How E-Commerce Helps Local Businesses Flourish in the Pandemic
ILLUSTRATOR RAPHAEL QUIASON
It’s no secret that the pandemic has taken its toll on a lot of us, and homegrown entrepreneurs are no exception. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have taken to the screens to find new ways to sell their products—with the aid of e-commerce giant Lazada.
Going digital is perhaps the most effective way for businesses to operate safely. The International Trade Center has stated that MSMEs, with their fewer resources, have become especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. That’s why they’ve grown accustomed to selling through clicks. Here, customers can freely browse through a wide range of products without leaving their homes. Online shopping also encourages going cashless and therefore lessens contact.
To help MSMEs, Lazada makes it a point to pave the way for many—often underrated—local companies to reach a larger group of people. These businesses get the chance to gain exposure without having to deal with the stress of having to build their own websites or purchase domains. They are also guided through training sessions for designing, marketing, and even using livestream features.
Lazada's Love Local Sale, ongoing until August 12, highlights homegrown MSMEs with a celebration of Philippine cuisine via the National Food Fair and the launch of the Lazada Go Lokal! Concept Store. The National Food Fair shines a light on a variety of flavors from across the country, featuring over 180 SMEs and their food and beverage products such as the chocolates of Mindanao's Coco Dolcè Chocolates, the hot sauce of Quezon-based Caramba Foods, and the turmeric tea of Ilonggo brand Al Di Foods. Go Lokal, on the other hand, supports local sellers by encouraging buyers to choose their artisanal products with hefty discounts.
“A big part of what we do has always been to work closely with our industry partners to ensure that we continue to provide opportunities for our MSMEs to digitize their business and to thrive online,” says Lazada Philippines chief operating officer Carlos Barrera.
A few taps on a screen may not seem like a lot, but they provide a whole group of Filipinos with the means to keep themselves afloat.