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  • By: Haniko Martin Tio
  • Nov 16, 2020

Behind the Scenes: Revamping Seller Platform and Features

Just in time for Lazada’s 11.11 shopping festival this year, the revamp of the Alibaba Seller Centre that began in March was completed and ready to make onboarding, listing, managing, marketing and selling products more efficient for sellers.

Lazada initiated the changes, based on a survey with about 6,000 sellers online and interviews with 20 sellers individually that identified the pain points and areas where the process can be improved.  

“We heard our sellers’ feedback loud and clear, we will keep lowering the entrance barriers for eCommerce, especially for sellers venturing for the first time into it,” said Aidan An, executive vice president of seller product. “Our top priority is to optimize the user experience, from onboarding to product listing, to the day-to-day and campaign management process.”

For instance, by leveraging Alibaba’s technology, artificial intelligence (AI) can now automatically populate the product category and more key features to enhance the content quality, An explained. Sellers only need to upload a product image and leave AI to do the rest. That means they can now list their products about four times faster than before. Under a pilot project in Malaysia, simplifying the onboarding process boosted the number of new sellers by nearly 25 per cent within three months.

“I love the new design of the homepage, especially the shortcut icons. It saves time by allowing us to access all the frequently-used features,” said Lim Szu Xin, an authorised dealer of the Autobacs franchise, who has been selling autoparts and accessories on Lazada for about three years. She also has a physical store in Singapore. Selling online has helped her reach a younger demographic of customers, who are more digitally-savvy, Lim said.

Thai seller Thanaporn Chumphonphaisan’s family has been in the garment business for 30 years and owns a factory that makes jeans. Six years ago when revenue started sliding by 90 per cent every month, She closed all her physical stores and moved the business completely online. She reckoned that the revamped platform saves her about 80 per cent of her time every day, because she spends most of her time tracking logistics, such as pick-up status, and details of item in an order.

The mobile app homepage also underwent a significant redesign to better provide actionable data insights for Lazada sellers, so that they can quickly pivot to cater to consumers’ changing preferences – while on the go. The redesign has also boosted the stickiness of the app’s usage. At a later stage, a new order management page will be rolled out more widely. This will offer such handy features as a simplified summary dashboard and overview of logistics status.

“I quite like the product upload design,” said Rehiga Muktilana, a seller who is still in school.  The 19-year-old Indonesian student started selling small household items online only this year after seeing advertisements on social media and getting a recommendation from a friend. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, he said he has seen a demand for portable laptop tables, mirrors and plastic cups.

“The process is easy enough for someone like me who is just starting out the eCommerce journey,” said Muktilana, who aims to be financially independent so he can fund himself through high school and university. 

“Customer first is our core value. We aim to provide our Lazada sellers the best experience in Southeast Asia. That’s why we started this project,” said Gerald Tang, head of seller operations at Lazada. “We will continue to invest in simplifying our product, increasing sellers’ operation efficiency and making it easy for sellers to work with us. Fast onboarding, easy listing, clearer order management, simpler seller tools, and so on, we will continue to listen to our sellers and provide them better solutions, to empower our sellers for both mega campaigns and daily sales.”

Tio is a product operations manager who works with Lazada’s sellers

Featured photo above shows Thai seller Thanaporn Chumphonphaisan (top), owner of garment shop Saza, who went completely online and closed all her physical stores after steep declines in revenue, and Lim Szu Xin (bottom), an authorised dealer of an Autopacs franchise in Singapore, holding up one of the many  products she offers online. PHOTO CREDITS: Saza and Autopacs

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