SINGAPORE — Lazada, Alibaba's flagship e-commerce arm in Southeast Asia, said the 11.11 shopping festival is a major opportunity for brands in the region to attract buyers amid changing consumer habits due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To help the brands expand their sales and presence online, Lazada’s co-president Jessica Liu said the platform has been launching campaigns ranging from training courses to games associated with the mega event on 11 November, popularly known as Singles’ Day.
“As Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platform, our priority is to help SMEs digitise their operations and diversify their retail channels by moving online, which in turn, helps the economy,” said Liu, who is also Lazada’s regional head of commercial, in a recent online press conference.
E-commerce in Southeast Asia is at a nascent stage and the entrepreneurs and merchants in the region are not as experienced as their peers in China, Liu said. “However, they are fun and young, which makes them eager to learn new things.”
Regional brands such as Prism+ from Singapore, Signature Markets from Malaysia and Wardah from Indonesia will be participating in 11.11, with many of them promoting their products online for the first time this year.
Lazada has noted the different demand dynamics in its markets as online shopping in the region surged amid the pandemic. “Demand is more relative to the size of population and the maturity of the e-commerce cultures in our six key markets,” Liu said.
For example, while Indonesia is the biggest market across the Lazada platform in terms of the number of buyers, the Philippines sees the highest annual growth in gross merchandise volume.
The pandemic has led to higher demand for certain products due to lockdown measures such as chairs and printers. As such, Lazada is stocking up these products for 11.11, Liu said.
This year, more than 350,000 brands and sellers across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are joining Lazada’s 11.11 event with international brands Lancôme, Marks & Spencer, Miniso, Swatch, and Top Shop participating for the first time.
Ahead of the event, Lazada has been extending support to over 150,000 local brands and sellers to tap on its sales opportunities such as free online sales training courses, Liu said. It is also providing stimulus packages through cash funds to subsidise start-up costs, and helping small- and medium-sized enterprises to optimise cash flow by partnering with financial institutions, she added.
To lend star glitter to 11.11, South Korean actor Lee Min-ho – Lazada’s first regional brand ambassador – is helping to promote the event. Among Lee’s promotional activities is a related TV commercial in partnership with Lazada’s brand ambassadors across Southeast Asia – Agnez Monika and Verrel Bramasta in Indonesia, Ayda Jebat in Malaysia, Kathryn Bernardo in the Philippines, Bella Ranee Campen in Thailand and Chi Pu in Vietnam.
Lazada has just launched its 11.11 exclusive game, Happy Bounce, across Southeast Asia on its gaming platform LazGames. Players can win Lazada coins and vouchers with almost US$2 million worth of rewards from over 5,000 brands and sellers available for redemption.
The highlight of the event will be Lazada’s 11.11 Super Show to be held in all its key markets except Singapore, where shoppers stand to win exclusive vouchers.
“In the 12 months ended July, we served more than 80 million annual active consumers so we expect similar demand and very good results for our biggest one-day sale of the year,” Liu said.