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Lazada helps Singapore SMEs embrace e-commerce

Nurdianah Md Nur | Sept. 17, 2015
The third-party marketplace is offering local SMEs free product listings on its site and fulfilment services.

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Since 2014, Lazada Singapore has been offering them free product listings on its site and fulfilment services to Singapore small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The move aims to help SMEs embrace e-commerce without dealing with the complexities of setting up an e-commerce platform from scratch, said Lazada.

"Since setting up an e-commerce site can be a huge investment, using a third-party marketplace (like ours) is a cost-effective way to sell online," said Martell Hardenberg, CEO of Lazada Singapore. "We are keen to help local sellers benefit from our secure payment and delivery services. We also aim to increase exposure for them through our growing customer base and innovative marketing tactics."

Besides free product listing, Lazada Singapore manages marketing, delivery, payment methods and customer service for its SME customers. It also provides storage and fulfilment services on any orders that come in through its site for local SMEs.

Currently, 80 percent of the sellers on Lazada Singapore are local businesses. One SME that have benefited from Lazada Singapore's offering is consumer electronic store Unilite Electronics, which used to only operate from a brick-and-mortar store at Jalan Kayu.  After launching its online presence through Lazada Singapore, Unilite Electronics saw an increase in its customer base. "We now receive enquiries from all over Singapore, and most of the visitors to our shop said that they found us online," said Vincent Heng, Unilite Electronics' Sales Manager.

Convergent Systems, an IT component distributor in Singapore, has also benefited from becoming a full-fledged online business on Lazada Singapore. "We began looking at the e-commerce landscape in Singapore as early as 2008," said Vincet Vencatachellum, the company's IT Director. "We were impressed by Lazada Singapore's business plan, customer experience and dedication towards making it easy to sell online. [After leveraging Lazada Singapore's offerings], we have seen a steady growth in our sales volume, and received many favourable responses from customers."

Hardenberg shared the following pointers to help SMEs succeed online:

  • Know your strengths: Setting up an effective e-commerce platform requires technical know-hows so don't be afraid to outsource or work with third-parties to provide customers a good shopping experience.
  • Mobile is important: Singaporeans are increasingly shopping via their mobile devices, as evident from 50 percent of Lazada Singapore's traffic reportedly coming in via mobile devices. E-commerce sites should thus be able to work on various mobile devices.
  • Social media is a huge driver of growth: Consider the best platform (eg. Facebook, LINE or Snapchat) for your business, and invest time to build a fanbase on it.
  • Security is a major factor: Ensure that the online payment methods offered on your e-commerce site are secure as online security is still a top concern for shoppers in Singapore.
  • Strong customer service is key: Respond to queries on your e-commerce site or social media accounts promptly and clearly to assure customers that they are being taken care of, especially post-purchase.

 

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