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Lazada marks 11th year as it reaps effect of pandemic

LAZADA is celebrating its 11th anniversary in the Philippines with an ongoing sale and a 20-foot mannequin in BGC’s Market! Market! mall.

During the March 2 launch of the “Epic 11th Birthday” sale, which is ongoing until March 13, the company unveiled the mannequin, to celebrate its Lazlook category, its 11th anniversary, and Women’s Month this March.

“We want to make sure that we empower each and every one,” said Kitty Calderon, Head of Marketing for Lazada Philippines in a speech, acknowledging the women employees, partners, and sellers on the e-commerce platform. “Women are at the core of what we do,” said Carlos Barrera, the CEO of Lazada Philippines.

Shopping platform Lazada was founded in 2012, and from its Singapore headquarters, it services that country, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to a company release, it links 160 million active users to more than one million sellers every month, while aiming to serve 300 million shoppers in the region by 2030.

“It’s been an incredible journey for all of us. I’ve been in the Philippines for over eight years. Many of these brands did not exist. Most of these sellers were starting with a small kiosk in the mall. When we see them today, making billions of pesos and selling nationwide, all our efforts make sense,” said Mr. Barrera.

THE PANDEMIC EFFECT“We’ve grown so much, we’ve innovated so much as well,” Ms. Calderon told BusinessWorld about their growth over the past 11 years.  “We’re empowering all of the SMEs when it comes to bringing their business up front to the Filipino audience,” she said. “The acceleration of e-commerce and digital was during the COVID season. Right now, if you think about it, we’re still in a pandemic. E-commerce is playing a big role in making sure that we shop safely and conveniently.”

Ms. Calderon discussed the items on the platform that have become popular since the world has reopened after the pandemic lockdowns. Groceries are still a staple, but, “You’d be surprised with the amount of makeup, hair, and personal care products that people are buying, especially now that people are going out,” she said.

With the world’s reopening, will Lazada still be able to maintain its place in the Filipino shopper’s mind? “Even if the pandemic goes away, we’re all so used to shopping online already. The beauty of shopping online is really convenience and safety. I don’t think we’ll go back to those days when you really have to go to a store every single time,” she said. — Joseph L. Garcia

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