The largest e-commerce platform in the Philippines, Lazada, is launching an online grocery shopping and delivery service later this year. This was announced by Lazada Philippines CEO Inanc Balci at the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on Tuesday, March 6.
Balci made the announcement after a member of the audience asked him how she can sell her salads online, and how the company can guarantee the product’s quality and freshness during delivery.
“We’re actually launching our Lazada grocery business either end of this year or early next year so fresh produce could also be sold in Lazada starting with Metro Manila customers. So we’ll have cold warehouses in and out of Metro Manila so you can put your products there and by two hours, your order will be delivered,” Balci said.
If Lazada pushes through with the plan, it will not be the first e-commerce company to offer online grocery shopping. MetroMart, an on-demand grocery deliver service, launched in 2016. Last year, two startups, Pushkart.ph and Singapore-based HonestBee, started offering online grocery shopping and delivery.
As of this writing, MetroMart has over 90,000 registered users. This proves that online grocery shopping is fast gaining acceptance and popularity in the country.
Lazada is the top e-commerce platform in the country, with more than 62 million page views per month. Fast-growing rival Shopee is a distant third, behind fashion marketplace Zalora, with nearly 4 million page views per month.
Lazada’s entry to the online grocery business is another bold and strategic move aimed at keeping its competitors at bay. Global e-commerce giant Amazon recently launched a fast delivery service called Prime Now in Singapore last year. The service delivers Amazon’s products, as well as fresh goods, to Singaporean homes within two hours.
Recently, Shopee opened its doors to Taobao sellers, allowing its users to buy goods directly from China.