Today, as part of our series of interviews with leading online marketplace representatives, we are speaking to Will Ross, the CEO of Lazada. Will provides insights and tips to help sellers succeed on Southeast Asia’s largest ecommerce platform, exploring everything from payment methods, popular product categories, the growth of the market and promotional events.
My name is Will Ross and I joined the company in April 2017 as Chief Executive Officer of the Lazada Cross-Border team in Hong Kong. Today we drive the acquisition and development of sellers across the world, offering a one-stop solution to the Southeast Asian online markets including Indonesia (www.lazada.co.id), Malaysia (www.lazada.com.my), the Philippines (www.lazada.com.ph), Singapore (www.lazada.sg), Thailand (www.lazada.co.th) and Vietnam (www.lazada.vn).
Although Lazada has spearheaded online shopping and selling in Southeast Asia, there is still tremendous room for growth when you consider that the region’s total ecommerce expenditure accounts for less than 1% of the total retail market. This compares with 11% in China and 13% in the US. Lazada’s sellers are gaining access to markets with huge potential as more and more consumers discover the benefits of shopping online.
According to an AT Kearney report, Southeast Asia’s online retail has the potential to grow at up to 25% per year – thanks to increasing purchasing power, growing internet penetration, and improving online offerings.
While the opportunity is significant in the region, the barriers of entry are also high. Southeast Asia is a vast and diversified market, where each country has its own distinct culture and spending habits. The region has major logistical hurdles, underdeveloped or overloaded transit infrastructure, making it impossible to deliver goods efficiently to satisfy consumer demands. Also, limitations to payment infrastructure are found in developing markets like Indonesia and Vietnam.
At Lazada, we empower our sellers with our end-to-end ecosystem, which is enabled by best-in-class logistics and payments capabilities to address key challenges in Southeast Asia.
On Lazada, we have more than 90,000 local and international brands and sellers with more than 80 million products. We have become a one-stop online shop for customers of all profiles and personalities. Our typical online shoppers recognise the ease, convenience and security when shopping online.
Lazada consumers value a great customer experience. On top of providing excellent customer service, the online shopping experience should also be engaging and fun. As Lazada grows towards to reaching our target of 100 million SKUs across our six-country ventures, we are working to empower brands to reach consumers for brand building performance; and to also elevate the Lazada platform into a channel to drive consumer education.
We believe in giving our shoppers a peace of mind when they shop with Lazada. In addition to our customer-friendly returns and refund policy, Lazada has a zero-tolerance policy towards fake goods. Unlike other Asian marketplaces, only registered businesses are
allowed to list on Lazada and we have system filters in place to help ensure the SKUs available for sale on our website are genuine.
Lazada also works very closely with the local government authorities to ensure that Lazada is kept up-to-date and operates within the latest standards and compliance regulations.
Successful sellers have grown their business exponentially, transforming their brick-and-mortar business to an omnichannel retailing enterprise, and we have even partnered with Alibaba to bring a group of successful sellers to Hangzhou for a business mission trip.
However, for first-time sellers, Lazada has a host of training programmes to help to understand the business and teach them how to sell more effectively online and avoid the common pitfalls. New sellers are also encouraged to join the seller communities we have set up. Through the community, they are able to interact with their fellow sellers, learn from their peers and even from winning partnerships.
Finally, as the largest online buying and selling portal in Southeast Asia, as well as the pioneers of the largest local online shopping event, the “Online Revolution”, sellers are encouraged to join our campaigns as they will be able to obtain more visibility to online shoppers.
Lazada currently has over 18 product categories and close to 80 million SKUs across our six country-centric websites. The best-sellers change from time to time depending on the campaign of the month and new product launches. During our annual shopping and selling event in Southeast Asia, ‘Online Revolution’, that runs from November 11th to December 12th, we feature over 500,000 jaw-dropping offers and flash sales from over 1,000 brands and 90,000 sellers.
Best-sellers are items such as shower gels and mascaras in the Health & Beauty category; tote bags and bracelets in the Fashion category; vacuum cleaners and tableware from the Home & Living category; and virtual reality headsets and speakers in the Electronics Category. We have also partnered with Alibaba to launch the Taobao collection in Singapore, bringing a curated selection of goods from Taobao to Lazada.sg.
Ecommerce in Southeast Asia is unique as a significant portion of the overall population is un/under-banked. Digital or credit card transactions remain low and shopper prefers using cash. To this end, in order for Lazada to win over the customers, we’ve accepted cash-on-delivery, allowing shoppers to pay for their online purchases using cash. This means growing our payment solutions on two fronts. Firstly, to enable and build as many consumer touchpoints where they can pay for their purchases using cash, but also, secondly, working with credit card companies and eWallet companies to offer more value and convenience to shopping with Lazada.
As ecommerce is becoming more commonplace, shoppers expect more from companies. To stay ahead of our competitors, we are gradually rolling out same-day delivery options, offering more convenience for our shoppers.
We have also branched out to offer digital goods to shoppers. With Lazada, shoppers can recharge or top-up their pre-paid mobile subscriptions seamlessly and directly through our website or mobile app.
To find out more about Lazada, get in touch with our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 8940 5392.
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