By Edd K. Usman
For its annual “11-11” online sale on November 11, online retail e-commerce firm Lazada is giving a sport utility vehicle (SUV) to a lucky online shopper.
The SUV is a shiny black Isuzu D-Max, according to Lazada co-founder and CEO Inanc Balci during a press briefing on Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City.
The “Online Revolution” promotion is Lazada?s fifth promotion since 2012. It is described as Southeast Asia’s “biggest online shopping event,” involving over 12,500 local and international brands and more than 6,000 merchants and an estimated one million deals.
For the promotion, customers can start buying the item or items they want at 12.01 midnight on November 11, as a buying frenzy is expected, what with over 30 million products available across six SEA countries.
Aside from the Philippines, Lazada, which started in March 2012 as an e-commerce pioneer in the region, has presence in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Balci cited the new partnerships his company struck with various brands this year.
“Online Revolution was launched in 2012 so more consumers could experience the ease and benefits of online shopping. Since then, Online Revolution has become the biggest shopping event in Southeast Asia, where consumers can find amazing deals from the most popular brands conveniently from their smartphones or laptops,” he said.
At the launch event, Balci said Lazada is not just about money, but also helping in the development of online market in the Philippines.
“This year, we have secured commitments from big brand partners for more than one million deals to make Christmas shopping more exciting and effortless for Filipinos. The best of the world is truly at everyone’s fingertips now,” the company CEO said.
Turkish Airlines has also thrown in air tickets for the raffle during the month-long shopping promotion and the winner is up for a dream vacation.
One part of the promotion is the P11 deals, where every product covered will sell for only P11.
The Online Revolution in 2015 collected for Lazada some $40 million in gross merchandise value in its final three days alone.
In 2016, things could get bigger. “Lazada Online Revolution 2016 will see big retail and marketing brands participate to create an unmatched assortment of popular, quality products, and the best deals for Southeast Asian consumers,” the company said.
Meanwhile, Balci noted the challenges being faced by companies like Lazada, particularly on logistics.
“Logistics is the number challenge in the Philippines. There are many logistics companies in the Philippines but traditional logistics is different from logistics involving e-commerce,? he said
To help his company overcome this challenge, he said they formed their own logistics firm called Lazada Express.
Balci also said they are preparing for what he described as an “explosion” of e-commerce in the Philippines through the expansion of their market sites.
This is in response to the report the Philippines is poised to realize by 2025 an online market to the tune of $19 billion, primarily from e-commerce.
When Lazada started over four years ago, he said they also launched the Philippines’ first “cash-on-delivery” transaction for a risk-free deal that benefits customers.
He said buyers only pay for the item they chose upon confirmation or receipt of the product, said Balci.