In '11-11' sale war, Lazada takes on Shopee with focus on 'fun'

Gillan Frances Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2019 09:47 AM | Updated as of Oct 25 2019 07:20 PM

Lazada co-president Jing Yin and Lazada CEO Pierre Poignant. Gillan Frances Ropero, ABS-CBN News

SINGAPORE -- Lazada is dangling daily prizes and mobile games leading up to its 24-hour sale on Nov. 11, hoping the "fun" experience will lure more customers.

Alibaba-owned Lazada, which pioneered the one-day sale, is taking on rival Shopee, which is also holding an "11-11" sale. Both platforms also competed for digital wallets on "9-9" and "10-10."

Shopee enlisted senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao for "11-11" and international football star Cristiano Ronaldo for "9-9." Lazada has Filipino teen idols James Reid and Nadine Lustre and English pop star Dua Lipa.

In the last 3 quarters, Lazada grew 100 percent from the previous year, said its CEO Pierre Poignant without providing figures. For "11-11," it is offering 80 million deals, 25 percent of which will come with free shipping. Some 50 million shopping vouchers will be available for 11 days starting Nov. 1.

Lazada shoppers can form groups of 11 to 22 users to complete missions in exchange for daily prizes and coins. The top ranked team will win a prize on Nov. 11. There are 50 million annual users on the platform.

"This is something we felt is very fun to do because we want to use social media to push all these enjoyment," Lazada co-president Jing Yin told reporters.

"Lazada’s 11.11 is all about creating a sense of seasonality, festivity and new traditions in the region," he said.

In "Moji-Go," shoppers need to match facial expressions with the emojis on screen. They can also build a virtual metro in LazCity composed of LazMall brands to get special vouchers.

In 2nd quarter this year alone, Lazada grew 128 percent year-on-year, Poignant said, crediting the expansion to a focus on innovation. Lazada was the first with a mobile app and the first to do cross-border e-commerce.

"We believe shopping is not just about just click, find and buy the products. It’s about the whole experience," he said.

Lazada aims to transform e-commerce in Southeast Asia by addressing challenges posed by digital and physical infrastructure, he said. The platform has more than 30 warehouses across 17 cities in Southeast Asia, 200 hubs and deliver centers, and 7 sortating centers.

"That’s our major focus. They key part of this is we wanna control the supply chain," Poignant said.

Lazada is addressing underbanked shoppers by offering cash-on-delivery and its own digital wallet. It is looking to "empower" the local marketplace by getting merchants on Lazada, he said.

"Having the most sellers is not the goal. The goal is to create real SMEs (small and medium enterprises), empower real businesses," he said.