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Lazada grows revenue and stable of online 3rd-party sellers (Amended)
ELECTRONICS retailer MC2, which has brick-and-mortar stores in Bedok and Westgate, recorded a S$25,000 jump in its revenue in the last quarter, this growth coinciding with its joining Lazada Marketplace, an online platform for third-party sellers.
The platform, which has given MC2 access to its pool of online shoppers, is the fastest-growing segment for Lazada, a South-east Asian retail online shopping group.
Launched late last year, Lazada Marketplace now accounts for more than 65 per cent of the group's total sales revenue. The group said on Wednesday that marketplace sales turnover had increased more than tenfold in the past 12 months.
The marketplace operates individual websites in six South-east Asian countries. All in, 8,000 third-party sellers have set up shop, up from the mere 478 a year ago. Fashion, health and beauty products are its fastest-growing categories.
Riding on this wave of growth, Maximilian Bittner, the Lazada group's chief executive officer, said that the company is looking to facilitate cross-border trade out of China and Korea, and that he hopes to rope in manufacturers to sell their products through the platform.
Saying there was a need to tell these manufacturers that they can sell directly to the customers, he said: "What you've seen in the last five years at least, is that with Chinese wages rising, more and more manufacturing capabilities are being sent into our region - whether it's Vietnam or Indonesia."
Mr Bittner identified improving customer service and personalising the online shopping experience as the company's other areas of focus. It was reported last year that the group faced challenges in maintaining the quality of its customer service.
Founded by Germany's Rocket Internet, Lazada has gone through several rounds of fund-raising and has secured more than US$430 million from key investors in the last two years in its move to help the region shed its e-commerce backwater image.
The earlier version of this article stated, based on Lazada's input, that the marketplace sales turnover had doubled in the past 12 months. Lazada has since clarified that it should be that the marketplace sales turnover increased more than tenfold in the past 12 months. The article above has been revised to reflect this.