Lazada Thailand says the coronavirus outbreak will turn online shopping into the new normal in Thailand, and the e-commerce giant is offering incentives to attract 50,000 offline small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to the platform to assist them during this difficult time.
"From mid-March to mid-April, Lazada saw a 100% rise in sale transactions," Paradee Sinthawanarong, chief marketing of Lazada Thailand, said in a live-streaming press conference. "Sales value jumped 130% from early February to early April as consumers spent more time online while staying or working from home."
According to Priceza, a shopping search engine and price comparison platform, the country's e-commerce sales transactions jumped 80% in March.
Once the pandemic subsides, Lazada expects online shopping and e-commerce to become the norm for Thais. Users are spending an average of 11 minutes per visit, which is 11% longer than before the lockdown.
According to Lazada, the number of shoppers surged 60% as e-wallet transactions climbed 5% in March, with users shunning cash payments.
During the crisis, spending has shifted to loungewear, hygiene products, food supplements, air purifiers and ovens, as well as kitchenware and fast-moving goods, Ms Paradee said.
Purchases of working or high-value dresses declined, as did IT gadgets and smartphones, she said.
In terms of sellers, 26,000 new merchants were added in March alone. Lazada has roughly 200,000 merchants on its platform now.
Ms Paradee said Lazada is offering an SME stimulus package for offline retailers who have to close during the crisis.
Under the package, SMEs would have their 2% payment fee waived with zero registration and commission charges.
They can open their online shop within three minutes.
The package started in the middle of this month and runs until the end of May. At least 50,000 SMEs are expected to join during the period, Ms Paradee said.
Lazada provides 20% discount vouchers for sellers who have just started creating content on LazLive, a live-streaming platform. The platform also stands ready to assist sellers with accessing micro loans and offers online training courses.
An offline-to-online promoter and affiliate programme in which brands' employees can sell products via their own social media accounts or live stream will be launched. Lazada will track and audit sales so employees can earn commissions from brands and Lazada.