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Lazada aims to help Malaysians adapt to the new Normal

RM10 million “Pakej Kedai Pintar” expects to onboard 50,000 MSMEs from April to June 2020, free shipping and weekly payments included

Amid the extended Movement Control Order (MCO) to curb the spread of COVID-19, convenience and access to essential items begin to wane. As a result, a change in the Malaysian consumer behaviour has been clearly observed. With the rakyat adjusting to the new normal, Lazada Malaysia’s mission revolves around redefining the role of eCommerce players amid the pandemic. As a gazetted essential service and the leading eCommerce platform, Lazada Malaysia has since January, been rolling out initiatives that impact every facet of the society from households, vegetable sellers, nongovernmental organisations and job seekers. Most recently, it introduced its ‘Pakej Kedai Pintar’, a stimulus package that is expected to help 50,000 MSMEs in Malaysia including local agricultural businesses and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) that are facing financial challenges, to bring their businesses online. This is also aimed at stabilising existing jobs amidst the uncertain economic environment. “Pakej Kedai Pintar” with 100% capital cost waived Launched on April 8, 2020, the “Pakej Kedai Pintar” stimulus package by Lazada Malaysia will run from April to June 2020, to assist MSMEs in their onboarding journey onto its platform. The “Pakej Kedai Pintar” cash fund, starting with RM10 million, will provide these estimated 50,000 local MSMEs with aid via a series of customised benefits, especially those in the fresh food and groceries categories, new and existing eCommerce sellers, and brick-and-mortar retailers, including those who were planning to set up stalls for Ramadhan Bazaars. These eligible MSMEs will be able to enjoy free shipping services and receive fixed weekly payments, as well as the services of a dedicated support team to help them integrate, train and develop customised sales campaign for the businesses through its Lazada University. Surina Shukri Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer says that Lazada’s stimulus package is timely as the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been the impetus for a large number of MSMEs and businesses to gravitate towards eCommerce adoption. “I am confident that this initiative will complement MDEC’s programmes to accelerate e-commerce adoption amongst local MSMEs through our eUsahawan and GoeCommerce programmes, and at the same time catalyse more high-value digital jobs for the nation,” says Surina. In addition, MSMEs from the fresh food and groceries categories, as well as new and existing Lazada sellers will also be entitled to zero commissions and zero listing fees, on top of access to micro loan facilities.

Through this initiative, MSME retailers that are new, or have little experience in eCommerce can expect 100% of their costs of selling online covered, to enable them to diversify their revenue streams beyond traditional bricks-and-mortar model more quickly on a platform where one in three Malaysians are Lazada users. “Local MSMEs are essential to the nation’s economic growth and people’s livelihood and by helping them, we hope to bolster Malaysians’ confidence amid the COVID-19 situation. We believe it’s the responsibility of all platform operators to lend support in times like this to the merchants who have made us successful,” says Lazada Malaysia chief executive officer Leo Chow.

Cameron Highlands farmers onboarded within 48 hours By tapping on the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia, Chow says, it will enable MSMEs, farmers, and fishermen affected to maintain their source of income, without worrying about rental and utility overheads. According to him, a group of Cameron Highlands farmers started selling their vegetables online late last month after Lazada created a special sales-and-delivery service to help them salvage their produce from being discarded.

Through this initiative, MSME retailers that are new, or have little experience in eCommerce can expect 100% of their costs of selling online covered, to enable them to diversify their revenue streams beyond traditional bricks-and-mortar model more quickly on a platform where one in three Malaysians are Lazada users. “Local MSMEs are essential to the nation’s economic growth and people’s livelihood and by helping them, we hope to bolster Malaysians’ confidence amid the COVID-19 situation. We believe it’s the responsibility of all platform operators to lend support in times like this to the merchants who have made us successful,” says Lazada Malaysia chief executive officer Leo Chow. Cameron Highlands farmers onboarded within 48 hours By tapping on the leading eCommerce platform in Southeast Asia, Chow says, it will enable MSMEs, farmers, and fishermen affected to maintain their source of income, without worrying about rental and utility overheads. According to him, a group of Cameron Highlands farmers started selling their vegetables online late last month after Lazada created a special sales-and-delivery service to help them salvage their produce from being discarded.

“Lazada read about Cameron Highlands farmers who had to throw away their fresh produce due to supply chain issue during MCO. We immediately reached out to them, figured out the tech and logistics and got them onto the Lazada platform in less than 48 hours,” Chow recounts, adding that aside from vegetable farmers, others that were forced to dump their produce due to the MCO transport issues included fruit growers and fishermen. Cameron Highlands vegetable company Woon Chin & Sons Agriculture’s owner Jay Mu who onboarded Lazada during the crisis tells MALAYSIA SME® of the situation they were caught in. “It was frustrating that we had to discard our crops due to difficulties in securing transport services to bring our produce to other states during the MCO. But in less than 48 hours, Lazada quickly helped us turnaround the situation and we are connected to customers directly now,” says Mu. Upon onboarding Lazada’s services, many of the farmers there have since sold 1.5 tonnes of vegetables each day. Responding to the rising need for fresh produce and groceries during the MCO, Lazada created a special ‘Cameron Farmers’ section, alongside its MyFishman for seafood supplies and Mymarket2u for other grocery requirements to fulfil customers’ demand since early February. Hence, the one trend arising from the MCO-COVID-19 timeline can be attributed to the skyrocketing demand for fresh vegetables, poultry and seafood purchased online, as Malaysians remain confined to their domestic environment, doing more home cooking since the MCO was implemented in mid-March.

Saving businesses and jobs Since March, Lazada Malaysia has aided more than 160 brands from various categories including fashion, beauty, groceries and more to open storefronts on their platform. Moreover, brands that previously sustained through brick-and-mortar approaches such as Senheng, Bata, Fujifilm, Triumph and Din Tai Fung have successfully pivoted their businesses to eCommerce through this. The company’s resolve not only aims to help businesses, but also to create new opportunities for the Malaysian workforce who are affected by the current situation. With the ever-increasing demand for supply in online oriented sectors, the company recognises that the need for talents in these fields are highly sought after. To help job seekers connect with job opportunities, Lazada Malaysia will launch a digital job fair page. To date, close to 50 companies in Malaysia will leverage on Lazada’s traffic to reach out to Malaysians seeking jobs during this time. The campaign is slated to launch in early May.

It’s time to accelerate business digitalisation The COVID-19 pandemic serves as an opportunity for the workforce to rethink how they can maintain their job and contribute to the economy. While some industries are affected, the online education, eCommerce, logistics, food delivery and media sectors are experiencing huge demands for their supply. “While MSMEs face this uncertain time, they can quickly pivot their business by going digital,” echoes SME Corp CEO Noor Azmi Mat Said. From April to June, MSMEs can sign up at the Lazada Malaysia official website and have 100% of capital costs waived. Capital costs refer to the services provided by the company, including delivery and shipping of parcels to customers, content development services, product listing and advertising. Lazada Malaysia will work with MSMEs to curate and list products for up to four months, participate in promotional campaigns, fulfill orders and analyse sales and traffic data. To enjoy these benefits and more, please visit their website via this link. www.lazada.com.my/sell-on-lazada