Un­der one roof

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - By TAN KIT HOONG bytz@thes­tar.com.my

The scene at Lazada Malaysia’s new of­fice at Me­nara World­wide in the Bukit Bin­tang area is one of or­gan­ised chaos, with em­ploy­ees work­ing even as the fur­ni­ture is be­ing moved in.

On the day of our in­ter­view, the on­line re­tailer had just moved into its new premises — part of an ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion plan for the com­pany, as it closed a se­cond round of fi­nanc­ing re­cently with fund­ing from Tesco PLC, Ac­cess In­dus­tries, In­vest­ment AB Kin­nevik and Ver­linves, to the tune of some US$250mil (RM802mil).

The move to the new, larger of­fices will also see Lazada look­ing to ex­pand its work­force with “top tal­ents” in busi­ness and mar­ket­ing.

Igor Pezzilli, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Lazada Malaysia, says that thus far the re­sponse from cus­tomers has been so good that Lazada is now the num­ber one on­line re­tailer in this coun­try, with traf­fic of over 100,000 visi­tors a day to the site.

“At the be­gin­ning when we started, we were buy­ing prod­ucts and hav­ing our own ware­houses but re­cently we launched the mar­ket­place, where mer­chants can sell their prod­ucts through our web­site,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Pezzilli, an im­por­tant part of Lazada’s busi­ness model is cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion — the com­pany not only of­fers free fast ship­ping and cash on de­liv­ery (COD) but also a 14-day money back guar­an­tee, a rel­a­tive rar­ity for ei­ther brick and mor­tar or on­line re­tail­ers in the South-east Asia re­gion.

In terms of lo­gis­tics the com­pany even has its own fleet of de­liv­ery ve­hi­cles, and of­fers de­liv­ery in West Malaysia within 48 hours and to east Malaysia within three days.

“In fact, we of­ten de­liver in less than 48 hours in most cases. One of the other rea­sons we have our own de­liv­ery sys­tem is also be­cause of cus­tomer ser­vice. It’s im­por­tant to us that the cus­tomer not only re­ceives the prod­uct quickly but also gets ser­vice with a smile,” said Pezzilli.

While elec­tron­ics are a big part of Lazada’s prod­uct cat­a­logue, the com­pany is plan­ning to shore up its prod­uct range with home and liv­ing, fash­ion prod­ucts, as well as sports equip­ment, amongst oth­ers.

“We want to be the on­line des­ti­na­tion for ev­ery­thing in South-east Asia,” he said.

Lazada has four other web­sites across the re­gion, namely in Thai­land, In­done­sia, Philip­pines and Viet­nam, each op­er­at­ing in­de­pen­dently of the other, al­though the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and brand­ing is the same.

While not ex­clud­ing ex­pan­sion into other Asian coun­tries, Pezzilli says that the com­pany has no im­me­di­ate plans to ex­pand into europe and the United States.

The com­pany also plans to have re­gional pro­mo­tions, such as the re­cent 12/12 On­line Rev­o­lu­tion sale sim­i­lar to Cy­ber Mon­day sales in the United States, where the com­pany of­fered some 200 prod­ucts for one-day only at sub­stan­tial dis­counts.

When asked whether Lazada is plan­ning to be­come the Ama­zon.com of South-east Asia, Pezzilli an­swers with a laugh:

“We al­ready are.”

Top spot: Pezzilli says Lazada is now the num­ber one on­line re­tailer in this coun­try, with traf­fic of over 100,000 visi­tors a day.

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