TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Co-Chief Executive Officer Lazada Indonesia, Florian Holm, predicted that Indonesia will be the dominating force of Southeast Asia's e-commerce market in the next 10 years. In addition to its vast population, Holm asserted that Indonesians have the ability to adapt to technological development in such a short time. "Let's not forget, many Indonesian youths are getting more creative in doing business," Holm said to Tempo journalist Praga Utama on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.
In order to achieve the target, e-commerce business players, such as Lazada, are attempting to increase the number of customers and adding more local businesses as partners, particularly small—medium enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, Lazada and other e-commerce businesses are organizing massive discount program during the National Online Shopping Day (Harbolnas) earlier this month. What are their strategies and achievements during the program, and how does Holm perceive the future of e-commerce in Indonesia? The following are excerpts of Tempo interview with Holm:
How does Lazada prepare for this year's Harbolnas?
Harbolnas is a major event, and we have made preparations since six months ago. We prepare three things: promoting the event by cooperating with more than 600 opinion leaders to share their shopping experience with Lazada though social media, preparing partners (vendors) to meet high demands during Harbolnas, which can surge by twenty-fold and preparing logistics to make sure customers' goods arrive on time. We already established Lazada Express, and have increase its capacity.
How ready are Lazada's partners in dealing with high demands?
This is one of our major priority, because in reality, small businesses are unable to handle massive surge of orders. We helped them by providing storage at our warehouse. So that when orders are coming in, we will pack the goods and then deliver it. Therefore, before Harbolnas, they have stored goods in our warehouse.
During last year's Harbolnas, many customers complain about false discounts and price mark-ups. How you prevent this from happening?
We have rules, if vendors gave too much discount, our system will automatically check them. We filtered the discounts. The system will automatically rejects excessive discounts and overpricing.
What are the lessons from last year's Harbolnas?
We did a major success last year. To repeat such success, this year we organize many programs to increase sales. On November, we did the 11.11 program. Sales during the (11.11) program was higher compared to last year’s Harbolnas, we hoped that sales in this year’s Harbolnas will be higher compared to the 11.11 (program). During the 11.11 program, we sold 675,000 goods. We want to achieve higher number during Harbolnas.
Are you adding more partners this year?
We not only focusing on the number of vendors, but also trying to develop our partners. We want to make vendors who usually sold three goods, to sell hundreds. If they are just small-time vendors, their economic conditions will not improve, they will not have employees or more income to buy a house, or a car. If they are growing, it will have a domino effect. We try to turn SMEs into major companies.
How will you attract more customers?
We want to have more interactions with customers. Customers can exchange recommendations, or make reviews. We will also make more investments in Lazada Express, because logistics is one of the major issues in e-commerce.
Read the full interview in Monday, December 19, 2016 edition of Koran Tempo