Through this alliance, it hopes to leverage Lazada’s popularity in the Philippines (6th most popular website) to push sales of its merchandise online.
According to Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairwoman of SM Investments Corp, it will initially carry light-to-carry non-food items through Lazada’s online store, then eventually offer bulkier items such as furniture and appliances.
This venture will drastically boost SM Investments Corp’s existing e-commerce presence. In Dec 2014, its retail arm, SM Store, launched an e-commerce platform, selling a gamut of goods from apparel, bags and shoes to luggage and gift vouchers. At the end of February, SM Investment Corp sought to consolidate all its retail businesses including Watsons and Toy Kingdom under the SM Store banner.
According to a report in DealStreetAsia, its combined retail stores number 1,374 and netted a revenue of US$1.14 billion in 2015.
With this consolidation and partnership with Lazada, it will both drastically expand its online repository of merchandise, as well as extend its online reach.
E-commerce in Philippines has been picking up steam over the recent years. According to a Statista report , e-commerce will bring in US$1.26 billion in 2016 and is expected to hit US$2.69 billion in 2020. The number of e-commerce users is also projected to reach 46.1 million.
Lazada will play no doubt a key role in boosting Philippines e-commerce growth – last year, it captured 20 per cent of all online sales in the country. This, in part, was due to the filipinos appetite for consumer electronics, which bagged a whopping US$581.5 million of online sales in 2015.
Lazada’s climb to e-commerce dominance in the Philippines was not without setbacks. Late last year, it was accused of carrying fake products.
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