MANILA, Philippines – Online shopping site Lazada held a media event on Tuesday, September 3, to announce some new features on their site as their big annual 9.9 sale looms.
First of these is a new bills payment capability which will allow Lazada users to pay their Meralco bills, water bills, and other utilities through the site or app. Ray Alimurung, CEO of the company's Philippine arm, said they will be expanding their roster of payees moving forward to include telcos, internet services, and others.
Consumer loans ranging from P500 to P50,000 will also be available directly via Lazada, with local partners pera247, BillEase, and TendoPay. When a loan is approved, the credits go directly to the Lazada e-wallet, which can then be used to make purchases on the site. A slide shown at the event features the loan providers:
Such moves somewhat mirror a recent trend wherein apps are trying to become all-in-one digital hubs, such as Grab, WeChat, and GoJek – big success stories, but one that may also hamper competition and innovation, some critics say.
For those experiencing trouble having items delivered to their home because no one's there to receive it, Lazada's customer collection points service may prove useful. Users can choose to have their packages delivered to pickup points at some SM Store branches in the Greater Manila Area; and sari-sari stores that are part of the GrowSari network. GrowSari is a company linking sari-sari stores directly to companies, cutting off middlemen traders, with the goal of increasing margins for the store. The collection point service was launched earlier in the year but will be expanded soon to include more locations.
Lazada also has a new "pre-sale" feature, which lets users pick and reserve items right away ahead of an upcoming big sale, say the 9.9 sale. Users will have to pay a 10% deposit on items available via this method, with payment to be completed on the day of the actual sale. It's useful for customers who want to make sure that they get the discounted item they want come sale day. – Rappler.com