Shoppers spend half an hour 'adding to cart' at 9.9 sale

Shoppers spend half an hour 'adding to cart' at 9.9 sale

MANILA, Philippines — Online shoppers stuck at home spent nearly 30 minutes adding to cart during Lazada Philippines’ 9.9 sale, where the shopping platform doubled sales from last year’s event.

“We believe that this is driven by the change of behavior of our customers during the pandemic with more and more Filipinos shifting to online shopping platforms for their needs,” the company said in answers to questions sent by e-mail.

“A single customer on an average spent almost half an hour on the Lazada app browsing, adding to cart and checking out,” the company said.

Sales were propelled by item views that increased 9 times from the same event last year, Lazada said, while vouchers collected, typically allowing a buyer to avail of various discounts, reached P1.2 million during the 9.9 countdown show alone.

The Singapore-based online shopping giant was among the participating platforms on the annual September 9 event, targeted at luring customers from Southeast Asia’s buoyant economies. It is a typical marketing strategy that gets repeated in October 10, when a counterpart 10.10 event is held.

This year was held against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns that have forced consumers, which in the Philippines drive the economy, indoors.

It also came under threats from taxmen which are now eyeing online sales as a source of revenues, while brick-and-mortar stores suffer from dismal demand. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has given online vendors, including resellers in platforms like Lazada, until September 30 to register or risk being penalized.

From June to Aug. 7, 4,961 online sellers have registered for tax purposes, BIR had said.

While typically the selling point of online stores is cheap prices, Lazada said its LazMall platform in the site, which offers direct selling from brands, posted faster growth in sales at 2.5 times from last year’s 9.9 sale.

Apart from the Philippines, Lazada currently operates in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. On its website, Lazada said the online site serves as platform for over 155,000 sellers and 3,000 brands.