With e-commerce, fashion will be all right
Shopaholics, you can now do your civic duty and attempt to save the economy. Fashion, health and wellness brands that create e-commerce channels are reportedly first to get their pesos if we judge by the 1,500-percent growth that online marketplace Lazada has seen since the lockdown, even with the country dipping into technical recession during the second quarter.
E-commerce went from being an alternative to brick-and-mortar stores, to playing a crucial role in the movement of goods in our economy. For small fashion brands, many already relied on social media as one of their few channels even before the lockdown, but there’s a caveat: the algorithm has taken over shoppers’ browsing pleasure with more and more of the same things. Classified as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), even with the internet, physical presence was still important for these brands to attract customers outside of their usual market.
It reminds me of the surprise finds I would chance upon in malls, fairs, or weekend markets and bazaars. With its over 100,000 stores, Lazada where one can buy anything from no-nonsense vegetable choppers and nostalgic friendship bracelet beads to an authentic MacBook and beauty products straight from the brands themselves is becoming something like that for local fashion MSMEs.
Using the app, I found stylish and waterproof Viajecito bags, Yabang Pinoy womenswear favorite Cole Vintage, locally-made faux leather sandals by La Soledad Studios, unabashedly feminine womenswear by Souvie House, affordable handmade jewelry by Talabykyla, and handcrafted sandals by Sundals.
“We are always looking for ways to help MSMEs digitalize their businesses,” says Neil Trinidad, Lazada’s country chief marketing officer. “We launched in May our Bounce Back Together program and gave incentives as well as support for entrepreneurs in terms of training or additional discounts to be able to help them jumpstart their businesses online. To date we have provided support for over 7,000 stores.”
On the same platform are the most recognizable Filipino brands like Bench, Penshoppe, Plains & Prints and Kamiseta. The SM Store also has a Lazada flagship store, Kultura included.
The app has live streams hosted by established international beauty brands like Estée Lauder and Mac as well as online sellers as the added personal touch to what can otherwise feel static and cold, especially for those who appreciate the physical retail experience. You don’t have to leave the stream to shop for the displayed items or claim discount vouchers as you watch how the product performs and ask questions in real-time.
To keep up the momentum, Lazada partnered with UnionBank to launch the country’s first e-commerce credit card.
“The Philippines was largely a cash-on-delivery market before the pandemic,” says Neil. “Change in behavior has shifted into a doubled increase in cashless payment. People want a frictionless, safe option.”
Why Unionbank for Lazada’s first co-branded credit card? “We have the same brand DNA as digital transformation leaders in the country.”
Unionbank has been voted as the second most helpful bank during the COVID lockdown, next only to KakaoBank, South Korea’s largest digital-only bank, according to the BankQuality Consumer Survey on Retail Banks. The online survey conducted last April covered 11,000 respondents, with 1,000 each coming from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With UnionBank, the application process is also completely online.
The virtual card comes with a supplementary physical card for face-to-face transactions; we won’t be in community quarantine forever.
The new UnionBank Lazada MasterCard has the highest earning rate among other credit cards in the market. Every P200 spend at Lazada earns P6 Lazada credits and P1 for every P200 on all other purchases outside the platform. Think loungewear updates after every online grocery run without spending extra.
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Sign up for a Unionbank Lazada Mastercard at unionbankph.com or the Lazada app.