Consumers, brands, businesses as well as more than 110 celebrities and influencers came together on March 26 for a virtual Super Party to kick off Lazada’s ninth anniversary celebrations. There were performances from Katy Perry, NCT Dream and local talents from across Southeast Asia, and more than 5 million viewers tuned in to watch the signature star-studded concert on Lazada’s in-app livestreaming channel, LazLive. The concert was simulcast on more than a dozen local TV networks across six markets in the region, and for the first time, was also livestreamed on various social media platforms. On top of the celebrations, which also included various shoppertainment features that have become synonymous with the platform’s annual birthday event, this year’s anniversary marked a particularly important phase in the company’s history.
While the eCommerce platform is still relatively young and has a lot of room to grow, it is also established and mature enough to contribute back to the region that has provided it with a dynamic and supportive home for close to a decade. In a light-hearted LinkedIn post, Lazada’s Chief Strategy Officer Magnus Ekbom compared the nine-year-old company to a pre-adolescent child who has just learned how to ride a bicycle and finally gets to stay up late with friends. “To some extent, we are a bit like the bigger brother or the older sister who you know you can always count on,” he said.
Being a company that people can depend on has been especially important during a time of unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19. As the pandemic disrupted all corners of the globe over the past year, providing for different sectors of local communities became the main priority for Lazada. When the novel coronavirus reached Asia, Lazada worked with the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation to transport and distribute donated medical supplies to impacted countries. It also leveraged its digital giving platform, LazadaForGood, to raise funds for impacted groups and rolled out various initiatives to empower sellers during the economic downturn while also keeping customers across Southeast Asia safe, informed and in access of daily necessities amid lockdowns.
These efforts offer a glimpse into just how far Lazada has come since it was first established in 2012. Back then, as a fledgling start-up in Jakarta, the platform’s main concern was figuring out how to win over customers when there was still a lot of scepticism about online shopping. To build up excitement, Lazada came up with 12.12, an e-shopping festival that is now one of the biggest annual retail events in Southeast Asia. Aside from introducing other mega shopping festivals and campaigns throughout the years, the company has also launched its mobile app, built up a robust digital and logistics infrastructure and implemented initiatives such as the intellectual property protection platform to create an eCommerce environment that is safe and sustainable for customers, sellers and partners alike.
“When you’ve been at something for nine years and so many things have happened and transpired, it’s easier to take shortcuts. But I think what you will find about Lazada – also in the earliest days and not just now – is that we didn’t take any shortcuts,” Ekbom said. “What we need is to always make sure that we create more value than we take. And that is true in everything that we do.”
Indeed, all of Lazada’s initiatives and innovations have been designed to create value in some way for others in the community, be it sellers, buyers, governments or those in the private and public sectors. Thanks to these efforts, Lazada now serves more than 100 million annual active consumers across six markets and is viewed not just as an online marketplace but the go-to lifestyle platform that combines everything from entertainment to solutions for payments and logistics.
“We are not just a transactional player that is there one day and not there the next day,” Ekbom said. “People trust us. They can count on us.”
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