DUE to the increasing popularity of mobile commerce in the Philippines, online-shopping portal Lazada Philippines is now looking at tapping into the smartphone market through partnerships with rivals Smart Communications Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.
The company, according to Lazada E-Services Philippines Inc. CEO Inanc Balci is aiming to tap into the mobile-data market that is currently saturated by the two wireless services providers in order to improve its margins.
But for now, the focus of the online shopping mall is not to improve its bottom line, but to get customer retention, he said.
“We have big partnerships with Smart before and we have with some Globe, as well. We don’t want to be exclusive partners with any of the two companies. We want to reach out with everyone,” he said.
Combined, the two telecommunications players have a subscriber base of about 100 million Filipino consumers.
In a study conducted by International Data Corp., smartphone penetration in the country has reached 47 percent in 2014, from a mere 24 percent the year prior. Smartphone shipments to the Philippines rose by a hefty 76 percent to 26.8 million phones also last year.
The Philippines is also the fourth country in Southeast Asia to ship more smartphones than feature phones, after Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. The third-quarter of last year’s market saw the onset of a new era when smartphone shipments to the Philippines outpace those of feature phones.