Lazada Malaysia has unveiled a RM10 million stimulus package to aid local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from April to June 2020. Through the Pakej Kedai Pintar cash fund, eligible SMEs will be able to enjoy the services of a support team to onboard, train and develop customised sales campaign with them through Lazada University. The eCommerce platform will also work with SMEs to curate and list products for up to four months, participate in promotional campaigns, fulfil orders and analyse sales and traffic data. On the whole, the cash fund aims to help SMEs sell online, stabilise jobs and support the country’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 50,000 local SMEs are estimated to benefit from this cash fund via a series of customised benefits. Lazada said this is especially so for hose in the fresh food and groceries categories, new and existing eCommerce sellers, brick-and-mortar retailers, and those who were planning to set up stalls for Ramadan bazaars.
Besides help with promotional campaigns, Lazada will also offer zero commission and zero listing fees to SMEs from fresh food and groceries categories, as well as new and existing Lazada sellers. This is in addition to access to micro loan facilities, free shipping services and fixed weekly payments. Through this initiative, SME retailers that are new, or have little experience in eCommerce can cover 100% of their costs of selling online, and be able to diversify their revenue streams beyond traditional bricks-and-mortar model.
Leo Chow, CEO of Lazada Malaysia said: “Local SMEs are essential to the nation’s economic growth and people’s livelihood and by helping them, we hope to bolster Malaysians’ confidence amid the COVID-19 situation. We believe it's the responsibility of all platform operators to lend support in times like this to the merchants who have made us successful."
Earlier in March, Lazada Malaysia helped local agricultural businesses, including vegetable farmers and fishermen, to digitalise and match urban demand for fresh produce and groceries during the Movement Control Order. Cameron Highland farmers, who onboarded the platform in less than 48 hours, were able to sell 1.5 tonnes of vegetables to nearly 200 households on a single day, the company said.
Lazada is not the only company to help SMEs during this period of time. Two weeks ago, Axiata Group, together with its subsidiaries Celcom and Boost, launched a RM150 million cash fund to provide financial assistance to micro-SMEs, which targets to benefit an estimate of 150,000 micro-SMEs within Axiata Group's ecosystem. AirAsia has also taken efforts to aid local businesses in Malaysia by offering zero commission and listing fees for merchants who market their products on its eCommerce platform OURSHOP. Meanwhile, Grab Malaysia partnered with the governments of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur to digitise Ramadan bazaars this year. This is in hopes to support micro-entrepreneurs and social sellers who usually participate in neighbourhood Ramadan bazaars or organise pop-up stores across the country, but are unable to do so given the current situation.
Separately, Malaysian creative Lee Tak Shune also rallied the community to help small businesses during this trying period through the Kira Dulu initiative. Together with his colleagues Sher Mohamed and Denise Chuang at Your Maker, an agency Lee and Sher founded in 2018, the team is calling for consumers to pay for a meal or service offered by a small business and enjoy it once the MCO ends. To help Malaysians, insurance company Sun Life Malaysia has unveiled a RM1 million COVID-19 relief fund which offers cash benefits to its clients whose health has been affected by COVID-19. Car-sharing platform GoCar and Shell has also collaborated to sponsor 200 GoCars at any available Shell stations in support of healthcare frontliners.
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