Lazada sees better 2019 after record year

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Lazada warehouse
Employees of Lazada Philippines rush to pack delivery items inside a warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna as the e-commerce giant holds its biggest one day sale dubbed as “11.11 shopping festival.” -- PHILIPPINE STAR_EDD GUMBAN

By Zsarlene B. Chua

THE YEAR 2018 might be a record one for Southeast Asian e-commerce site Lazada but according to its Philippine CEO, 2019 is shaping up to be an even better year for the platform as it focuses on introducing tools for its growing seller base.

“We have many big ideas for next year… We will continue growth of our seller base because really, what we’re here for is to help the Filipino entrepreneur build a worldwide business,” Raymond Alimurung, Lazada PH CEO, told BusinessWorld shortly after their thanksgiving event on Monday in the Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City.

In his opening speech during the event, Mr. Alimurung reported that the platform has increased its seller base “four times” and its product assortment is now at around 60 million products.

Mr. Alimurung said in the interview that Lazada is looking to double its 2018 seller base numbers next year.

The company opened its Davao warehouse in October and increased the size of their main warehouse in Laguna from 30,000 square meters to 60,000 square meters.

Lazada also previously introduced a personalization algorithm tailored towards introducing products to customers depending on their search history and preferences on the app, and tools for sellers including an in-app chat system.

“We will continue [introducing more tools] but what we want to avoid is keep launching new tools because it takes some time for our sellers to understand the tools we introduce,” he said.

Next year, Mr. Alimurung said that with the presence of Lazada’s warehouses in Cebu and Davao, the firm is looking to “maybe put more assortment there to shorten the lead time,” between buying and delivery for the regions outside Metro Manila and Luzon.

He acknowledged that a large part of Lazada’s customers and sellers are from Metro Manila and Luzon, but noted that it plans on growing its footprint in the regions via the additional warehouses.

The Cebu warehouse is at 5,000 square meters while the Davao warehouse is at 7,000 square meters

“We’ll start growing that part of the logistics network,” he said.

He added that the firm continues to offer warehousing services forits sellers “so they can leave their products with us so they don’t have to do the picking and packing themselves.”

“It’s cheaper for both of us [Lazada and the seller]. That’s why we really encourage the bigger sellers and bigger brands to just move their products to our warehouse,” he explained.