MANILA - E-commerce platform Lazada is optimistic that it will continue growing despite rising inflation, its CEO Carlos Barrera said on Thursday.
More Filipinos are tightening their belts as inflation reached a fresh 14-year high in January at 8.7 percent, but Lazada is also offering more deals for consumers who are becoming "wiser" with how they spend money, Barrera said.
He said that volume doubled as consumers sought affordable items on the platform using deals that are not available elsewhere.
"We allow them to stack different vouchers and to bundle all these promotions because cash back, free shipping, wallet discount, we want people to use this as a way to always know that they get a better deal online,” he said.
“People are now trying to save a bit more on their day-to-day purchases, we’re fully aligned with that. What we have seen is that the market has evolved a lot. So the average tickets are slightly lower, also they have that value-seeking, people know that they can buy it cheaper and they can find good deals… We’re seeing strong buyer behavior this year, where people turn to online to find high quality items. It’s about being mindful,” he added.
E-commerce, he said, is somewhat insulated from challenges since online sellers are more "nimble" in costs since the costs of operations are also smaller for micro-entrepreneurs who operate from home.
Barrera said Lazada is supportive of government policies that aim to develop the industry as well as scale up small sellers.
He said they have been collaborating with the government in terms of sharing best global practices in other countries, among others. He said the platform also supports small businesses since legitimizing their ventures allow them to scale up.
“Our objective is always to help the development of e-commerce and digitalization, when you look at the main priorities that we're seeing now there's a big push towards digitalization really reigniting the economy, so it's really actually great that there are digitally minded people because ultimately the digital economy has so much potential,” he said.
The SIM registration act, for one, is good for the industry since it’s a step towards eliminating fraud and challenges faced by online sellers.
So far, Barrera said there's growth in beauty, fashion, and in most categories especially the lower-priced items. While premium items are "growing less" there's still healthy growth as Filipinos are now buying larger ticket items such as appliances.
As the platform celebrated its 11th year, Barrera said they aim to become faster in terms of deliveries by expanding their hubs across the country and strengthening its payment systems.