Technology vital in winning hearts of customers for Lazada Vietnam

09:00 | 24/01/2020
In only a few years, Lazada has evolved from a budding startup to an established giant in the e-commerce field. James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam, spoke to VIR’s Nguyen Huong about the company’s initiatives to uplift online shopping experience through technology.
technology vital in winning hearts of customers for lazada vietnam
James Dong, CEO of Lazada Vietnam

Lazada has come a long way since the company was established in 2012. How has the company retained such a lofty status in the Vietnamese market?

To Lazada, technology is the key to building the best experience for our customers, which is how we maintain our position in the market. Lazada started early in the region and built the ecosystem in Southeast Asia, so we would rather call ourselves a pioneer in the commerce business.

Our core value is “customer first”, and our mission is to serve 300 million customers by 2030. With that in mind, we relentlessly strive for better customer shopping experiences through innovative technology.

Lazada is backed by Alibaba Group, and we benefit from a part of total technology investment and achievements from Alibaba in ecommerce. A total of 10 billion US dollars has been invested in the technology over the past 20 years, and the advanced technology has been accumulated over this time.

How does technology innovation benefit the business, your partners, and also create value for customers online?

Thanks to continuously utilising the latest technology initiatives, regionally Lazada has become the platform of choice for buyers and sellers with robust growth larger than 100 per cent on-year. The young and tech-savvy consumers in Vietnam are seeking a new and convenient experience when it comes to online shopping, and our job is to connect people as we improve our technology and infrastructure to the next level accordingly.

We are proud to share our largest shopping festival, 11.11, in more than 200 countries. Many transactions take place in the first hour alone, right after midnight when the deals open. Every second, we process more than 200,000 transactions. This number was higher than the concurrent number that any large financial institution in the world could process.

In fact, the volume of our transactions grew so fast that our service providers could not deliver the whole service packet based on our needs – nobody had handled this volume before. As a result, we had to develop our own server and cloud technology. Then we realised that we solved our own problem that the largest IT service providers could not solve. We then extended this service to enable startups and small- and medium-sized enterprises that require that type of technology.

technology vital in winning hearts of customers for lazada vietnam
Lazada applies innovative technologies in their logistics infrastructure

As mentioned, the Vietnamese population is young and very tech savvy, while always looking for new experiences and alternative channels. How does Lazada ensure the platform is always refreshing and can attract consumers with its technology?

We believe people are the key success factor for sustainable growth. Lazada Vietnam creates a dynamic and innovative working environment and culture, which empowers local talents who aspire for exposure and growth. Thus, we carry out end-to-end functionality in Vietnam, with a dedicated technology team.

Thanks to expertise from both our regional and global headquarters, our programmers are exposed to top-notch technology, helping to uplift the customer experience and contribute for the development of the industry across the country and Southeast Asia. This is our long-term commitment to nurture and empower local talent in Vietnam.

In addition, with the support of data analytics, AI, machine learning, and cloud computing, we can better understand consumer behaviour. With that, we can match the best supplies which are branched and assorted at the right price, and to the right consumers.

For example, we can carry out a simple test on our personalisation options fuelled by AI technology. Imagine two friends visit the Lazada mobile app at the same time. Both of them will see stock-keeping units appear completely different in their shopping themes. This is because – based on browsing history, preferences, transaction history, and price and brand usually purchased - we will make personalised recommendations.

Another experience that customers can enjoy is the image search function. If your friend sends you a photo of a product, telling you they bought it in Paris, you may be able to find the item using the picture at Lazada Vietnam, and perhaps find a better price.

What could you tell us about the technological development behind the payment, post-purchase, and logistical process?

We are actively working with partners and opening our platform to invite other wallets and online partners to plug into the Lazada app. Buyers will also enjoy a variety of payment options. So, the whole ecosystem can join hands to create a more efficient payment experience.

We have developed a logistics ecosystem in Vietnam and introduced services such as drop-off points. Usually, it takes a day to know where a package is. But with Lazada, the customer knows exactly where it is, and many options are available to pick up the item.

The customer will be notified by the app, via SMS, or through other preferable methods. With over 1,000 drop-off points, fulfilment centres, and two sorting centres across Vietnam, Lazada can process and deliver 400,000 packages each day. These are some of the technological innovations that we have already adopted in order to make the consumer experience a better one.

Founded in 2012, Lazada Group is Southeast Asia’s leading e-commerce platform. With a presence in six countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – Lazada connects this vast and diverse region through its technology, logistics, and payment capabilities. Today, Lazada has the largest selection of brands and sellers, and by 2030 aims to serve 300 million customers. In 2016, Lazada became the regional flagship of the Alibaba Group, and is backed by Alibaba’s best-in-class technology infrastructure.

For more information, download the Lazada app or visit the website: lazada.vn

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