Ecommerce Avengers: Getting Ready Prior to Amazon's Entry
Southeast Asia as a commerce region has some tendency to be overlooked in favor of its two super-sized regional neighbors: India and China. But the region accounts for a cumulative population of over 600 million, an ever greater proportion of which are buying smart phones and joining the ranks of the global middle class. In 2016, Google estimated that eCommerce spending across the region will reach $88 billion by 2025, up from just $5.5 billion in 2015.
Last year, Amazon planned to enter to Southeast Asia’s market in the Q1 of 2017. But suddenly the plan had been postponed. The schedule slipped to “later this year,” because the ecommerce is prioritizing other projects for now, to enter Australia and Middle East’s market, although it is not officially reported by Amazon’s official.
Up ahead the postponed plan, Lazada, the competitor digs in ahead of Amazon. Teaming up with Uber and Netflix alsso Redmart, Lazada announced a membership program called LiveUp, a prime-style membership package. For a fixed yearly fee of SG$28 ($20), LiveUp subscribers gain access to a range of deals across services from the companies. Those includes promotions and faster/free delivery for e-commerce stores Lazada and Taobao Collection, which is controlled by Lazada’s owner Alibaba, and offers for RedMart, the online grocery service bought by Lazada last year.
There is also a free six-month subscription to Netflix, and discounts on Uber rides and UberEats meal deliveries. The service is initially available in Singapore. But the companies said they plan to explore “other collaborations throughout the Southeast Asia region.” In addition, a smartphone app will be available later this year.
“We believe that Singapore is at the tipping point in which consumers are embracing online lifestyle services like shopping, ride-sharing, food delivery and entertainment as a way of life,” Lazada Singapore CEO Alexis Lanternier said in a statement.
Beyond benefits for Lazada ahead of Amazon’s entry to the region, the alliance will also help Netflix find a footing in a geography when many consumers are still reluctant to pay for content. LiveUp also gives Uber a leg-up on its competition with Grab, its $3 billion rival which recently launched a membership program for its customers in Southeast Asia.