Online shopping and selling company Lazada Group announced its commitment to support eight million e-Commerce entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia to grow and thrive by 2030 by creating an e-Commerce ecosystem in the region while supporting opportunities in technology and logistics infrastructure that are to be of service to the ecosystem of sellers, consumers and local communities.
Apart from these, Lazada also commits to help SMEs transform their businesses and gain better access to Internet-savvy and mobile consumers, assist seller to create their own brands on Lazada as well as leveraging the company’s logistics network to facilitate the transfer of goods.
Wanting to lead their ecosystem through the era of digital transformation, Lazada Philippines CEO Rey Alimurung said, “Our focus is on creating a trusted platform connecting sellers to the Southeast Asian consumers. By enabling sellers with our technology and logistics capabilities, we want to help sellers flourish, to become sustainable businesses that will contribute to Southeast Asia economic growth in the long run.”
To help sellers reach more customers, Lazada will focus on technology, and comprehensive tools as well as trainings that will help sellers attract and convert more consumers into sales.
Alimurung said as part of acquisitions of Alibaba in 2016 enables them to focus on technology as one of key offerings of the app. The app is now being updated three times a week. The technology for its backend was completely overhauled, making the app more personalized. The app is also getting smarter overnight, enabling customers to see more products.
Lazada also has tools for sellers and brands. It is boasts of a tool that allows brands and sellers to talk directly to customers and answer questions about the products.
With these initiatives, Lazada can be an strategic partner to sellers who are committed to their professional and business growth. Their thriving businesses will boost the ecosystem, according to Alimurung.
Although e-Commerce is fast accelerating, both big and small e-Commerce players in Southeast Asia are still not spared from logistics problems such as limited fulfillment players, a small and fragmented transportation sector, and different infrastructure landscapes.
“Our research showed that logistics is a challenge, particularly in archipelagos like Indonesia and the Philippines. Road networks, as well as the retail and distribution network, came up as higher-risk areas for e-Commerce firms,” said Simon Baptist, Global Chief Economist and Managing Director, Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in Asia.
On the other hand, data and technology were identified as two key factors that will dynamically evolve the experience for online shoppers due to Southeast Asia’s heterogeneity. E-Commerce businesses that can leverage data to navigate specific-local consumer tastes and direct consumers to take desired actions are well-poised to succeed.
“By allowing SMEs to tap into Lazada’s logistics network to facilitate the transfer of goods across countries, businesses will be able to deliver to customers anywhere,” said Alimurung. Through our technology powered by data and insights, Lazada enables small businesses to connect with their shoppers through a trusted platform, providing them the opportunity to build their businesses and tap into the vast potential that Southeast Asia presents,” he added.
Meanwhile, the e-Commerce sector offers opportunities to female entrepreneurs to start their businesses while taking care of their families at home. In supporting the local female community, Lazada has rolled out a few initiatives such as the Mompreneurs programme which provides stay-at-home mothers with free training and assistance for them to run an online store while juggling family responsibilities. The programme is currently available in the Philippines and is looking to expand to other markets in Southeast Asia.