Lazada holds LazMall BFF 2021 with this year’s theme ‘Rising to The Future: Southeast Asia’s Digital Commerce’

Published September 6, 2021, 10:26 AM

by Enzo Luna

Chun Li, Chief Executive Officer, Lazada Group

Brands, retailers, and partners in eCommerce come together this year as Lazada Group presented its yearly LazMall Brands Future Forum with the topic – Rising to The Future: Southeast Asia’s Digital Commerce that brings together Lazada and enormous brands from over the locale to share bits of knowledge and trade thoughts around the most recent advancements and innovations in digital commerce during the advancing retail scene and computerized environment.

Lazada Group held its second edition of LazMall Brands Future Forum (BFF) 2021, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore last 1 September 2021, with a mix of in-person and virtual attendees from across the region.

Speakers of this occasion include Chun Li, CEO of Lazada Group and Lazada Indonesia, Raymond Yang, Chief Product Officer & Head of Platform Operations of Lazada Group and James Chang, Head of Strategic Accounts and Retail of Lazada Group and CEO of Lazada Singapore.

BFF 2021 Awards and LazMall’s first regional brand ambassador

In conjunction with celebrating LazMall’s 3rd anniversary, the event announced the winners of the 2nd BFF Awards and commencing the countdown to Lazada’s first year-end mega campaign, 9.9 and the unveiling of LazMall’s first regional brand ambassador, Hallyu super star, Hyun Bin.

BFF Awards 2021 honored nine top performing and innovative global and Southeast Asian brands on the LazMall channel with The Estée Lauder Companies taking home the most coveted award LazMall Brand of the Year, and Samsung winning the Best Brand Partnership Award.

Raymond Yang, Chief Product Officer, Head of Platform Operations, Lazada Group

The Awards celebrates excellence demonstrated within the online retail landscape, the agility in adapting business strategies in an ever-evolving commerce environment, as well as constant creativity in seeking fun and interactive ways to enhance customers’ online shopping experiences.

This year’s winners included: Best New Brand Launch Award – Nike; LazMall Rising Star Award – Coach; Best New Product Launch Award – Lancôme for Lancôme Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate; LazMall Marketing Excellence Award – Shiseido Group; LazMall Innovation Excellence Award – Starbucks; Lazada Partner Award- Synagie; and Best Use of Lazada Sponsored Solutions Award – L’Oréal Consumer Products Division.

LazMall BFF 2021 tackled on how businesses can achieve digital commerce success from Brand Building, Consumer Engagement to Data Driven Strategies to win online and in Southeast Asia, now and in the future.

Jerome Hamlin, Head of Industry for E-Commerce, Google

Brand building and innovation lead to success

During the welcome speech, Li remarked how innovation, creativity, cutting-edge technology, and stunning customer experiences have continued to transform eCommerce, resulting in a great online migration, with over 70% of the Southeast Asia’s population now using the internet.

“The past year has not been an easy one for any of us. And I am sure we all experienced many firsts and learned many lessons in both our personal and work lives. We have seen resilience and at the same time experienced innovation as we will hear during this forum. As we look to the future, I am very optimistic that all the countries across Southeast Asia will be able to flatten the curve and emerge stronger than ever.

At the heart of the future is eCommerce. I’ve been working in this industry for two decades and I am extremely excited about all the changes that have taken place as well as those that are coming up.

Innovation and creativity, cutting-edge technology and stunning customer experiences continue to transform eCommerce, resulting in a great online migration,” said Li during his keynote speech.

The Lazada platform has more than 110 million annual active consumers, and online transactions have grown 100 per cent year-on-year. In just three years, LazMall has grown to house over 32,000 local and international brands, with a high-quality customer base who are willing to spend more to purchase from brands they know and love, as well as discovering new brands on the platform.

New buyers on the LazMall channel nearly doubled year-on-year, and the value of purchases made by LazMall customers is twice that of an average buyer on the Lazada platform. With increased consumer trust and confidence when purchasing higher value items. LazMall Prestige launched as a premium offering across the region, giving shoppers access to renowned brands like Bacha Coffee, Bang and Olufsen, Coach, La Mer, Salvatore Ferragamo and many more.

Meanwhile, Chang emphasized that as online retail grows, adoption of a long-term digital commerce strategy that is unique to each brand is key. To ensure success, Lazada offers fully customized business and marketing tools and solutions, tailored to the needs of each brand and their customers.

“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of eCommerce around the world. For Southeast Asia, eCommerce was already in an upward growth trajectory, so this impact has sped up the development. Based on the Google, Temasek and Bain e-conomy SEA 2020 report, eCommerce in our region was around $5B USD in 2015, reaching around $62B USD in 2020. That is more than 12X growth in size,” shared Chang.

Yang added that the Lazada’s ecosystem provides a full suite of customizable features such as premium decoration tools, user segmentation, and APIs including online-to-offline solutions to help brands grow their customer base.

Looking Forward: What’s Next for Southeast Asian Digital Commerce

The event concluded with a panel discussion titled Looking Forward: What’s Next for Southeast Asian Digital Commerce hosted by Emma Paterson, Regional Head of Strategic Brand Solutions at LazMall, Lazada Group. The panel brought together Kevin McGuigan, Vice President and Managing Director, Southeast Asia Region and Country Leader of Singapore at 3M; Jerome Hamlin, Head of Industry for E-Commerce at Google; and Juliana Chu, Vice President of Digital and Ecommerce, Asia Pacific at Shiseido.

During the session, Google’s Hamlin referenced the latest e-Conomy Southeast Asia report, which highlighted how acceleration in digital consumption impacts brands’ engagement with consumers. The shifts in consumer behavior have tripled the number of “Seller” & “Seller Center” related searches since the start of the pandemic. This increased choice for consumers has led to greater expectations of quality and service from the brands that they shop with online. He also noted that consumers are increasingly spending more time on video platforms like YouTube, and it is increasingly important for brands to think how they can be part of this video consumption shift through creator engagement, and data-driven advertising.

Similarly, discussing how brands can retain customer loyalty, Chu commented how Shiseido successfully tapped onto LazMall solutions to improve customer experience, which ultimately led to capturing new user growth. Chu advised that brands could increase their “stickiness” and in turn drive customer loyalty by keeping consumers engaged via delivering targeted customer experience. Examples she cited include Shoppertainment features to give a “fun” shopping experience especially for younger consumers, as well as beauty technology that mimics physical in-store shopping experiences such as virtual try-on of make-up products. She highlighted how most consumers would plan their purchases ahead of mega campaigns, hence brands should start planning early, incorporating strategies to drive sales and stand out to customers. This can be done by looking at past consumer purchasing behavior analytics to predict and deliver personalized product recommendations and customer experience for consumers.

To ensure success during campaign periods, McGuigan recommended that brands have clear objectives and kickstart preparations at least three months in advance, with close collaboration between internal teams and Lazada. A basic framework for first time planners to ensure positive customer experience throughout should include careful planning of inventory and projecting various scenarios for a smooth execution of campaigns.

McGuigan explored the different ways in which 3M approaches distribution and assortment strategies and discussed how consumer education is vital to keeping consumers engaged with a brand, especially on digital platforms. This includes content that helps articulate how a product is different in quality and price point when compared to alternatives. He also commented on an interesting discovery on LazMall product reviews where brands are learning “reverse consumer education” where customers are sharing alternative uses of their products.