Singapore Retailers Association (SRA), a non-profit non-governmental key representative body for the retail industry in Singapore, has named Lazada its official eCommerce partner for the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) 2021. According to SRA, this is the first time in the 27-year history of the GSS that it has an eCommerce partner, and more than 1,000 of its members will be participating.
This year's GSS will kick off with Lazada's 6.6 sales campaign, culminating in Lazada's annual 7.7 sale. Through the partnership, SRA said its members on LazMall can tap on the daily traffic that Lazada garners, along with the suite of marketing solutions available to increase visibility while appealing to shoppers. They will each have a dedicated account manager to navigate the plethora of options including LazLive, Lazada’s in-app live streaming service, flash sales, and the Lazada store.
By joining the Lazada platform, SRA’s members will benefit from its technology infrastructure, payments gateway, and logistics solutions with its third-party logistics partners. They will also enjoy 0% commission, with new LazMall sellers enjoying this promotion for the first three months on the platform from the first day they sell on their LazMall store. At the same time, consumers can also make purchases at a seller's Lazada store and pick them up at their physical outlet, as part of SRA's and Lazada's push for an omnichannel experience.
This is not the first time GSS has gone online. Last September, it took place as a hybrid event - eGSS: Shop. Win. Experience - as part of the SingapoRediscovers campaign. It was organised by SRA in collaboration with the Association of Singapore Attractions, Singapore Furniture Industries Council, and Textile and Fashion Federation. Most activities took place online amidst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and government guidelines where shoppers were encouraged to stay home. Facebook Live and a digital lookbook were utilised during the eGSS, with the lookbook enabling users to purchase items easily on the eCommerce platform OneOrchard.Store. The physical edition of GSS was canned last May in light of the pandemic.
"It was our first experience going online last year but it was still encouraging. It was a step in the right direction and many consumers began buying online. This year, we are working with one of the biggest players in Southeast Asia, so our consumers get to enjoy much more in many respects," SRA's president R Dhinakaran said during a virtual press conference. He added in a press release that the partnership is a "timely" one, as there is a "critical need" for the retail industry to rally together.
"We firmly believe that online retail is here to stay and whilst it will never overtake offline retail sales, it is an ‘imperative’ sales channel for retailers to reach a wider consumer market to win new customers and drive sales, meet consumers new shopping behaviours as well as their desire for convenience and immediacy," he added.
Dhinakaran added during the press conference that it was difficult for some retailers to digitalise last year, as they were new to the online scene. He added that some aspects that were challenging for retailers included logistical problems, infrastructure, and the costs involved. "With COVID-19, many felt that without an online presence, there is no retail. Moving forward, the future of retail would be having offline and online seamlessly integrated," he said.
Meanwhile, Lazada Singapore's CEO James Chang said the GSS is a national institution and sentimental for Singaporeans and those who remember flying into the country to enjoy the sales. "In these challenging and transformative times, we’re doing our part to rally the retail industry and equip them with the tools they need to have a successful Great Singapore Sale in 2021," he said.
According to Chang during the press conference, one area that is exciting for brands and retailers is the increased sophistication of how they go about running the business in the digital space. "That sophistication has always existed in the offline space. When we first started, customers were only comfortable buying certain types of products online. With the adoption of eCommerce being more mainstream nowadays, buyers are more open to buying more products across different prices and categories," Chang explained.
Moving forward, he expects to see the acceleration in overall acceleration of eCommerce, including providing an omnichannel experience and having a more integrated consumer purchasing journey. Chang added that while a seamless customer experience might have been difficult to envision in the past, omnichannel has propelled the acceleration of commercial sophistication. This, he said, is something that Lazada looks forward to seeing in the years to come.
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