Behind e-commerce giant Lazada's success in pandemic-hit year

By Nguyet Di   January 27, 2022 | 03:00 am PT
In light of its proud achievements in 2021, Lazada Vietnam expects more breakthroughs in 2022 to bring more value for their customers and partners.

Lazada hit impressive milestones in 2021, with remarkable profits, site traffic and record number of orders and new sellers on the platform, and step-by-step attracted consumers and partners across the country.

Looking back on a breakthrough year, Lazada Vietnam’s leaders shared their experiences in surviving the pandemic, thereby continuously creating more value for customers, users as well as business partners.

An amazing digital migration

The pandemic has posed many challenges, but it has also pushed businesses to adapt the digital transformation. Ladaza Vietnam's CEO described this amazing "digital migration" of Vietnamese businesses as an "astonishing wave".

Since October 2021, the number of new sellers joining the platform has increased by about 30 percent per month. According to the recent report: "E-commerce in 2021: Adapting and quickly overcoming obstacles from Covid-19", in the first 11 months of the year, sellers from non-urban areas accounted for 40 percent of all new merchants on Lazada.

The percentage of new sellers from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City also increased by 29 percent and 31 percent, respectively. Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) recorded the highest increase, followed by fashion, home furniture and electronics. James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam and Thailand, believes this is a good sign for Vietnam's fastest growing momentum.

James Dong, general director of Lazada Vietnam and Thailand. Photo by Lazada Vietnam

James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam and Thailand. Photo by Lazada Vietnam

To support sellers, Lazada has shortened the listing process, and integrated business management solutions with real-time charts. The platform has also implemented marketing, promoting transportation process, ensuring on-time, non-contact, non-cash delivery to reduce risks of Covid-19 contamination for buyers and sellers.

During the peak of the pandemic in HCMC, Lazada shortened the sales registration process to three hours for fresh food suppliers, and reduced the delivery time. These solutions helped reduce the risk of spreading infections, stabilizing food prices, and meeting urgent consumption needs.

Moreover, Lazada's "three Easy" (3Es) strategy including "Easy to buy - Easy to sell - Easy to deliver" has yielded achievements. "The benefit and safety of customers and business partners are always the top priority of the platform," according to the CEO.

"The practical test" for the supply chain

Vu Duc Thinh, Chief Logistics Officer of Lazada Vietnam, described the supply chain situation during the epidemic as "terrible". For more than four months, transportation, sales, and trading activities were almost frozen. The flow of raw materials, goods production, distribution and transportation were all interrupted.

"Without goods, sellers fail to conduct business. Without duct tape, sellers can't pack their goods. Even after tackling those difficulties, if shipping units shut down, buyers won't receive the goods," Thinh explained.

Overcoming obstacles, Thinh and the Lazada Vietnam logistics team made several efforts to adapt in order to maintain operations and maintain item flow. Epidemic-prevention solutions at working sites were quickly deployed to ensure the safety of employees and customers.

Vu Duc Thinh, logistics director of Lazada Vietnam,

Vu Duc Thinh, Chief Logistics Officer of Lazada Vietnam. Photo by Lazada Vietnam

"We all work from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. At the end of the day, we usually evaluated the effectiveness of our work and make adjustment for the next day," said Thinh.

Looking back at 2021, Thinh is proud that Lazada is one of the few e-Commerce platforms in Vietnam to maintain its supply chain during the pandemic. The logistics system completed the target from the beginning of the year. Some indicators exceeded expectations. Efforts to ensure smooth operations not only helped business remain stable, but also meet the increasing demand of consumers. That contributed to maintaining growth for Lazada, ensuring jobs and stable income for all staff.

"The ability to adapt with a long-term vision for sustainable development is Lazada's strength. Lazada has focused on technology and logistics since the early days of development and the importance of this strategy is proved," Thinh stated.

Understanding and accompanying

Besides logistics, Lazada has carried out many marketing activities to help the community overcome the challenges in the past year.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, Chief Marketing Officer of Lazada Vietnam, said the marketing team always set their KPIs as the peace of mind, optimism and comfort of users and the community. Lazada has flexibly approached and interacted with customers via many activities.

By offering discount vouchers, Lazada has encouraged shopping. For loyal customers, the platform has provided the "Voucher club" package with many benefits like collecting vouchers with a total value of up to VND850,000 and VND50,000 a month.

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, marketing director of Lazada Vietnam

Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang, Chief Marketing Officer of Lazada Vietnam. Photo by Lazada Vietnam

"Incentives can solve cost-related problems, but it needs more factors to really share with the community," said Hang. That is why in 2021, Lazada's shoppertainment (shopping and entertainment) activities were heavily invested. Hundreds of livestream episodes were performed every day with diverse content, meeting entertainment needs via LazCook, LazMusic, LazGetfit, LazLearn, LazHome, LazPlay...

According to statistics from Lazada Vietnam, during the peak days of its Shopping Festivals, the platform created more than 400 livestream episodes per day, attracting a 5-6 times increase in viewership compared to weekdays. SuperShow, a music festival, also reached tens of millions of views on its platforms.

Total orders during the Nov. 11 shopping festival nearly doubled. Customer numbers increased 1.5 times over the same period last year. On the 12.12 Super sale day, sales from LazLive increased seven times. The SuperShow hit 26 million views, contributing to a 20-fold increase in sales.

"Technology is expected to be the key to enhancing the user experience. This year, we will apply more modern technologies, accompanying users in the shopping experience on the Lazada platform," Hang shared.

"The best person is not necessarily the most suitable one"

In terms of recruitment and training human resources, Van Thi Hong Hanh, Chief People Officer of Lazada Vietnam, said the success of Lazada last year was thanks to its young, adaptive, proactive and creative staff.

This platform set out a competency framework consisting of seven criteria as the foundation for personnel, recruitment, training and career development decisions and plans. The criteria include problem-solving ability; creativity and improvisation; communication - coordination; business knowledge; management capacity - group leadership; corporate culture creation; awareness - change management.

Van Thi Hong Hanh, human resources director of Lazada Vietnam

Van Thi Hong Hanh, Chief People Officer of Lazada Vietnam. Photo by Lazada Vietnam

During the pandemic, Lazada has implemented the "Covid Care 2.0" program, ensuring the health of both employees and the community. Working from home, getting fully vaccinated, providing protection kits, and supporting Covid-19 infected employees were quickly implemented. Many programs were also implemented to motivate, connect and honor outstanding individuals and groups.

In 2021, Lazada's workforce rose by 20 percent in comparison to 2020. According to HR Asia magazine, Lazada was named "Asia's Best Place to Work" for three years in a row due to a range of policies and initiatives with a people-centric strategy. In addition, at Best Choice Awards 2021, the platform was named "eCommerce platform of the year".

"What makes Lazada so outstanding is that we don't get distracted by short-term financial goals or transient statistics. Instead, we always strive for long-term, more sustainable growth by constantly improving the customer experience and extending our brand partners and sellers," James Dong emphasizes.

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