The Philippines was on a hard lockdown for almost a hundred days, and this was a defining period for Lazada Philippines. As the leading e-commerce platform, we saw the need to leverage our capabilities and pivot our resources to serve our nation and make essentials accessible to our community.
During this period, a new phenomenon emerged with Filipinos turning to Lazada not just for shopping transactions, but a one-stop lifestyle destination and a channel for entertainment, digital donations, and other consumer services like paying for utilities.
The digital economy has long been on a steady trajectory to drive cross-sector growth, social transformation and economic resilience for the Philippines, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. Entrepreneurs and SMEs are the backbones of the country, and it has always been our mission at Lazada to equip them with the tools and resources to expand their businesses and explore opportunities locally and internationally.
With the physical distancing and lockdown measures to curb the pandemic, there was an urgency to make essential goods easily accessible for consumers to stay safe at home. Beyond personal care, cleaning essentials and food products that brand partners on LazMall were offering, we actively scaled up in onboarding brands and sellers to provide fresh produce and frozen foods and ready-to-eat snacks, to meet the increased community demand for online groceries amid the lockdown.
This is a challenging time for businesses, and the Lazada Bounce Back Together Program was developed as a support and recovery program for existing and new sellers on Lazada Philippines. The seller incentive package, worth P100 million in total, aims to help entrepreneurs digitize by equipping them with technology, subsidy for services to improve their on-site store traffic and customer engagement, and educational seminars and resources required to swiftly respond to consumer needs, and succeed in a post-pandemic world. To date, the program has provided support packages for over 7,000 stores on our platform.
“ The digital economy has long been on a steady trajectory to drive cross-sector growth, social transformation and economic resilience for the Philippines, and the pandemic has only accelerated this. ”
With COVID-19 accelerating consumer adoption of online shopping, businesses are also increasingly diversifying online as a means to stay operational. Since the start of the year, we have already onboarded double the number of sellers compared to 2019. To help boost sales for our sellers and brand, we also implemented a series of Bounce Back campaigns. Following the success of our 5.5 and 6.6 campaigns was the midyear July 15 campaign, our third and biggest Bounce Back sale.
Connecting our communities
Beyond an increase in online demand for products, there was a rising trend of consumers spending more time online. The average duration of each visit has almost doubled to approximately 15 minutes, compared to the period before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), leading to more than nine-percent increase in transactions occurring on the Lazada app. Regionally, we also recorded a 40-percent increase in a one-day revisit rate for viewers returning the following day to watch LazLive again.
Lazada’s livestream technology, LazLive, has been key in keeping brands, sellers and local communities connected. With consumers increasingly looking for entertainment as part of the shopping journey, we have doubled down on our Shoppertainment strategy by working closely with brands to recalibrate digital initiatives and content.
Besides enhancing our suite of LazGames for consumers to earn rewards, we launched a series of in-app live-streamed shows — Sing It! and Guess It! — which feature top celebrities, on top of daily access to lifestyle programs covering fitness activities, kitchen and beauty hacks, and even live concerts. Our Radio Gives Back Charity Concert was an endeavor we took pride in as we saw some of the biggest names in the country getting together to raise funds and simply be part of the cause to help combat the pandemic.
As the only player in Southeast Asia that offers a “See Now, Buy Now” closed-loop feature for consumers to immediately purchase items from a livestream, LazLive is also another channel for brands and sellers to boost sales. By leveraging our technology to create virtual experiences and provide entertainment within the platform, we not only enhanced the online retail experience for consumers but also allowed businesses to thrive through increased touchpoints for consumer interaction and engagement.
First e-commerce to enable Filipinos to make digital donations
In December 2019, we launched our LazadaForGood platform, the first Digital Giving platform by an e-commerce company for Filipinos to make digital donations to support their preferred advocacy groups. We were extremely pleased to welcome onboard the Philippine Red Cross, UNICEF, and ABS-CBN Foundation as part of our 25 partners on LazadaForGood.
Through LazadaForGood, our NGO partners received a total of P24 million in donations to date. Our new realities may have imposed challenges in society, but it drove us to be more cognizant of opportunities to be of aid to communities and support our fellow Filipinos.
Accelerating progress in a post-pandemic world
Many leaders have a defining moment. For me, this global health pandemic challenged me to steer my team to pivot and optimize Lazada’s services and offerings to support our ecosystem comprising the Filipino community, sellers and partners.
As we double down our efforts to support local businesses and brand partners while providing channels to keep the community connected, it has also been particularly rewarding to have Lazadians step up and come forward to share their pride during this critical period.
We have a strong and talented team burning with passion to help keep the local economy alive. I strongly believe that, coupled with our first-in-class technology and logistics infrastructure as our competitive advantage, we will continue to be the platform of choice for businesses to solidify their digital strategies in a post-pandemic world.
COVID-19 may have disrupted many enterprises across industries, but it has also been a catalyst for change and transformation. To stay ahead of the curve, mindsets must adapt quickly alongside consumer behavior.
Our priorities at Lazada have not changed: we are steadfast in our razor-sharp focus on future-proofing SMEs and entrepreneurs, enhancing the consumer shopping experience and strive to constantly innovate with our technological capabilities to help partners scale their businesses.
Businesses must adopt new strategies to conduct business and engage with customers, especially in conquering the digital space. Ecommerce is standing strong — and it’s here to stay.
Edited by Tanya T. Lara