How to Sell: Sustainable Fashion

Today, our clothing choices are often influenced by celebrities as they are the movers and makers of fashion. Sustainable fashion is trending and enables eCommerce sellers who sell eco-friendly clothing gain a competitive edge. Buzzwords such as recycle, upcycle, and eco-friendly are all the rage. In fact, 63% of Asian shoppers consider sustainability before making a purchase.

Curious to know why there is a demand for sustainable fashion and wish to learn how you can sell on eCommerce platforms? Read on to find out more:

Multi Grammy Award winner Billie Eilish performing live in her signature oversized fits.

Celebrities revolutionize the fashion scene

Sustainability is sexy thanks to celebrities who use their influence to better the planet. Gen Z idol Billie Eilish has carved a meaningful green fashion movement by persuading Oscar de la Renta to end the use of animal fur.

Billie even worked with Nike to create vegan, leather-free Air Jordans. Leonardo DiCaprio, on the other foot, has invested in sustainable shoe brand Allbirds, which has soles made of renewable sugar cane!

Models flaunting the offerings of Oxwhite. The eco-friendly brand represents comfort and style be it loungewear or classic Oxford shirts.

The rise of eco-conscious fashion brands

Turning our eyes back home, Southeast Asian clothing brands have caught on the trend with many focusing on eco-conscious materials.

Malaysia

Oxwhite is a well-loved label that adheres to two things. One, high quality materials with a perk of sustainability such as bamboo fiber towels and 100% cotton loungewear. The cherry on top is its sustainable practice of brown paper packaging. Two, skillfully crafted clothes designed to fit perfectly. Oxwhite’s LazMall store boasts an impressive 32,486 followers and 98% positive seller ratings.

Nipperisdabest promotes practical and flattering OOTDs with jeans as a staple.

Thailand

NIPPERISDABEST is a women’s fashion eCommerce store founded by a far-sighted young Thai lady when she was just a university student. Focusing on jeans, the brand at 41,409 followers and 97% positive seller ratings is an innovative one. Its store homepage is a lookbook of girls having fun with themes such as daily wear and glow up.

Jeans are made out of denim, a strong cotton twill fabric. Cotton is fully biodegradable having originated from the outer coating of a cotton plant’s seeds!

 

Trending Fashionable Apparel that You can Sell

A wise route to enter the eCommerce fashion retail scene is by identifying the latest clothing in demand. Just open YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok to spot these styles worn by influencers:

  • Loungewear – Cute loungewear such as cropped tees, knitted sweaters, high-waisted lounge shorts, cotton dresses, and camisole dresses emerged during lockdowns. Surprisingly, the trend is growing with people sighted wearing loungewear or athleisure in malls and streets.
  • Oversized tees – These street style tees with vibrant prints have been popularized by rap musicians, hip hop dancers, and Billie Eilish.
  • Sneakers – Dresses or skirts matched with sneakers are trending. The coveted vibe where comfort meets style is here to stay.
  • Square neck dresses – True to the Asian taste, the elegant square neckline is much sought after. It shows off a woman’s clavicle and upper back while maintaining modesty by concealing cleavage.
  • Jeans – Skinny, straight-leg, and mom jeans along with high-waisted denim skirts are back. Think of comfort-centric designs such as denim with a slight stretch and office pants with elasticized waistlines.

 

Level up your fashion sales with LazLook

Now that we have sussed out the types of clothing to sell, let’s delve into curating eCommerce product descriptions. A nifty hack is by using Lazada’s LazLook function – simply browse the app homepage to spot LazLOOK. Click on it to view a page akin to this screenshot.

Lazada identifies the latest styles based on what people purchase the most! Check out #Summer Chic and #Contemporary modest style. The best part is that these hashtags not only guide potential sellers in identifying the best-selling styles but also entice buyers to click and explore sellers’ offerings.

Next, if you click on the Inspiration tab, you get a big picture of what styles consumers are looking to build. “Modest Fits” as pictured include a wide range of long-sleeved tops, jeans, pants, coats, heels, scarves, and little handbags.

Pro Tip: Always specify these in both product details and description: Brand, Clothing Material e.g. cotton/ chiffon, Fashion Style e.g. casual/ formal, Size Fitting e.g. bodycon/ oversized, Sleeve Length, and Neckline. An excellent example is “Oxwhite Men Premium Cotton Crew Neck Round Tee.”

 

 

Did we spark some ideas for all you business-savvy fashionistas? Create further excitement for your up and coming styles with livestreams.

Read here to learn more about the latest fashion trends, which include virtual try-ons and customized products.

The Ultimate Guide to eCommerce Product Photography

As the eCommerce business continues to boom, competing to get your products in the spotlight is harder than ever. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to master the basics of product photography. A good photo of your product can make or break your sales, so get those conversion rates up by making product photography a focus.

Here are some factors you need to take into account when photographing your products

Style and Message

Setting yourself up for success starts with having a strong brand identity. That’s where the visual aspect of your store comes into play. 

What kind of style does your store have and what sort of messaging about your products do you want to share with your target audience? 

Are you looking for a smart, fresh and clean look? Then you’d likely opt for a minimalistic background, with clean lines and a lot of white in your background. Is your brand fun and youthful? Then you’ll want to incorporate bright colors and some smiling faces into your photos. It really depends on the ‘vibe’ your store is setting up. 

For example:

Let’s say your store is selling artisanal vases, and your brand focuses on clean and calm but unique pieces. Using a minimalist set up where the focus is only on your product, as presented in the image, will portray exactly that message. You can create the value you want your products to have and help customers understand your brand identity and style.

DSLR or Smartphone?

A big question to ask is “Should I invest in a DSLR camera or use a smartphone to take photos of my products?” If you’re just starting out, getting expensive gear may eat into your budget, and in that case a smartphone should suffice. But if you want to up the ante and have the funds, using a DSLR will give you many options to take great photos.

If you’re going with a DSLR, you will need to ensure you understand how to adjust your camera’s ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. It may take some experimentation before you figure out the best settings on the camera to enhance your photos.

If you’re going to use a smartphone, you’ll have to play around with your phone’s settings, which could include setting up the focus for the shot, filters, and maybe even getting external lenses. You might even have to get an app or two to give you more options and controls to get the perfect shot.

Either way, your main objective is to get the best image of your product out there!

Set the Scene

Example of Macro photography used for small-sized products
Example of Flat Lay photography used when products are laid flat on a surface

What sort of product photography are you going to use and how should you set up a scene for the photo? There are so many ways to set up a shot. Are you focusing on the product itself? Or do you want to show how customers would interact with the product? Will your product need some context to show how it is used or what it looks like in a specific place? 

You would likely need to invest in a tripod to help you stabilise your shots, perhaps with Flatlay arm extensions to assist with flatlay type photos. You could even get a rotating table and take various shots of your product to give it a more 360 appearance. 

Read this article on the various types of eCommerce product photography to get a better understanding of how you could take photos of your products. To master composition and learn more about concepts like the ‘rule of thirds’, ‘diagonal triangles’, and ‘leading lines’, trending composition techniques would be a good article to dive into!

Edit, edit, edit

Once you’re taking good photos of your product, using photo editing software will take your photos to the next level. Adjusting your photo’s color balance, color temperature, light balance, and tint can help make the colors in your photo pop! Tools like spot removal could also help remove unwanted parts within the photo. Software like Adobe Lightroom can help with this, but If you’re a newbie, try using Gimp, which is a free open-source photo editing software that is easier to grasp. 

Why Good Product Photography Matters

Humans are visual creatures. If we don’t like what we see, we likely won’t approach it. 

So when it comes to eCommerce product photography, a good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the shoes of your customers, and take photos that you know will help sell your product. Creating a great visual experience for your customers with product photography can go a long way when done right.

How to Sell: Premium Yet Affordable Beauty

Source: Tina Engeo’s YouTube channel

Great skin is no longer a luxury reserved for those with disposable income to go around. With the convenience offered by eCommerce sellers in the form of local beauty brands or resale K-beauty, Southeast Asians are no longer limited to just Western products, and the prices that come along with it. 

In fact, Asian brands are all the rage with names like Innisfree trending in the LazBeauty Thailand page with 287.29K followers, along with being the most trusted Korean skincare brand in Singapore. It’s a large space and if you love skincare and have a passion to help others get that glow, it’s a sign that it might be time to build a profitable eCommerce skincare line.

Here are some pointers to start you out.

Filipina beauty brand Colourette and a model posing with Vietnam beauty brand CO MEM. Both brands are LazMall Flagship Stores with high ratings, attractive deals, and neat categories.

Local Beauty Brands Arise
Creative, innovative, and community-conscious beauty brands have popped up like mushrooms in Southeast Asia. These beauty lines offer efficacy comparable to Western products at affordable prices. Let’s take a look at some homegrown ones that serve to amaze.

  • Philippines
    Colourette is a beauty brand from the Philippines that specializes in multi-usage makeup. Founded with Filipinos’ self-expression in mind, its LazMall store boasts a stunning 291.4K followers. Colourette’s cruelty free products as part of the PETA Global Beauty Without Bunnies Program is proof that local beauty can attain global standards.
  • Indonesia
    Founded in Bali, Sensatia Botanicals is an eco-friendly Indonesian skincare brand with locals at heart. Its products are elegantly packed, halal certified, and sustainable. Natural ingredients are used and empty bottles are collected for recycling.
  • Vietnam
    Cỏ Mềm has a truly inspiring story. The sustainable brand was created with a goal of bringing beauty back to the times of the founder’s grandmother, such as skincare using rice water and soap made with coconut oil. Its products are free of microplastics and instead use finely ground coffee and sea salt for exfoliation. 

Natta Cosme selling Wishtrend brands and Sulwhasoo ambassador Rosé of BLACKPINK fame.

The Birth of K-beauty Resellers
In a time where Korean beauty is highly popular, consumers desire to try a bouquet of K-beauty brands at a single stop. The demand has created the supply of go-to resellers thanks to affiliate/ partner programs such as one that Wishtrend offers.

Indeed, eCommerce platforms such as Lazada become a viable low cost option for K-beauty resellers. Natta Cosme is one eCommerce store that appears to resell Wishtrend’s top brands such as Klairs, By Wishtrend, and I’m from. Its presence is significant and reliable with a LazMall verified tick and 22.9K followers.

Another website that appears to be a huge reseller is  Yaocos. Its Lazada eCommerce presence  is accessible in Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore. Some favorite South Korean brands that it sells include Beauty of Joseon, celebrity-studded Sulwhasoo, Innisfree, COSRX, and Pyunkang Yul.

South Korean actress Ha Ji-Won who stars in top dramas such as Secret Garden and Empress Ki turns 44 this year. She is known for her talent and age-defying skin.

The Pursuit of Youth
Skincare is surging in popularity due to the age-old human desire of attaining the fountain of youth. The explosion in demand for K-beauty can be attributed in part to the signature status of many Korean women aging gracefully. Harpers Bazaar has even released an article on the skincare tips of 11 Asian celebrities over 40.

Look at Ha Ji-Won in her 40s who swears by daily facial masks and eating three lemons per day to maintain supple skin. Three lemons can be delightfully blended into Ha’s soju cocktail recipe, which consists of one-third can of tonic water and a spoonful of honey. Another renowned South Korean actress of Full House (2004) and Descendants of the Sun (2016) fame is Song Hye-Kyo turning 41 this year. She does not seem to have aged!

Here’s an Idea: Curate and market your selection of products based on celebrity tips. Their fans are sure to be attracted to your store.

Millennial and Gen Z men can be a lucrative skincare market. Dr. Mike shows his Nighttime skincare on Harper’s Bazaar while Ali Abdaal with 3.43M YouTube subscribers promotes a productive skincare routine.

Men Love to Look Good!
Men today desire to appeal aesthetically. There is a growing awareness of hygiene and grooming among the male crowd. After all, we do see Adonis-like males with great skin on Netflix.

Additionally, YouTubers like Ali Abdaal who promotes productive skincare have made the wellness practice approachable for men all over the world.

Statistics predict the fastest growth ever from 2022-2030 in the male skincare market. The modern man looks beyond deodorants or razors and reaches towards sun protection and even anti-aging skincare!

In brief, don’t miss out on the wellness, beauty, and skincare train! Get dibs on this lucrative market at an incredibly low cost with Lazada today.

Want more skincare and beauty ideas? Check out this article on howwesell.asia for the latest insights on what is trending in the beauty shopper’s cart.

What’s in the cart this season: Fashion and Beauty

As we approach the final quarter of the year, the eCommerce scene is gearing up for big upcoming holidays, big campaigns, and ever bigger sales.

When it comes to the fashion and beauty space particularly, any sales period is a good time for buyers to start stocking up on their stash. For sellers, this presents a golden opportunity for you to start procuring these items and making sure that buyers see you when they’re shopping.

So what should sellers be looking to order? howwesell takes a look at some of the year’s best trends so far for some inspiration.

Jump on the trend wagon and stay in style with this year’s latest and greatest:

Bejeweled brows

As the latest brow trends go from fluffy to thin, many celebs are pruning away at their brows and inventing new shapes. Fashion magazine Vogue discusses how the 90s trend of fine lines are creeping back into trend. Famous celebrities like Doja cat for instance, have been seen adorning her brows with adhesive jewels and rhinestones, so give your customers the means to experiment with colorful shapes and sizes with rhinestones and crystal diamonds.

Metallic eyeshadow for metallic lids

Soft and ethereal or strong and high-fashion, this silver metallic eyeshadow look is versatile as it is cool. It’s a highly adaptable Y2K aesthetic, so it can easily translate from day to night looks and will give your customers plenty of fun looks.

Nail Sticker Art

For those who want to provide great nails at a budget, stick-on nails or nail stickers are the easy go-to solution for customers. Additionally, if you’re a fashion seller that can give buyers a chance to have nails that match their outfits, it’s an added bonus.

Baggy jeans

Knock, knock! Your teenage years are at the door, and they’re in baggy jeans! According to Harper’s Bazaar, baggy jeans are making a comeback, which means your store should be stocking them up as soon as possible. It’s entirely possible that this trend is going to stick around for a while so make sure your buyers know that they can depend on your store to buy these jeans.

Mary Jane shoes

Buckle up, fashion has brought the Mary Jane back. These beloved buckled classics from the 90s are trending again, whether it’s in flats or even in a platform version. Check out this Harper’s Bazaar article on the different styles a pair of Mary Janes can pull off! Prim and proper or fun and flirty, these shoes are a fun choice for night outs or afternoon brunches.

Denim on Denim

Another trend making a comeback is the denim on denim look. According to Stylecaster, clothing items like bucket hats and oversized shirts in denim material were seen at the Spring/Summer 2023 runways last month, so it’s only fair to see it popping up over the month.

For sellers, it’s a good time to start sourcing more denim clothes and mixing it with collections you have now.

Bright red lips

An iconic look, and an even more iconic color, you can’t go wrong with a bright red lip. According to Allure, the lip look has even famously appeared on the runway for Blumarine’s Fall 2022 runway show. Beauty sellers, take note – even if it’s a no-brainer to have this in your store, it might be a good time to start looking at alternative shades closer to red.

Face mists

Protect against pollution, enhance one’s sleeping routine, and fight pigmentation, this multi-use beauty marvel can do it all. And it can even help create a glazed skin look, which InStyle.com says is in trend this month.

White tank top

Something simplistic and yet enduring as the white tank top has yet again made it onto the catwalk. While plenty of big names have stamped their brands onto the white tank top, this humble yet staple piece can come in any number of fabric types, opening up a number of #OOTD possibilities!

Sequin dresses

Along with bedazzled eyebrows, the re-emergence of 90s trends also means that sequins are back in! According to Refinery29, you can’t afford to miss sequins as it becomes one of the biggest trends this season. Get the party started with some shiny dresses this October and help bring your buyers bring this 90s trend back into full swing.

With more great sale campaigns coming up towards the end of the year, tune in to howwesell.asia for more tips on what buyers are looking for.

How to Build a Trustworthy Brand

All around the world consumers are turning to the internet for their shopping needs. This has opened a window and created plenty of opportunities for all businesses, as seen by the incredible amount of products and services being offered in the market today.

But running a successful business is not just about selling products and making money. Your customer’s perception is an incredibly important part of the equation for creating a successful company. How your customers think about your brand and company can affect your journey to success in the long run.

Now more than ever, customers gravitate to trustworthy companies and demand authenticity from the companies they buy from. In a time when the economy is still recovering from the after-effects of the pandemic and recession may just be creeping around the corner, customers are more skeptical than ever, leading to more diligence and consumers making meticulous decisions when it comes to shopping. Shoppers in this era of technology are keen to spend money more wisely and to save where they can!

Tech savvy buyers do their research

With fears of inflation on most people’s mind, most buyers do their research before actually making a purchase. They compare prices, check out different eCommerce sites, research businesses and read reviews and feedback from other customers. Recent online statistics show that 58.6% of cart abandonments are due to customers who are ‘just browsing’.

Value-driven consumers these days want good value, convenience, and products/services that will simplify their life, as well as align with their lifestyle. They make purchasing decisions after doing research, comparing brands, prices, services and ultimately choosing brands that they trust.

So how do you build a brand that is trustworthy? There are many ways to do this but here are five key ways for you to consider when thinking about building a trustworthy brand that keeps your customers coming back.

Join a trustworthy and established eCommerce platform

When your company comes across as authentic and trustworthy, it helps you to build strong, lasting relationships with customers and clients. One way to do this as an eCommerce entrepreneur is by joining a platform like Lazada. Lazada requires a legit business registration for a seller to sign up, and also has rules set in place pertaining to their seller accounts to ensure that they provide a platform that is trusted and reliable. Lazada’s sellers must also conduct themselves in a professional manner when using the platform. Using an efficient and reliable platform to sell your goods can in turn help your business to be seen as trustworthy and reliable, especially if you’re just starting out and your brand is new.

Demonstrate transparency

Customers can usually tell when a brand is not being authentic due to mixed or low-value messaging, and a lack of transparency is often the first negative experience a customer hits with any brand. Being transparent with your business information can also help customers perceive your business in a positive light. Have a Google Location included in your store page. Include your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram accounts with a full suite of your products on display. Put all your shipping information and costs up front, and have your contact information clearly stated so your customers can reach you easily. Show your customers you’re not hiding anything in order for them to build trust in your company.

Show the people behind the brand

People trust people, not companies, so why not show them your human side? Build an emotional connection with your customers and show them the people behind the business. This can be through blog posts, guest contributed articles, podcast interviews, social media channels, etc. Find ways to allow leaders on your team to share their expertise and connect with your customers. Shoppers will have an easier time getting to know, relating to and trusting your brand when it has a personality and shows its human side.

Be prompt and responsive

Always be quick and responsive while communicating with your customers, whether it is on a query, feedback or complaint. Have an active social media presence, respond to feedback or reviews, answer questions and try to do regular livestreams on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Friendly and prompt communication is the best way to show potential customers that you’re a real and trustworthy person or business.

Highlight reviews and testimonials

One of the best things a brand can do to be seen as trustworthy and authentic is to share testimonials or reviews of your products or business. Display great customer reviews on your product, website, and social media. Most consumers read reviews before deciding to make a purchase, and leaving honest reviews of your products on your sites can help to build trust in your shoppers.

Creating a brand that’s trustworthy isn’t easy when you’re a new or established brand. But it is equally as important to have a trustworthy brand as it is to focus on your products and services in the long term. Deliver on customer expectations, be authentic, be honest — and you’ll be rewarded with greater customer loyalty and greater ROI.

Has Brand Loyalty Gone Down? And Why that is Good News for Startups

The pandemic has certainly changed our lives in so many ways, causing lengthy business interruptions and other disruptions. But every cloud has a silver lining. With the majority of physical retail stores closed during national and local lockdowns, online shopping has grown to become more of the norm. What this has led to over the last couple of years is a marked change in consumer shopping habits, attitudes and product purchases.

In the world of eCommerce, many new stores have constantly struggled to get even a small piece of the market. But perhaps an unexpected side effect of Covid-19 when it comes to shoppers, is a drop in consumers saying they’re loyal to a brand, according to recent statistics from a Lazada Insider series.

More people are discovering brands through social media ads, consumer reviews sites as well as different eCommerce sites. With a saturated, increasingly competitive online space, the sort of brand loyalty that consumers used to feel in the past is gradually being overtaken by the need to make better spending decisions when faced with rising prices.

Lazada’s eCommerce shopper behavior report “Transforming Southeast Asia – From Discover to Delivery” has shown that APAC shoppers will go as far as to switch brands or stores for a better price. More than 40% of shoppers in India would purchase from a brand that wasn’t their preferred one, when faced with rising prices and a struggling economy.

This decrease in brand loyalty is no doubt bad news for marketers; however, it can be good for start-ups or those who are venturing into eCommerce for the first time!

A chance for Startups to enter the eCommerce market and grow

One of the problems small growing brands, or startups, have continually faced is competition from bigger, well-established brands in the market. But with customer loyalty down, startups and those new to the market have a chance to make their mark, and be defined by their potential to provide goods and services that consumers are looking for today.

One of the best ways to grow your brand as an early-stage start up is to carve out your own market niche, which makes your brand more valuable. Be creative in tackling problems from new angles and thinking out of the box.

For some start-ups, white labels may be a way to take advantage of the current decreasing trend in customer loyalty. Instead of paying a premium price, consumers are willing to forgo the big brand name for something more affordable. This creates opportunities for those venturing into eCommerce to consider the potential of reselling cosmetics, skincare, and other products from production companies with white label agreements.

With brand loyalty down, consumers are paying attention smaller players

As more information about products and services becomes available, more and more consumers are taking note of the little guys, instead of automatically going for a brand they know and recognize. For the first time in years, smaller businesses and newcomers to the eCommerce scene can compete with bigger, more established businesses as long as their products meet the needs of consumers.

This is a huge opportunity for someone who is looking to get their business off the ground. Because it is so easy to start an online business in today’s environment, the potential for expansion is nearly limitless. Once you start to experience success, more and more people will want to buy your product and it is easier to gain more exposure, reach out to new customers, and build from there.

NOW is a good time!

A struggling economy is fertile ground for entrepreneurship, which means there is no better time to be an entrepreneur than now, especially in the field of eCommerce. Established businesses are vulnerable, customer loyalty is down, and shoppers are more savvy – offering an opportunity for creative entrepreneurs to come up with new, innovative solutions. An eCommerce platform like Lazada makes the journey easy for anyone wanting to develop their own business, and helps sellers to not only survive but thrive in challenging times.

Sign up as a seller on Lazada now and be your own boss.

7 Reasons Why Your eCommerce Business Should Go Green

Modern consumers increasingly value environmentally friendly products and services. Sustainable practices are essential if your eCommerce business wishes to attract people who desire a better Earth, especially younger ones. A Deloitte 2022 Survey found that Gen Z and millennials are willing to pay a premium for recyclable packaging, reusable utensils, organic food, and even second-hand clothing!

Quek Wei Ling, the Chief Business Officer of Synagie Group shares the statistics of Asian shoppers: More than 50% discontinued buying non-eco-friendly products while 63% considered whether something is sustainable or not before purchasing. The numbers don’t lie but if you’re still unsure about engaging in ecological business practices, here are 7 reasons why your eCommerce Business should go green:

Our panel of green-conscious advocates clockwise - Goh Fang Wei, Business Development Manager of Waste Management & Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS); Hazel Ye, Director of Sustainable Familie Trading; Quek Wei Ling, a trained pharmacist and Chief Business Officer of Synagie Group.

1. Sustainable Brands are Trendy

The support for sustainability around the world is growing by leaps and bounds. Sustainability awareness platform Zero Waste is one of the many that has found success, telling of what people are looking for. Its Instagram account has grown to an impressive 172K followers complete with a shop selling a bunch of eco-friendly stuff such as lunch boxes. The zero waste movement is also growing in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand, spreading education and advocacy for environmental conservation.

Hazel denotes that sustainability generates a demand of its own. People are taking action to protect our home, Mother Earth – thanks to abundant education and awareness spread in the last decade. Even stars like Leonardo DiCaprio have played their parts, with Leo setting up a foundation in securing a sustainable future and also sits on the board of the WWF.

Trending, highly marketable buzzwords include “recycle,” “upcycle,” and “eco-friendly.”
The proof lies in our search algorithms today. Simply run a Google search for “eco-friendly” and a slew of eCommerce products pop up: wooden spoons, jute bags, beeswax food wraps, and more. Since eCommerce platforms surface upon searching sustainable keywords, selling on Lazada can be a great way to gain visibility.

2. Gain a Competitive Advantage

eCommerce sellers today will do well to match the desire of target buyers. Shoppers today possess a heightened awareness of climate change with two-thirds of Gen Zs (68%) and millennials (66%) personally impacted by severe weather events triggered by climate change. Hazel specifies that eco-friendly businesses are gaining a competitive edge against those who stay ignorant towards green efforts.

Thus, your brand has a chance of creating an inspiring unique selling point (USP) if you take a bold move towards using eco-friendly ingredients or packaging. Your brand becomes one that is memorable for going the extra mile. Additionally, your target buyers’ emotions of appreciation and a desire to participate in a good cause are evoked.

The data on trends support Hazel’s sharing that there is a clear expectation for ecologically sound business models. Forbes reports that 4 out of 5 millennials believe business should take environmental efforts while 9 out of 10 millennials will switch brands to one associated with a cause.

3. Long-Term ROI

Fang Wei shared that a business’ upfront cost to make some eco-friendly changes may cost a few thousand dollars. However, the return on investment (ROI) will be rewarding and can show up in just 12 months!

Another valid point is that eco-friendly measures are equivalent to less wastage disposal. This eventually cuts down disposal fees drastically. Wei Ling suggests that businesses can work with platform partners such as Lazada or any other eCommerce marketplaces in enabling their target buyers to shop and filter sustainable products.

Pro tip: If you are a startup or on a low budget, eCommerce platforms can be a great option as curating a website with a specific filter for sustainability can be complex to execute. Not to mention difficult to detect when people look up a sustainability keyword on Google.

4. Spread Awareness on Preserving the Environment

Heavy is the head that wears a crown. Hazel quipped that sustainability is very heavy, but it is a shared responsibility. Even the smallest action can impact social change. As a business, you have the influence to spread awareness on the need to minimize pollution, recycle, reduce waste, and choose better options for the environment. Let not your marketing and production budgets be in vain.

Instead, be sure to shine a spotlight on why you are taking certain green measures. Take for example leading New York skincare brand Fresh that now boasts 84% of its brick and mortar stores with full LED lighting and its goal for 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. LED lighting is amazing for the environment as it consumes less power with low carbon dioxide emissions as compared to other light bulbs.

5. Unite to Reduce your Nation’s Landfills

With great power comes great responsibility, as they say. Fang Wei called attention to the dire need for businesses in particular to unite in order to reduce wastage as a whole. Be it in production or packaging, businesses play a fundamental role in assisting our local government to achieve lower wastage for the good of our fellow citizens.

Brands selling daily consumer goods such as bath soaps, skincare, clothing, and preserved food use so much packaging and that is reason enough for businesses to care. Hazel gave an eye-opening scenario of children’s toys or pacifiers producing excess material due to the nature of these goods being cut out into certain shapes.

6. Care for the Consumer

Natural ingredients and clothing materials also serve to take care of consumers’ health. If you are in the fashion or bedding industry, you have the power to make a positive impact. Your action has the potential to create a chain reaction that spurs fashion houses to produce better quality clothing.

Clothing should prioritize both health and comfort. Avoid using polyester and nylon (polyamide) as these are highly synthetic, non-breathable, and can cause skin irritation. In fact, polyester fabric is made out of the same material as single-use plastic bottles.

Do strive to use natural fibers that are great for both the environment and human skin. The classic option is 100% cotton, an age-old natural fiber made from the outer coating of a cotton plant’s seeds. Lately, bamboo lyocell has emerged as a popular fabric to make shirts and bedsheets. It is completely biodegradable, sensitive skin-friendly, absorbs sweat, and is even antibacterial! Bamboo is a sustainable champion as it absorbs 5x more carbon dioxide than usual hardwood trees.

7. Build a Safe Home for our Future Generations

Maintaining the ecosystem for our children and theirs is incredibly important. Clean air, liveable weather, and low pollution levels to avoid dirt or radiation-related illnesses are at stake. The world is experiencing extreme weather changes that have ravaged fates and fortunes. Be it long spells of drought, floods caused by bad waste management, rapidly melting ice, higher sea levels, or forest fires like never seen before.

In Southeast Asia (SEA), waste levels have risen to terrifying levels. Wei Ling shares that in 2018, Singapore produced 1.6 million tonnes of domestic waste, with only 4% of plastic recycled. If this was before lockdowns were initiated, imagine the damage done today.

This is where eCommerce businesses need to come together to drastically reduce plastic waste. Mini steps such as replacing plastic bubble wrap with biodegradable honeycomb bubble wrap (made of craft paper), switching up to biodegradable plastic packaging, and using craft paper tape to seal boxes can make a world of difference. Start small, dream big!

Intrigued? Head over to howwesell.asia’s Lazada Insider page for more expert insights on the latest eCommerce trends. Find out what consumers want today.

Remote work – Alternatives to an office career

When you don’t want an office job but still need to pay the bills, what are the alternatives? Remote jobs, which have been on the rise since the pandemic, allow you to conveniently work from the comfort of your home, usually on your own, flexible schedule. 

Nearly every facet of life transitioned to an online format during the pandemic, which gave rise to a widespread adoption of remote work environments. These remote work or ‘work from home’ roles still remain a popular option for many workers today. 

It is no question that being able to work from home or do a job remotely can have many benefits, including a better work-life balance, increased productivity, timeliness, flexibility to work anywhere – not just at home – and reduce time spent stuck in traffic!

If you are considering taking advantage of the remote work trend, there is certainly no shortage of opportunities. Here, we explore some of the common types of remote roles or opportunities that you can consider or maybe pursue, depending on your interest and skills, which include fields like sales and marketing, computer/IT or education and training.

 

Digital Marketing

Marketing, especially digital marketing, is growing into one of the top remote working spaces worldwide. With so many of us spending a lot more time online these days, the marketing and PR industries are increasingly focusing on digital marketing as a strategy, which consequently means more jobs surfacing in this category for remote workers! 

Digital marketers typically work with email, social media and web content to attract customers and boost brand visibility for their clients.

 

Freelance writer or copy editor

If you live and breathe words, writing could be a great remote work opportunity for you. Copy editors work to proofread and improve the quality of a writer’s content, while freelance writers create content for clients based on the needs of the client. As a writer, your area of expertise can be technical, medical, educational, creative or sales/marketing-focused, or perhaps even a combination of various areas. 

Those with a skill for written communication can find plenty of remote opportunities within this industry.

 

Web or graphic designer

A web or graphic designer makes visual graphics for a company’s digital or print marketing materials using computer applications or traditional artistic media. Typical duties of a graphic designer include using graphic design software to create illustrations for advertisements, logos, fonts, or layouts for businesses. With the exponential rise in eCommerce, many start-ups are utilizing the help of web or graphic designers to create an attractive store page for their online shops.

 

Starting your own eCommerce business

eCommerce is growing every year, and has become a major force in the global economy. For those who’ve ever wanted or dreamed of starting their own eCommerce business, there could not be a better time. Increased time online also means an increase in online spending, and many businesses are thriving by selling their services or products online. Even brick-and-mortar retails stores have opted to swing their businesses online. 

Starting your own eCommerce business is the perfect remote working opportunity. Not only will you have the freedom of owning your own company, work on your own time, and not have to report to anyone else, you can also personally witness, take full ownership and enjoy the success that you are achieving every single day! 

To top it off, eCommerce platforms like Lazada makes it simple and straightforward to start an online business, equipping their sellers with user-friendly tools and leading them all the way to success with support from websites like Lazada University. 

7 Hacks to Build Customer Trust in eCommerce

If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they will do business with you

Trust is what holds personal relationships and business transactions together, especially in eCommerce where face-to-face isn’t available. Simplicity and assurance at a single glance are what most of us look for in online stores and buyers want all doubts to be eliminated before exploring a brand online.

Gordon Lee, a Synagie Chief Business Officer shared that 90% of shoppers review an online store’s performance before even scrolling further. How do you then gain the trust of online consumers? Here are 7 hacks to build customer trust in eCommerce:

The panel of distinguished industry experts clockwise: Excel Hardware Marketing Director Kaden Choa, Synagie CES Vice President Jaydee Donesa, and Synagie Electronics, GM, SME Chief Business Officer Gordon Lee.
Jo Malone London’s official Lazada store with an elegant page decor, clear product categories, authenticity guarantee, followers, ratings, and returns policy.

1. Look Attractive and Reliable

One look is all it takes to make or break the decision to explore online store products. You want to captivate the attention of your page visitors with aesthetics and numbers. Feature high-quality pictures that enhance the charm of your offerings. A short video below one minute that tells your brand story or highlights your top product makes a lasting impression too.

In terms of numbers, reflect on the habits that social media has developed in us. We tend to judge the worth of a celebrity or brand based on their verified blue tick, followers, likes, and public comments. Apply this exact logic to your eCommerce page:

  • An authenticity guarantee in writing if you have a website.
  • Positive reviews score
  • Chat responsiveness
  • On-time delivery or a returns policy
  • A clear overview of product categories

Pro Tip:  For eCommerce platforms such as Lazada, verified sellers selling 100% original items can get an authenticity badge and a LazMall Flagship Store badge complete with a verified tick. As Kaden Choa emphasized, flagship stores represent legitimacy and a premium feeling of dealing directly with a brand owner.

2. Offer First Class Customer Service

Kaden illustrates that trust is like a pendulum – low risk will cause consumer trust to be high. Making the customer feel in control is a foolproof strategy to prevent people from feeling like they are risking their hard-earned money. 

How can we immerse our customers in a simulation of control? Two keys: Be reachable and helpful.  The latest technology of chatbots makes it easy to be reachable 24/7. Jaydee Donesa, Synagie’s CES Vice President, shared that this assures customers that they are being cared for, especially with simple questions or FAQs. 

Buyers want helpful answers when enquiring about a product online, even at odd hours. Time is saved, frustration is minimized and trust is fostered. 

Being helpful, however, does not stop at a chatbot. Jaydee recommends offering the best customer experience by assisting buyers in getting the best deals. Educate your customers on product features, how to use them, and update them on the latest promotions.

3. Feature Happy Reviews and Testimonials

Positive reviews, testimonials, and pictures taken by customers – these are cream of the crop eCommerce marketing strategies. 

A community that loves your brand will naturally draw in more buyers. In gratitude, these repeat buyers are happy to not only write reviews but also take videos to show off their unique ways of using your products. This creates curiosity and a desire to learn more amongst new target buyers.

Pro Tip: Go one step further to earn trust by showing that you truly care. Be sincere in responding to reviews and address any doubts. Additionally, be detailed when answering questions in your online store’s FAQ section. This is a fantastic opportunity to throw in tips and tricks. Imagine promoting more skincare products via clever answers to questions on sensitive skin.

4. KOLs – Harness the Power of Influencers

Influencers are the best spokespeople for your brand in this day and age. Asia leads the world in social media usage with 2022 statistics showing over 1.1 billion social media users in Eastern Asia and 847 million users in South Asia.

One way of harnessing the power held by influencers is by finding one who already loves your brand. Look for down-to-earth influencers or even better, key opinion leaders (KOLs) who are well-loved, accepted, and admired within your local community. Take for example Netflix actress, barrister-at-law, and TEDx speaker Koe Yeet with 232K followers who markets for Sony Malaysia, which is famous for its headphones.

5. Handle Unfavorable Feedback Diplomatically

Your online store can get launched to infinity and beyond only if you handle it with tact.
While it is great to feature positive reviews, refrain from deleting the negative ones. Instead, make it a point to respond diplomatically and take quick action on a complaint.

Jaydee affirms the human desire for transparency: 86% of consumers expect brands to act beyond their product or business. While good deals are crucial, eCommerce buyers also expect sellers to be truthful and act in the best interests of consumers. Gordon Lee, Synagie Electronics, GM and SME Chief Business Officer shared that to appease unhappy customers, businesses must:

(i) Practise three steps when typing a response to negative reviews. First, “I understand”. Second, “I care”. Third, “trust me to fix the issue.” This makes the customer feel heard and understood. Frustration is eased with the promise of a solution.

(ii) Fix an issue by offering a sincere apology with an appropriate solution. Sometimes, refunding is not the correct answer. You may want to ship an item in perfect condition along with a free gift to compensate the customer for his or her time to unbox, use, and grapple with issues. Returns? Just pick up the defective item upon delivering the new and intact one.

6. Be Open to Innovate

Part of building and strengthening the bridge of trust with your consumers is by believing in two-way communication. Gone are the days when we get bombarded with meaningless advertisements. Today, online customers expect both advertisements and products to be personalized.

Learning is critical in personalizing products. Gordon imparts that eCommerce is about learning, unlearning, and relearning. You must adjust and fine-tune what you think has been the ideal product aesthetics, usages, and preferences. A case in point is Popflex Active, a fitness line by Chinese-Vietnamese American Cassey Ho targeting young women. Cassey impressively customizes hoodie designs, athleisure size inclusivity, and even cutting based on comments on their Instagram page.

7. Be Consistent in Quality and Delivery

Gordon reports that it takes 10-12 positive reviews to neutralize the effect of one negative review. So, do keep your foundation strong! Always execute stringent practices when it comes to quality control. Your products should be free of defects and of acceptable quality – definitely not shirts that fray within weeks or cause a skin reaction for most.

Check for a long expiry date if you are selling solutions, skincare, or dry food. This is crucial as it concerns the health and safety of a human or pet. People appreciate a longer time frame of usage. A simple scroll of online stores selling chocolates will show you plenty of positive and negative feedback on expiry dates.

Delivery that is on time is not something to rest on your laurels once achieved. Maintenance is key.  It can be difficult to monitor delivery turnaround time with staff being prone to falling sick and the risk of missing out on notifying customers about a public holiday delay.

Thankfully, eCommerce delivery partners such as Fulfilled by Lazada stores, packs, and ships your items directly from a Lazada warehouse to ensure convenient deliveries in the twinkling of an eye.

Check out howwesell.asia’s Lazada Insider page for more brilliant ways to win and keep customers. Fully utilize what eCommerce has to offer today.

Achieving success can take more than one try: Laz It Up 2.0

No one ever said setting up an eCommerce business would be a breeze, and sometimes it takes more than one try to get it right. This is a lesson Pham Van Chinh of XPLUS, now a top selling seller on Lazada Vietnam, had to learn early on.

Van Chinh’s eCommerce journey began in 2016, when he set up his first Lazada warehouse for his health and beauty business, XPLUS. Like many entrepreneurs who are first embarking on the eCommerce journey, the beginning was not an easy one, but to Van Chinh, it has definitely been worthwhile.

For this ambitious businessman, being an entrepreneur meant believing in something more and building a business that is greater than what currently exists. His dream of taking XPLUS to the next level, led him to look for an online eCommerce platform to sell on.

After trying out various online platforms, Van Chinh chose to partner with Lazada for his adventure of growth. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite work out for him the first time. He shares that at the beginning, he and his wife were overwhelmed with trying to adapt their traditional selling habits and mindset of running a physical store, to an online store process.

Because eCommerce was new to them, the couple lost sight of what ignited their motivation to embark on this journey in the first place, and ended up parting ways with Lazada for some time.

Try, and try again

When you experience failure, it can be hard to dust yourself off and try again. But if you want to become better at anything in life, that’s the only way it’s going to happen. So after a brief pause, Van Chinh decided to try again.

The decision to return to Lazada was an easy one for Van Chinh. Even after an absence of two years, he felt looked after and warmly welcomed back into the community. This time around, Van Chinh equipped himself with Lazada’s seller tools and training programs that were designed to benefit businesses and entrepreneurs. Utilizing Lazada’s tools and armed with more knowledge, he began to feel empowered and to believe in himself. Sales began picking up. In 2020, XPLUS enjoyed a 4.5X increase in revenue after its return to Lazada.

The learning never stops

Van Chinh shares that for the first time, he realized that being an entrepreneur meant more than just monetary returns. To him, being an entrepreneur is also about bringing value and purpose to the people around us. “The global crisis and lockdowns took everyone by surprise, but we remembered our purpose to scale, and had to accept the challenge, be creative, and adapt!”

While they, like so many other entrepreneurs at this time, were certainly anxious about the future, Van Chinh felt Lazada’s support each step of the way, and continued to persevere, trust and rely on the foundations they’ve built together.

He’s especially grateful for Lazada University and Lazada Seller Club, which gave him and his team the knowledge to upskill and empower themselves, their staff, and their organization as a whole.

Bringing value to the community

Today, XPLUS is one of the top eCommerce sellers in the health and beauty industry on Lazada in the country, enjoying a USD 5-figure revenue monthly! Van Chinh’s experience goes to show that setbacks and failures are not the end. Sometimes it can take more than one attempt to get it right, as long as you keep trying.

With such a wonderful success story to share, Van Chinh is now using his experience and know-how to help motivate and guide other entrepreneurs, giving back to the community as a Seller Ambassador for Lazada. Lazada’s Seller Ambassadors program was created to help and guide new and existing sellers, saving lots of time in the process, and avoiding potential bumps, potholes, or mistakes that may dampen sales performance.

“My motto in business is to always keep learning. Always keep upgrading ourselves. Always keep engaging with the seller community. This will develop your brand and level up your business!” advises Van Chinh.

If you have a good business idea, why not go for it? You too can bring your family and community to the next level. Sign up with Lazada now as a new seller and enjoy exclusive benefits.