KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — Lazada’s eCommerce ecosystem, after almost a decade, has become a cultural phenomenon that has cultivated an online shopping community nationwide.  It has spurred digitalisation for hundreds of thousands of local businesses, shaped the next-generation of consumer behaviour and created thousands of logistics work opportunities for Malaysians.

In a statement, Lazada Malaysia chief executive officer and Lazada Group founder and chief strategy officer, Magnus Ekbom said the ‘Lazada Effect’ supports in future-proofing local businesses and making everyday life just a little easier for all Malaysians by making the digital economy accessible to the local community of customers, brands, and sellers.

Nine years in since the establishment of Lazada Malaysia in 2012, the local eCommerce market has experienced an explosive growth from its nascent stages, to become a booming and all-encompassing industry.

Ekbom said that in the early days of Lazada, online shopping seemed to be an unfamiliar concept for Malaysians.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and brands were understandably uncertain about eCommerce back then.

“As we celebrate Lazada’s 9th Birthday this coming March 27, eCommerce has grown to be a staple in almost every household, with more than one-third of the local population shopping on the Lazada app every month,” he added.

Being one of the first major eCommerce players in Malaysia that shaped the thriving modern-day digital economy, Lazada has been a key driver of digital transformation for both local SMEs as well as large corporations.

Through its ecosystem of first-to-last-mile logistics, innovative seller tools and comprehensive Lazada University training, the ‘Lazada Effect’ has upskilled and flattened the barriers of entry for local entrepreneurs at the grass-root level – empowering local SMEs with access to the digital economy.

This gave rise to the next generation of homegrown online businesses.

An example can be seen from a local online business, Russell Taylors, founded by a chemical engineering-background businessman Satish Raguchandran who started selling home appliances on Lazada back in 2014.

“I had zero knowledge on eCommerce. In fact, not a lot of people knew how to run an online business back then. Despite being unfamiliar and inexperienced, I was able to grow my business on Lazada Malaysia and be guided by Lazada University every step of the way, from basic product listings to advanced business analytics.

“Russell Taylors was also relatively small and didn’t have much resources nor manpower at the time, so I utilised the ‘Fulfilled By Lazada’ (FBL) logistics service to outsource warehousing, product packing, and delivery.

“After being on the eCommerce platform for seven years now, my business has grown more than 100 times and generated up to RM2 million in sales per day during campaign periods,” he said.

Satish added that he is now able to focus on running  an online business full-time and have the financial freedom to hire and provide stable livelihoods for his employees.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation chief executive officer Surina Shukri said the recent disruption caused by Covid-19 necessitates businesses and SMEs to digitalise in order to remain sustainable and thrive in the digital age.

“As we adopt a whole-of-nation approach towards accelerating the digital economy, MDEC will continue to collaborate with leading industry partners, like Lazada, to provide greater accessibility to training and tools that local entrepreneurs and talents need, to digitalise and be part of the eCommerce ecosystem.

“Our focus this year is to scale up the momentum of eCommerce, enabling greater trickle-down-effect of the nation’s digital economic growth and leading towards achieving shared prosperity for all and help realise Malaysia 5.0.”

Olivier Petra, Chief Logistics Officer, Lazada Malaysia added that with the online shopping demand soaring, the benchmark of logistics capabilities also rose, creating thousands of logistics job opportunities for the B40 community, that can reach up to five-digit monthly income for delivery personnel.

Former account executive Ho Choy Yok who has joined the Lazada team as its delivery driver experienced working as an independent contractor to deliver packages for the company, and was able to earn over RM9,000 in a single month.

Beyond the eCommerce supply chain, the ‘Lazada Effect’ has also created alternative income opportunities by bringing the Shoppertainment concept to the country.

Last year, over 1.1 million minutes of content was aired on LazLive, Lazada’s in-app live streaming feature.

Commenting on the feature, a Kuala Lumpur-based Shaun Stephen said that LazLive has helped him to generate income after struggling financially due to the pandemic.

Come March 27, the ‘Lazada Effect’ would have spanned across nine years of Malaysia’s history. Lazada said it is committed to further strengthening its eCommerce ecosystem and will continue to be a catalyst that will propel the nation’s digital economy to new heights. — Bernama