Lazada, Shopee duke it out

Lazada, Shopee duke it out

E-commerce giants seek new buyers

Ms Thanida, left, Melissa Yunibhand, Lazada Thailand's chief finance officer, right, and Aaron Goh, chief customer officer, launch the firm's Surprise Birthday Sale.
Ms Thanida, left, Melissa Yunibhand, Lazada Thailand's chief finance officer, right, and Aaron Goh, chief customer officer, launch the firm's Surprise Birthday Sale.

E-commerce giants Lazada and Shopee are locked in a fierce battle to stimulate online shopping demand and attract new buyers embarking on the platforms amid an economic stalemate while the season of festive sales is just around the corner.

Thailand's e-commerce surged 81% year-on-year to 294 billion baht in 2020, according to a report commissioned by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company.

"Thailand's e-commerce continues to grow even in the pandemic due to the rise of new digital consumers. Online shopping has become a new habit for consumers amid the new normal," said Thanida Suiwatana, chief business officer of Lazada Thailand.

She said consumers can be split into two groups following the pandemic -- one which has been affected and another which has not faced any problems.

For the first group, Lazada is offering low-price products. For those who have not been affected, they are spending 2-3 times as much during the pandemic, particularly via LazMall, where they are targeting quality products. LazMall is a premium brand-focused feature of Lazada.

According to Ms Thanida, the company is committed to the consumer-first policy through which they will be supported by technology and logistics capability, backed by global e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba.

Lazada will gear up efforts to create brand differentiation and support vendors' business growth with the platform, she said.

Lazada will also continue to improve its infrastructure, including technology, logistics and other innovative solutions and tools to support sellers on the platform.

She said Lazada is also prepared for a large sales campaign to celebrate Surprise Birthday Sales from March 27-29, mainly through discounts, vouchers and cashback.

"We expect this birthday campaign will see orders grow 15 times compared with the normal period," she said.

During the summer campaign, swimming suits, summer clothes and travel bags are expected to gain orders for sales, she said.

Lazada's major rival Shopee said the platform expects to see the biggest growth in terms of new shoppers and sellers this year.

Heavy investment in mega sales campaigns and intense competition are likely to benefit consumers, said Suchaya Paleewong, senior marketing manager of Shopee Thailand.

"Sea Group will synergise more to strengthen ecosystem range from Shopee platform, payment and logistics," said Ms Suchaya.

To boost consumer spending, it has 4.4 mega shopping days for two weeks until April 4.

"We see luxury products in our Premium Mall selling well as users who are not affected by the pandemic still have purchasing power," she said.

The firm also rebranded its online payment platform AirPay to ShopeePay in Thailand -- the first country in which it has done this. The rebranding was made as part of the firm's plan to strengthen its brand and ecosystem in digital commerce and mobile wallet and payment.

"We aim to be the number one mobile wallet in Thailand within 1-2 years in terms of users and payment volume," said Supphavit Hongamornsin, director of ShopeePay Thailand.

Online payment via ShopeePay grew four-fold from 2019-20 across Asean.

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