AS Malaysians adjust to restrictions under the movement control order, most businesses have been taking a beating. This is especially so for those struggling to eke out a living on a day-to-day basis.
To that end, the Government has stepped up with financial assistance schemes and initiatives to help those most affected by the MCO. One way to continue earning is by switching to an online business model.
Since January this year, leading e-commerce platform Lazada Malaysia has been rolling out initiatives that impact every facet of society – from households, vegetable sellers, NGOs to jobseekers.
Lazada’s most recent programme, a stimulus package called Pakej Kedai Pintar, is expected to help about 50,000 local SMEs whether the pandemic by assisting them to sell online.
It also aims to stabilise jobs and support the country’s economy.
The package is a cash fund starting at RM10mil, in a series of customised benefits and is open to those in the fresh food and groceries industries, new and existing e-commerce sellers, and brick-and-mortar retailers.
Those eligible can enjoy free shipping services and receive fixed weekly payments.
There is also a support team to facilitate them getting on board, get trained and develop customised sales campaigns, through Lazada University.
Lazada will work with them to curate and list products for up to four months, participate in promotional campaigns, fulfil orders and analyse sales and traffic data.
New and existing Lazada sellers will be entitled to zero commission and zero listing fees, on top of access to micro loan facilities.
Those new to e-commerce can look forward to having their capital costs for selling online, such as delivery and shipping to customers, content development services and more, to be fully covered by Lazada.
Furthermore, they can diversify their revenue streams on the Lazada platform, where one in three Malaysians are users.
Surina Shukri Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) Chief Executive Officer said that Lazada’s stimulus package is timely as the Movement Control Order (MCO) has been the impetus for a large number of SMEs and businesses to gravitate towards e-commerce adoption.
“I am confident that this initiative will complement MDEC’s programmes to accelerate e-commerce adoption amongst local SMEs through our eUsahawan and Go-eCommerce programmes, and at the same time catalyse more high-value digital jobs for the nation, ” said Surina.
In working with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, Lazada will also roll out new trade activities and training programmes to increase e-commerce adoption among local SMEs and support the Government’s “Buy Malaysian” campaign.
Those interested can register at https://www.lazada.com.my/sell-on-lazada
Getting agriculture entrepreneurs onboard
Some time late last month in the initial stages of the MCO, some Cameron Highlands farmers had trouble transporting their goods to other states and came close to dumping their fresh produce.
Vegetable seller Jay Mu of Woon Chin & Sons Agriculture said farmers had to discard their crops due to the problem.
“But in less than 48 hours, Lazada helped us turn around the situation and we are connected to customers directly now, ” Mu said.
The online platform created a special sales and delivery service for farmers to sell their produce online. Once onboard, farmers managed to move 1.5 tonnes of vegetables each day in three consecutive days.
Soon Lazada created a special “Cameron Farmers” section, alongside “MyFishman”, and “Mymarket2u”, both available since early February and then fruit producers and fishermen started catching on.
“Lazada read about the Cameron Highlands farmers who had to throw away their fresh produce due to supply chain issues during MCO, ” said Lazada Malaysia CEO Leo Chow.
“We immediately reached out, figured out the tech and logistics, and got them onto the Lazada platform in less than 48 hours.
“It is encouraging to see the success of Cameron Farmers store, which further affirmed our commitment to helping more stakeholders of the e-commerce ecosystem during these times.”
Working closely with fresh produce suppliers allows Lazada customers to purchase daily staples easily. It also benefits SMEs, farmers, and fishermen who can still maintain their source of income without worrying about rental and utility overheads.
Chance to explore more opportunities
As traditional businesses adjust to the new normal, they will discover distinct advantages from tapping into the power of the Internet.
Since last month, Lazada Malaysia has pivoted more than 160 brands from various industries. Among these are established names like Senheng, Bata, Fujifilm, Triumph and Din Tai Fung.
And although some industries are negatively hit, sectors like online education, e-commerce, logistics, food delivery and the media charted an increase in demand.
Online e-commerce platforms like Lazada Malaysia can provide a large-scale ecosystem with components like platform management, payment gateway, packaging and warehousing to shipping and delivery, opening up pathways for new talents to join.
To help job seekers connect with job opportunities, Lazada Malaysia will launch a digital job fair page. To date, close to 50 companies in Malaysia will leverage on Lazada’s traffic to reach out to Malaysians seeking jobs during this time. The campaign is slated to launch in early May.
“While SMEs face this uncertain time, they can quickly pivot their business by going digital, ” echoed SME Corp CEO Noor Azmi Mat Said.
Responding actively to Malaysians needs
In facing the rising demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), groceries and other household items in the initial stages of the outbreak, Lazada strove to restock face masks, while ensuring access to other essential necessities.
It limited the number of items ordered and placed pricing measures to prevent bulk purchase. To ensure a seamless process, warehouse and delivery personnel work tirelessly to provide smooth business operations with minimum impact on order delivery.
There’s also a conscious effort on Lazada’s part to promote wellbeing and health, with over 3,000 yoga mats, nearly 4,000 lounge wear and blood pressure smartwatches being top items purchased within 24 hours during Lazada’s eighth anniversary sale on March 27.
Lazada is also the go-to point for close to 100% white-collar employees who seek to create a conducive, productive workspace as they work from home, as they look for teleconferencing and computer accessories.
To support all these needs, Lazada’s end-to-end logistics capabilities are borne by a wide network of partners, which includes third-party logistics and supply chain providers, plus its own first- and last-mile team.
Standing united against the pandemic
Lazada has so far brought on board six NGO partners – Mercy Malaysia, Malaysian Red Crescent Society, Unicef, Hospis Malaysia, Protect and Save The Children and Zoo Negara – onto its digital giving platform LazadaForGood, to provide support for frontliners and those in need of aid.
Malaysians can support local communities and causes in need on the platform, through direct donations via secure online payments.
Proceeds from all public’s donation will be matched with an additional contribution of US$100,000 by Lazada Malaysia to support these organisations’ on-ground work.
This covers funding towards medical equipment and protective gears for medical frontliners, supporting vulnerable groups like B40 who are affected by loss of jobs, and providing care to vulnerable groups mentally affected by Covid-19.
These donations stream directly to the NGO partners.
Spreading positivity across the nation
During the MCO on March 27, close to 1.3 million Malaysians tuned in to watch a live TV show on Lazada’s app, signalling to Lazada Malaysia that the platform can serve a higher purpose in keeping up positivity in the nation.
Using its livestream in-app function named LazLive, Lazada has invited personalities, ranging from health experts to social media influencers, to educate and entertain users during these times.