DON’T be afraid to venture online.
This was the advice of Muhammad Hussain Khalid, vice president and head of Marketplace of Lazada Philippines to brick and mortar entrepreneurs who are still hesitant to expand their business in the online space.
“Going online is not difficult,” said Khalid during the Entrepreneurs’ Summit held on June 14, 2019. “Anyone can do it.”
Khalid said bringing the products online is the easiest and cheapest mode of growing the business. Online shopping is also a rising trend especially among young shoppers.
Khalid explained that if a business is limited to a physical shop it can only attract clients within a five-kilometer radius of the store’s location. If it wants to grow big or be present nationwide it needs to open thousands of stores.
“But if you tap the online space, it will give you unlimited opportunities both in terms of reach and sales perfromance,” said Khalid.
Citing Lazada Philippines as an example, Khalid said the platform provides aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to jumpstart their dream to be in business. The platform provides no space constraint as they can upload over 20,000 products in the online marketplace.
Moreover, selling products in Lazada also doesn’t require any registration fee. Sellers only need to upload valid identification cards so they could start uploading their products and selling them.
Khalid said Lazada has been supporting the government, through the Department of Trade and Industry, in unleashing the entrepreneurial skills of Filipinos. Roughly 80 percent of the sales at Lazada Philippines are transactions of local sellers selling either local or imported goods.
Khalid said the e-commerce site remains confident of growing its business in the Philippine market following the expanding middle-income market, growing tech-savvy individuals and fast-growing economy.
Analytics lead of Amazon Web Services Fred Herman Groen IV, on the other hand, said entrepreneurs must start looking at the online space as a complementary venue to grow their business.
But besides going online, he challenged business owners to step up the level of customer experience they provide to their clients. He noted that among the challenges faced by retailers now is sustaining the excellent buying experience across all channels.
Groen said while there is a rising number of online shoppers, customers expect a seamless experience both in offline and online channels. He said that if they are regular online clients, they expect to be treated the same way when they visit physical stores.
“Consumer experience is the biggest contributor to brand loyalty, with negative experiences significantly affecting business outcomes,” said Groen. (KOC)