Alibaba Group’s flagship e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia, Lazada, said that the number of new buyers on its virtual shopping mall LazMall doubled during the first half of this year from the same period a year earlier.
Shoppers’ basket sizes also grew bigger over the first six months of this year on LazMall, Lazada said during its second annual LazMall Brands Future Forum (BFF). The growth comes as a swathe of shoppers and merchants have migrated online during the coronavirus pandemic.
LazMall customers’ purchases are twice the value of an average buyer on Lazada, the platform said. To better cater to the needs of local customers, the channel rolled out a LazMall Prestige initiative to help introduce a variety of premium brands, including Bacha Coffee, Bang and Olufsen, Coach, La Mer, and Salvatore Ferragamo to shoppers across Southeast Asia.
LazMall, a virtual shopping mall launched by Lazada three years ago, is the go-to online platform for over 32,000 brands and retailers as they expand their e-commerce footprint in the region.
“E-commerce is no longer nice to have. For brands, it is central to retail strategy and execution. We would not have expected this 18 months ago,” said Lazada Group CEO Li Chun at the BFF event, which gathered together local and global brands physically in Singapore and a virtual audience.
Southeast Asia’s Great Online Migration
Over 400 million users are now online across six Southeast Asian markets, marking a significant acceleration in e-commerce adoption due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a 2020 report by tech giant Google, Singapore-based investment company Temasek Holdings and management consultancy Bain & Company.
This online migration means over 70% of Southeast Asia’s population is now using the internet – a development that also accelerated the region’s already fast-paced e-commerce adoption, said Lazada’s Li.
According to the same report, the Southeast Asian e-commerce market grew more than 12 times from US$5 billion in 2015 to approximately US$62 billion in 2020.
Seizing the Moment
The time is right for brands seeking growth to expand in Southeast Asia while e-commerce markets are still in their infancy, said James Chang, head of strategic accounts and retail at Lazada.
Mature markets like China, where over 50% of purchases of the country’s key consumer goods categories are happening online, indicate where Southeast Asian markets are potentially heading, Chang said.
Japanese beauty brand Shiseido joined Lazada in 2017 and used LazMall’s consumer engagement features during the pandemic to acquire new customers migrating online.
The brand employed beauty technologies that mirror physical in-store shopping experiences, allowing customers to try makeup products in different shades. It also leveraged various shoppertainment features, gamified interactions, and advocacy-driven channels such as livestreaming to boost user stickiness and attract younger shoppers.
Brands can tap Lazada’s analytical tools to predict and deliver personalized product recommendations and better overall online shopping experiences, said Juliana Chu, vice president of digital and e-commerce, Asia Pacific at Shiseido, during the BFF event.
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