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Lazada to invest in ‘hundreds’ of delivery hubs all over Philippines

Southeast Asia’s e-commerce giant Lazada is ramping up its presence all over the Philippines as it plans to build “hundreds” of delivery hubs to further improve delivery and customer experience.

At a media roundtable in Taguig City on Thursday, Lazada Philippines CEO Carlos Barrera said that the e-commerce platform is launching a “faster delivery” campaign this year as the company celebrates its 11th year.

“We want to deliver much much faster… We know what everybody feels about Lazada as a place they can trust and a place where they can get their items on time. We are known for our deliveries,” Barrera said.

“Now, we’re gonna go and claim it so we are investing a lot in building our network, growing our faster deliveries, building more hubs, and getting closer to the customers… We’ll launch this campaign about the faster delivery experience,” he said.

The Lazada CEO said the company will build “hundreds” of delivery hubs to complement its far faster delivery service.

“Hundreds, we want to be everywhere. We want to be next to our customers wherever they are. We want to get to the next level… to the entire country,” Barrera said.

“We’re very strong in Metro Manila, in Luzon, and some of the other Metro areas in the provinces. But the next frontier is faster deliveries all over … across Luzon, across [the country].  We are ready to make that investment because we want everybody to realize that shopping online is much cheaper, faster, and more convenient,” he said.

Inflation, Internet transactions bill

Asked how the rising inflation trend affected Lazada’s business in the Philippines, Barrera said, “E-commerce business is fairly protected because Lazada we have a lower cost of doing business and generally speaking online businesses are very nimble, very dynamic, they lower costs… Many sellers are able to limit price increases.”

“While there are macro worldwide challenges around —production, supply— we are fairly protected in terms of prices because a lot of our sellers are able to still not translate all the price increases to their customers and somehow adjust their margins,” he said.

Barrera said was supportive of the proposed Internet Transactions Act which reached the Senate plenary. 

Senate Bill 1846 seeks to ensure that all goods and services transacted digitally will be as advertised and that e-commerce transactions be reliable, secure, and accessible to all consumers.

The most notable provision of SB 1846 is stated under Section 26, which sets the liability of e-marketplaces and other digital platforms.

The bill imposes penalties against e-marketplaces, e-retailers, online merchants, and digital platforms that violate consumer acts, and violators of certain provisions may face up to P1 million in fines.

The bill also establishes a code of conduct for e-commerce businesses and creates an e-commerce bureau under the Department of Trade and Industry, which will have the authority over activities conducted over the internet that are currently unregulated.

Barrera said Lazada has contributed inputs to the government in terms of crafting the bill by sharing global best practices which the Philippines can pattern in terms of policy-making for the e-commerce space.

“Our objective really is to help the development of e-commerce and digitalization… when you look at the main priorities that we're seeing now there's a big push towards digitalization… because ultimately the digital economy has so much potential,” he said. —NB, GMA Integrated News