By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
LAZADA, the largest online shopping platform in the country, expects a significantly higher turnout of shoppers during its upcoming 12.12 Grand Year End Sale, the last and the biggest sale of the year where almost all items are on huge discounts with larger discounts for “group buy”.
“This is the last and biggest sale of the year, even bigger than last month’s sale,” Carlos Barrera, LAZADA chief operating officer, told Manila Bulletin Business.
Last month’s “11.11” proved to be very successful, but Barrera expects the “12.12” to be even more successful in terms of value and volume. As anticipation builds up, Barrera said that shoppers just keep on adding on to their cart.
“Since the Philippines is a very important market for us so we also localize some of the merchandize on sale. We have very strong Christmas sale in the Philippines,” he said.
During the previous month’s sale, there were 20 million items on sale but there were lots of discounts, flash sales and over 10,000 hot deals. “This time, it is almost like everything is on sale,” he said.
To further drive sales, Barrera said they are promoting “group buy” or team shopping (minimum of 2 shoppers to maximum of 50 per group) to be able to get larger discounts on top of the regular discount. Barrera said that this is like the “Community Shopping”, which is a big trend in China but is only made in available in LAZADA Philippines, so far.
Barrera said this wholesale concept, will drive sales further because entrepreneurs can capitalize on the bigger discounts and can still sell the items at lower prices.
“This is also a big win for sellers and this makes e-commerce fun because buyers go to their friends and relatives because it is a good proposition and their purchase together to get additional discounts,” he added.
Already, Lazada has informed their sellers to build up their inventories 3-4 months ahead of the 11.11 and 12.12 because orders will traditionally grow bigger in the race to 12.12.
“More than 95 percent of items are in full stock definitely by December 10 yet,” he said.
In terms of delivery, Barrera said that the Lazada Logistics Express makes sure they deliver next day in Metro Manila. Delivery may take longer depending on the merchant side also and traffic situation.
“But, regardless of the source of the products, we take our delivery promise seriously,” he stressed.
“We have thousands of trucks, motorcab, bikes and small electric bikes, and we work with 10 logistics partners so we cover the entire islands,” he said.
They already have warehouses in Cebu and Davao and big partnerships in some regions,” he said adding there is no plan to open another main warehouse in Luzon but they are opening more drop off points for merchants. They are also looking at some logistics hubs and last mile delivery options.
Lazada, which started as an electronic gadgets online shopping platform, has already embraced all product segments. Its fashion and beauty categories are growing a lot and doing very well even as they have been piloting local brands to boost current assortments.
“Our vision is to become the one-stop-shop, so we have everything and from that we are growing a lot because buyers find everything in us,” he added.
E-commerce in the Philippines though is still small, accounting for only 2 percent of total retail but is growing very fast, he said. Lazada has higher growth and has 2.5 times more traffic than others.