Lazada Philippines to increase distribution centers, use e-bikes

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By Arra B. Francia, Reporter

ONLINE MARKETPLACE Lazada Philippines is expanding its logistics network around the country with the opening of more distribution centers as well as the use of electric bikes (e-bike) to handle the delivery of products in Metro Manila.

“We are the second largest logistics company now in the Philippines. We have Lazada Express. These continue growing together with our merchant bases,” Lazada Philippines cofounder and Chief Executive Officer Inanc Balci told reporters at the sidelines of the AVCJ Philippines forum held on Wednesday in Fairmont Hotel, Makati City.

The e-commerce company’s expansion continues with the addition of more distribution centers. Mr. Balci said they are looking to bring the number of distribution centers to over 50 by 2018.

“We have 38 logistics distribution centers around the country. And we will continue opening more and more distribution centers. It will probably be more than 50 next year,” he said.

At the same time, Lazada is also investing in a fleet of e-bikes to be use for deliveries within Metro Manila.

“In Metro Manila, we will start delivering using electric bikes. At the same time it’s nature friendly so our customers and merchants will benefit both in logistics cost. I think we have to start with 50, and that number will continue to increase,” Mr. Balci said.

Lazada has been ramping up its logistics network in order to meet the demand for orders in the country’s largest e-commerce site. Recently, the company moved into a warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna, its fourth in the country.

Aside from logistics, Lazada has also been investing in the payments side of the business to support its growth.

“In payments, it’s more partnerships in the area. We started with HelloPay in the region, it use to be an e-wallet company. Now it’s rebranding as AliPay through the acquisition… and we’ll also be partnering with them, helping them grow in the region, grow in the Philippines,” Mr. Balci said.

While the company’s investments are aimed at pushing cashless transactions, Mr. Balci noted the cash-on-delivery option will remain so long as customers demand it from them.

“It’s not really up to us, it’s something customers demand from us. We use very different payment options. It will be up to the customers to embrace the electronic transaction as well as cash-on-delivery. We will continue offering all those options,” Mr. Balci said.

With over 8.4 million products sold by both big market players and more than 8,000 small and medium enterprises, Lazada attracts five to six million customers in the Philippines. This makes Lazada the largest e-commerce site in the country with a market share of 85%.

Lazada Philippines is part of the Lazada group which operates in five other Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.