By Lazada

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

Themed Rising to the Future: Southeast Asia’s Digital Commerce, various executives from Lazada shared about the growth of LazMall and its continued commitment to helping brand partners grow. Leveraging Lazada’s eCommerce infrastructure and capabilities in AI, technology and digital marketing solutions, customised strategies can be developed to enhance the customer lifecycle, delivering a premium online shopping experience.

During the welcome speech, Chun Li, Chief Executive Officer, Lazada Group 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 percent of Southeast Asia’s population now using the internet.

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.  

James Chang, Head of Strategic Accounts and Retail, Lazada Group, continued by emphasising 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 customised business and marketing tools and solutions, tailored to the needs of each brand and their customers.

One unified customer experience: Creating one holistic message and experience for all go-to-market channels through enriched data and technology. Finding the most appropriate time to convey a message that maximises the reach of their brand experience to customers.    

Membership loyalty programmes: Ensuring two types of programmes are available for all brands - integrating existing brands’ membership programmes seamlessly as part of their LazMall store. For those without an offline version, LazMall will create simple solutions where brands can still provide incentives to their customers and encourage repeat purchases.  

On winning customer loyalty and trust, Raymond Yang, Chief Product Officer, Head of Platform Operations, Lazada Group shared that the Lazada’s ecosystem provides a full suite of customisable features such as premium decoration tools, user segmentation, and APIs including online-to-offline solutions to help brands grow their customer base.

Other customer-centric solutions include:

Customer Engagement Management: This function aims to provide brands with an advanced customer operation experience. Brands are in better control of valuable customer assets, so they can offer customised rewards to different customer groups based on their buying journey.

Universal Shopping Campaign: Guaranteed strong returns on investment in terms of orders and traffic uplifts for brands, by combining Lazada’s leading performance marketing solutions – Sponsored Affiliates, Sponsored Discovery and priority placements. 
These are backed by a series of smart algorithm, enabling automatic selection and optimisation of SKUs, keywords, and creatives. The results mean highly affordable and time-efficient campaigns that brands can run easily.

Key highlights of the upcoming 9.9 Biggest Brands Sale:
Unveiled LazMall’s first regional brand ambassador, Hallyu super star, Hyun Bin.
Features that customers can enjoy as they add-to-cart and check out: Pre-sale and co-branding, Crazy Brand Mega Offer, Flash Sales, Free Shipping, Lazada Bonus, Platform and category vouchers.
Newest addition on LazGames – Lazzie Star where shoppers can help Lazada’s mascot Lazzie “level up” to become a Super Star. Users can complete a series of daily tasks and special missions that will unlock exclusive platform and seller vouchers as well as Lazada Bonus rewards to use during 9.9.

As part of celebrating LazMall’s third anniversary, and counting down to the 9.9 Biggest Brands Sale, – the first of Lazada’s year-end mega campaigns – the event also presented the second BFF Awards Ceremony.
The BFF Awards 2021 honoured 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.

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.  

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 behaviour 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 can 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 the majority of 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 behaviour analytics to predict and deliver personalised 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.