, by partnering with financial institutions to support SMEs in financing operations, but also partnered with local governments on initiatives to support local businesses in various markets.

Across the region, Lazada onboarded retail chains such as Marks & Spencer, and local shopping malls including Marina Square in Singapore and Siam Center in Thailand. This supported retailers and malls in adopting an omni-channel approach to diversify revenue streams. The sale of digital vouchers also helped to drive customer footfall back to offline stores as physical distancing measures started to ease in some markets.

In Malaysia, Lazada supported agriculture-based local businesses to digitalise. This was not only to provide SMEs a lifeline when lockdown restrictions disrupted their offline operations and they were unable to sell their produce, but also provide consumers who were staying at home convenient access to fresh groceries and daily essentials.

In Thailand, Lazada helped hundreds of offline sellers from popular shopping districts such as Chatuchak Weekend Market, MBK Center, and Siam Square to set up online stores at no cost, to provide them a channel to continue business operations. Through the O2O promoter and affiliate programme, Lazada also enabled over 15,000 brand sales personnel to sell products through their social channels and LazLive, to earn commission from brands and Lazada when local restrictions required malls to stay closed.

In Singapore, to scale its RedMart delivery fleet and meet rising consumer demands for online groceries, Lazada partnered with ComfortDelgro to tap on their fleet of taxi drivers who had been impacted due to the Circuit Breaker measures. It also scaled up its workforce by about 500 workers through temporary hires, and took on over 150 displaced workers from an aviation company to work in our warehouse as technicians. This helped RedMart serve 50% more customers, and to introduce two new delivery methods to better serve customers during this time.

To support healthcare workers at the frontlines in Singapore, RedMart also piloted an initiative to provide priority access to their households. In partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the priority service was available to all healthcare workers serving in Tan Tock Seng Hospital and National Centre for Infectious Diseases from 12 April.

Result

Lazada successfully helped SMEs pivot online, as it rolled out comprehensive stimulus packages to support over 150,000 SMEs across its six markets. On top of cash funds from Lazada to subsidise start-up costs, it expedited onboarding processes and provided new sellers access to resources including a dedicated support team, and the ability to tap on Lazada’s robust technology infrastructure and logistics network to reach a wider customer base.

Performance highlights include 2X the number of participating selling sellers compared to previous year and more than 1.3 million viewers in Indonesia tuned in to LazLive livestreams. Malaysia recorded 1.5 tonnes of vegetables sold by Cameron Farmers to 200 Malaysian households in Klang Valley.

LazLive has been increasingly adopted by brands and sellers to diversify revenue streams and directly connect with customers. LazLive performance highlights include a total GMV generated through LazLive increased by 45% month-over-month in April. One day revisit rate up by 40% since April, indicating that more viewers were returning the following day to watch LazLive content.

In June, Lazada recorded over 74 million views, more than 6X the number of new LazLive accounts year-over-year, and a 30% month-over-month increase in the number of daily LazLive sessions.