With e-commerce becoming an increasingly integral part of consumers’ lives, businesses and sellers are also stepping up efforts to engage shoppers and drive visibility for their business. As more Filipinos rely on online shopping to purchase daily essentials, consumers are also realizing that the cost of shipping fees can add up significantly. Two sellers share their stories on how they managed to scale their businesses by leveraging Lazada’s seller tools.
From grains to gains: Sacred Grains General Merchandise
Emmeline De La Rosa, the owner of Sacred Grains General Merchandise, started her business from humble beginnings. She moved from Surigao del Sur to Manila in 2007 when her husband was relocated for work. To make a living, she began selling rice at the roadside beside a gas station. All she had when starting her business back then was a sack of rice, a measuring cup, and small signage to attract customers.
As time passed, her takal business began to gain traction with customers. From her spot beside the gas station, she eventually set up her own sari-sari store. Expanding her store also led to her being introduced to potential partners, which helped her seek out opportunities to further grow her business. Sacred Grains eventually became a business-to-business (B2B) operation, supplying rice to commissaries and stores.
The following years saw healthy growth for Sacred Grains, and Emmeline’s son, Rico, eventually joined the team, exploring possibilities to go beyond B2B to grow the family business. Seeing the promising growth of online selling, Sacred Grains onboarded on Lazada in November 2019.
“When I started, the team was just my mom and myself. We did everything ourselves in the beginning, from taking orders to packing and sorting. We eventually hired another person to manage customer service. It was definitely a challenge in those first stages,” says Rico.
Online sales trickled in slowly for the business, but it eventually accelerated after customers left positive reviews of their experiences with Sacred Grain General Merchandise’s products and services. When the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was first imposed in the Philippines in March 2020, the business also saw a huge increase in consumer demand.
At present, Sacred Grains General Merchandise has seen over 2x growth since onboarding on the platform. Sacred Grains aims to eventually become a fully sustainable business that uplifts the local rice farming industry and provides Filipinos access to healthy rice options, such as brown rice.
Rico shares that he is thankful for the advantages of being a seller on a platform like Lazada, including access to tools that benefit both businesses and their customers.
“The access to free shipping has benefitted both the business and our customers. For Sacred Grains General Merchandise, it helped us gain visibility and drive traffic and business to our store. For our buyers, the subsidy helps to make healthier rice options more affordable and accessible. We’re happy that this [shipping subsidy] aids in providing Filipinos access to their food essentials online during this pandemic,” says Rico.
Turning inspiration into reality: A-to-Z Shop
Joel Sanchez’s business venture stemmed from a simple source of inspiration. Hailing from the province of Catanduanes, Joel hoped to find an earnest way to make a living after he realized that the 9-to-5 lifestyle was not a good fit for him.
Trying to find better means to earn a livelihood, Joel and his girlfriend Jill moved to Manila in the hopes of finding greener pastures. The move was risky, but Joel went ahead and borrowed ₱3,000 to make the trip to the big city. The couple eventually started a small business reselling general merchandise—starting with cosmetics and later on expanding to bags and shoes.
The business was very slow, and Joel grew anxious as he had no other source of income. One day, he chanced upon a YouTube video of an online seller that saw great results by setting up a store on Lazada. Inspired, Joel and Jill set up A-to-Z shop on Lazada in 2019.
Their entry into eCommerce started rocky, but the couple soon learned to utilize their store’s back-end tools and joined campaigns, and began to see monthly sales pick up.
“In the beginning, we didn’t really know what we were doing or how to maximize our presence on Lazada. Once we got the hang of utilizing tools such as Flexi-combo and free shipping, we saw a steady increase in our store traffic and sales. We realized providing people better value for their purchases really helped in driving more sales. Participating in big events such as 9.9 and 11.11 also helped us get more customers,” says Joel.
The business has seen 3x growth since Joel brought his business online, enabling them to hire staff to handle packing products and customer service.
Joel is happy in the direction life has taken him, and shares that even though the challenges, he feels happy and fulfilled to do something he loves.
“Beyond making an honest living, [Jill and I] are happy that our business is a means to help people. We were able to provide others jobs as the business expanded, and also help our family with the income we get from our Lazada store. Even if it was difficult in the beginning, it was worth the hard work as running our business also provided me with a sense of fulfillment that a 9-to-5 day job never did,” says Joel.
Want to start your own Lazada journey? Log on to http://lazada.com.ph/sell-on-lazada and start selling online today!