Alibaba's Lazada drums up record sales of US$123m in South-east Asia on Singles Day

Shoppers in six countries, including Singapore, ordered 6.5 million items from Lazada on Singles Day.
Shoppers in six countries, including Singapore, ordered 6.5 million items from Lazada on Singles Day.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - E-commerce site Lazada made US$123 million (S$167.4 million) in sales on Singles Day last Saturday (Nov 11), smashing last year's takings by 191 per cent.

Not surprisingly, Lazada's tally is still a small fraction of Chinese giant Alibaba's haul of US$25 billion for the one-day shopping festival, given the nascent but growing online shopping market in South-east Asia.

Lazada became majority owned by Alibaba, after the latter doubled its investment in the company to close to US$2 billion earlier this year.

Shoppers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam ordered 6.5 million items, 191 per cent or nearly double that of last year, Lazada said in a media release on Monday (Nov 13).

Popular items ranged from a wide range of categories such as mobile phones, diapers and women's fashion.

Notably, over 70 per cent of orders were placed from mobile devices. Lazada said the combination of meteoric smartphone adoption and a fast-growing middle-class is driving its month-long "Online Revolution" campaign in the region.

Said CEO Maximilian Bittner: "We aim to provide South-east Asia's rapidly growing middle-class the access to a wide range of products with deals and discounts that were previously available only abroad or in the capital cities."

Founded by Rocket Internet in 2012, Lazada is primarily focused on online commerce, but it expanded into e-groceries with the acquisition of Singapore-based Redmart last year. It also launched an Amazon Prime-style membership in partnership with Uber and Netflix.

It just launched an e-commerce TV show in Thailand. The interactive show, aired on Thailand's most watched channel and live-streamed on Lazada TV, featured celebrities singing and taking part in interactive games.

"This is just the beginning and we will continue to innovate and introduce new ways to engage consumers and make shopping more fun and entertaining," said Mr Bittner.