A few days ago Rocket Internet announced that it had secured a further USD100 million investment in its SE Asian e-commerce venture, Lazada.
As stated in the press release funding is earmarked for logistics, operations and a continued push into mobile. I’d imagine that Google Sales offices in the region are delighted to hear about this Series B close too.
On the topic of mobile, Lazada recently released some apps which have failed to trouble the charts; one hopes they’ll set aside a few dollars aside for improving onsite marketing:
That image hurts my eyes. C’mon Lazada, with that investment you can manage better than this sloppy attempt to promote your apps.
It really is about time that local startups competing with the Samwer brother’s deep-pockets upped their game and started producing a better customer experience than Rocket’s cut-and-paste-to-region crap.
There is a commonly expressed notion round here that online services don’t have to be great experiences because the SE Asian market is less mature than Europe or the United States. It’s a view I’ve heard from local business owners as well as those hungry young expat MBAs parachuted in to show us ‘how to execute’ and it’s very, very wrong.
As a matter of fact, despite the lack of decent payment infrastructure and poor logistics, adoption of e-commerce is increasing exponentially. As long as Malls remain a recreational destination of choice the singular competitive advantage that e-commerce has is Quality of Service (and Cash On Delivery).
So why the crappy app promo? Why not excel rather than make do with ‘good enough’?
Success will not come as a result of a ten grand (USD) monthly AdWords budget – it will be delivered by a great user experience, it’s about time the deep pockets from overseas realised that. Hubris has a way of biting your arse.