Leading eCommerce platform Lazada once again joins hands with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), leveraging the 8.8 Love Local Sale to spotlight local sellers, as part of its ongoing commitment to support local businesses to build business resiliency and long-term sustainability.
Lazada Chief Operating Officer Carlos Barrera explains that Lazada’s commitments to support local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) include driving awareness and providing consumers a channel to support homegrown brands through Lazada x Collabs, a dedicated in-app space that features local marketplace seller communities.
“We are proud to be strengthening our partnership with the DTI to uplift and support the revitalization of local industries and brands. With DTI as our exclusive partner for the 8.8 Love Local Sale, the 8.8 campaign and Lazada x Collabs will be a celebration of homegrown entrepreneurs and local products, to provide Filipinos an opportunity to discover and support local brands and products.”
In addition to placing the spotlight on various Filipino businesses and local sellers, Lazada x Collabs provides shoppers quick access to the most up-to-date discounts, vouchers, and promotions from select partner brands. Among them are homegrown chocolate maker Chocoloco and sake brand Jzaki — two of many local sellers that have diversified business and gone digital through Lazada since the pandemic hit.
From bean to bag: How a Davao chocolatier reached customers nationwide
To gourmet chocolatier Ann Lim, being able to serve nutritious, minimally processed, and high-quality cacao products to customers nationwide was a crucial consideration in selecting an eCommerce partner for her Davao-based startup Chocoloco .
Chocoloco was founded in 2017, sourcing 99% of their ingredients from Davao. The local company also grows and prepares a wide selection of cacao products. They are best known for their nib products, which are cacao-based snacks made from beans they locally grow, ferment, roast, and prepare.
When the brand launched, it was well-received among the local community, but the business owners found it a challenge to make a breakthrough in reaching more customers in other parts of the country. “Demand in the local market really could not compare to the potential for growth in markets beyond Davao alone,” shares Ann.
The brand had their sights on capturing the hearts of chocolate lovers in Metro Manila and other provinces nationwide, joining bazaars and physical events, as well as turning to online sales.
When Chocoloco first made plans to venture online, they faced the barriers of having sufficient capital and manpower to put up their own website, which led to Ann considering selling through an online platform and seeing Lazada as a viable choice as a partner.
“Lazada was an obvious choice for us when we started on our eCommerce journey; it has good brand recall, and we were able to establish our online store instantly,” shares Ann. Through establishing their store on the platform, the brand also managed to ease one of the main pain points in their business, which was with logistics. While delivering to various parts of the country was a challenge before, Chocoloco now leverages Lazada’s vast logistics network to reach its growing customer base nationwide.
Ann also favored how quickly feedback can be received and answered for consumers, improving business operations and bridging the gap in communication between her brand and their customers.
“Establishing our presence on eCommerce really helped keep our business afloat. Even with the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, we were able to continue to grow our customer base and improve our services through Lazada’s capabilities,” says Ann.
An online start for Jzaki, Bohol’s first local sake brand
Coming from their love of wine and spirits, Vanessa and Felipe Panungan established Jzaki, Bohol’s first and only locally-produced rice wine brand.
The entrepreneurial couple initially got into winemaking for their own personal consumption in 2016. As they shared their homemade creations, friends and family encouraged them to sell their products so more people could enjoy them. Encouraged, they decided to establish their brand and register their business with the DTI in 2018. In addition to sake, the couple also innovated and began offering other products including rice whiskey and sake kasu (or rice wine soap). With Felipe in charge of production, and Vanessa taking on the helm with sales and marketing, the couple worked with DTI to export Jzaki products to international markets.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, events were abruptly halted and the couple realized the impact on their business if their upcoming exhibits in Thailand and Australia did not push through. But the pair noticed that people spent so much of their time online as people were forced to stay home. Vanessa shared how the pandemic became a catalyst for people and industries to collectively innovate and adapt. “Dahil sa pandemic, during the lockdown, wala na ang mga exhibits. We saw the increase in online shopping, and that motivated us to try selling our products online as well,” shares Vanessa.
Armed with an entrepreneurial mindset, the husband and wife have been constantly learning the ropes of selling online and promoting their business on Lazada since onboarding last March. Even without any prior experience in digital marketing, Vanessa is eager to learn and continues to hone her knowledge through available resources such as Lazada University to better put Jzaki on the map in the digital space.
“Age doesn’t matter in online selling,” says Vanessa proudly. “What matters is how willing people are to learn new things and adjust to challenges thrown their way. As new eCommerce sellers, the support of the Lazada team guiding us step-by-step made the process easier for us to grow Jzaki online. Being a part of this community keeps me going and energized as a small business owner.”To support local businesses like Chocoloco and Jzaki on Lazada x Collabs, visit: https://pages.lazada.com.ph/wow/gcp/route/lazada/ph/upr_1000345_lazada/channel/ph/upr-router/render.