Lazada Philip­pines to in­crease dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters, use e-bikes

Business World - - CORPORATE NEWS - By Arra B. Fran­cia Re­porter

ON­LINE mar­ket­place Lazada Philip­pines is ex­pand­ing its lo­gis­tics net­work around the coun­try with the open­ing of more dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters as well as the use of elec­tric bikes (e-bike) to han­dle the de­liv­ery of prod­ucts in Metro Manila.

“We are the sec­ond largest lo­gis­tics com­pany now in the Philip­pines. We have Lazada Ex­press. These con­tinue grow­ing to­gether with our mer­chant bases,” Lazada Philip­pines co­founder and Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Inanc Balci told re­porters at the side­lines of the AVCJ Philip­pines fo­rum held on Wed­nes­day in Fair­mont Ho­tel, Makati City.

The e- com­merce com­pany’s ex­pan­sion con­tin­ues with the ad­di­tion of more dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters. Mr. Balci said they are look­ing to bring the num­ber of dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters to over 50 by 2018.

“We have 38 lo­gis­tics dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters around the coun­try. And we will con­tinue open­ing more and more dis­tri­bu­tion cen­ters. It will prob­a­bly be more than 50 next year,” he said.

At the same time, Lazada is also in­vest­ing in a fleet of e-bikes to be use for de­liv­er­ies within Metro Manila.

“In Metro Manila, we will start de­liv­er­ing us­ing elec­tric bikes. At the same time it’s na­ture friendly so our cus­tomers and mer­chants will ben­e­fit both in lo­gis­tics cost. I think we have to start with 50, and that num­ber will con­tinue to in­crease,” Mr. Balci said.

Lazada has been ramp­ing up its lo­gis­tics net­work in or­der to meet the de­mand for or­ders in the coun­try’s largest e- com­merce site. Re­cently, the com­pany moved into a ware­house in Cabuyao, La­guna, its fourth in the coun­try.

Aside from lo­gis­tics, Lazada has also been in­vest­ing in the pay­ments side of the busi­ness to sup­port its growth.

“In pay­ments, it’s more part­ner­ships in the area. We started with Hel­loPay in the re­gion, it use to be an e-wal­let com­pany. Now it’s re­brand­ing as Ali­Pay through the ac­qui­si­tion... and we’ll also be part­ner­ing with them, help­ing them grow in the re­gion, grow in the Philip­pines,” Mr. Balci said.

While the com­pany’s in­vest­ments are aimed at push­ing cash­less trans­ac­tions, Mr. Balci noted the cash-on-de­liv­ery op­tion will re­main so long as cus­tomers de­mand it from them.

“It’s not re­ally up to us, it’s some­thing cus­tomers de­mand from us. We use very dif­fer­ent pay­ment op­tions. It will be up to the cus­tomers to em­brace the elec­tronic trans­ac­tion as well as cash- on- de­liv­ery. We will con­tinue of­fer­ing all those op­tions,” Mr. Balci said.

With over 8.4 mil­lion prod­ucts sold by both big mar­ket play­ers and more than 8,000 small and medium en­ter­prises, Lazada at­tracts five to six mil­lion cus­tomers in the Philip­pines. This makes Lazada the largest e- com­merce site in the coun­try with a mar­ket share of 85%.

Lazada Philip­pines is part of the Lazada group which op­er­ates in five other South­east Asian coun­tries: In­done­sia, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore, Thai­land, and Viet­nam.

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