Lazada has rolled out a series of initiatives to support Southeast Asian communities in the ongoing battle against Covid-19. Since the outbreak of the disease, the Alibaba Group-owned e-commerce platform has been mobilizing resources in its ecosystem to protect merchants and customers as well as other impacted stakeholders across the region.
In early April, Lazada introduced a $2.31 million stimulus package that offers small and medium-sized enterprises in Malaysia free access to a range of services, including package delivery to consumers as well as product listing and advertising. Also included were cash-flow optimization measures, such as expedited micro-loan approvals and fixed weekly payments.
The relief initiative, which runs until June, is part of Lazada Malaysia’s ongoing efforts to help business owners across all industries embrace digitization and tap into online revenue streams amid offline disruptions.
In March, the platform opened up its services to a community of local farmers whose fresh produce would have otherwise gone to waste due to logistical roadblocks caused by the national lockdown in Malaysia. Through Lazada, the farmers were able to sell 1.5 metric tons of vegetables in a single day.
“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,” said Leo Chow, CEO of Lazada Malaysia. “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.”
Stimulus packages have also been rolled out in Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Aside from helping mitigate the financial impact felt by SMEs, Lazada has also equipped businesses with the knowhow to thrive online. In Malaysia and Vietnam, for example, it has tapped its online learning portal, Lazada University, to provide free classes on topics ranging from basic online-store operations to conversion tools to drive sales. Earlier this month, Lazada Thailand launched a campaign for businesses whose offline activities were halted as a result of the outbreak and offered them training and marketing support to reach more consumers online.
WATCH: Lazada Thailand supports sellers, consumers and local communities
Lazada has also been committed to community-wide coronavirus-relief efforts across Southeast Asia. Since March, it has been working closely with the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to transport and distribute donated medical supplies to affected countries.
The platform has also been leveraging its digital-donations channel, LazadaForGood, to raise funds for advocacy partners in different local markets.
In the Philippines, for example, it has so far partnered with 23 local and international organizations, such as the Philippine Red Cross, Caritas Manila and Unicef, to raise money for everything from supplies for frontline medical workers to food and care packages for vulnerable groups. To raise further awareness for the causes of its partners, Lazada Philippines hosted two livestreamed fundraising concerts featuring popular acts such as singer-actress Karylle, veteran band the Itchyworms and indie-folk outfit Munimuni.
“We are grateful that our advocacy partners have placed their trust in Lazada. We stand together, committed to serve and empower the Filipino community in all the ways that we can,” said Ray Alimurung, the CEO of Lazada Philippines.
The e-commerce platform has launched similar campaigns in other countries where it operates. In Indonesia, it donated $103,755 to Badan Amil Zakat Nasional, the national alms-distribution agency, and has encouraged others to do the same through its dedicated LazadaForGood portal on its website and app. In Singapore, the company partnered up with Community Chest, the fundraising arm of the National Council of Social Service to run a dollar-for-dollar donation-matching program to support those most susceptible to the effects of the disease. Digital fundraising activities have also been launched in Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
As the largest e-commerce operator in Southeast Asia, Lazada has also amped up its efforts to ensure safe and efficient services for consumers at a time when many remain housebound. In markets such as Thailand, it has worked closely with sellers to prevent price gouging of in-demand healthcare supplies.
In Vietnam, Lazada took the definition of customer care one step further by launching its Securely Shop at Home campaign. The campaign combines contact-free shopping with educational content, including a talk show and a series of livestream sessions hosted by leading health professionals on Covid-19 and other respiratory diseases. The platform also launched a dedicated fresh-foods category so that shoppers can still access fresh and nutritional products from certified suppliers even while practicing social distancing.
“In the current challenging situation, helping businesses and serving community needs are crucial,” said James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam and Thailand. “We do what we can to help the doctors and volunteers on the frontline of this battle, as well as lift the spirits of the patients, their loved ones and the community, as we battle to contain the spread. Together, we can beat this.”
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