As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to feel the stress and savor the success that comes with the festive Christmas rush. During the most profitable time of the year for most businesses, the holiday season doesn’t have to be something you dread when you have the relevant promotions, the right tools on the right platform, and the best business solutions.
In the latest episode of the online show, “At Your SerBIZ!,” representatives of aesthetic soy candle shop, Lumi Candles and ecommerce giant, Lazada, sit down for a chat with one of the country’s respected business speakers, Francis Kong, to unbox their negosyantips on how to find the right solutions to deal with the holiday rush and manage their operations to stay on top of customer orders.
Lumi Candles’ Business Development Manager, Karre De Leon, demonstrates how a business that started as a hobby stays on top of demanding orders. Lazada’s Head of Business Development and Platform Governance, Sheryll Nito, shares how the leading ecommerce enterprise today plays its massive advantage. Together, they demonstrate that “tuloy-tuloy na success” is the best present you can unwrap when you follow these tips to beat the holiday rush for your business operations and enjoy the festivities.
“Alamin mo ‘yung needs and wants ng customers mo para iyon ang maibigay mo sa kanila,” says Karre when asked about how Lumi Candles lights up its products and services for their customers.
They keep consumer loyalty by ensuring the quality of their products and providing the highest level of service. Lumi Candles offers free shipping and the option to customize bulk orders. They also simplify the return process in order to address their clients’ return-and-replacement concerns in the event that fragile soy candles become damaged during shipment. In addition to Christmas deals, the website also offers Lumi Rewards, which converts each purchase into points redeemable for future discounts.
Lazada strongly encourages merchants to make promotions with a diverse selection of high-quality products to attract customers. With product variety, upgrades, and complete product descriptions, it is always simpler for buyers to browse the store and discover the right product that they are seeking.
Sheryll described how an online store owner must think, “Dapat laging iniisip ng sellers na ‘paano kung bumalik ‘yung customer, ano ang bago sa store ko na pwede nila makita o bilhin?’”
Karre formulates their tried-and-tested approach to online marketing: consistency.
Much like how Santa’s elves work in sync, Lumi Candles team works remotely with digitalized solutions, using a digital planner to keep the team in sync. In terms of marketing, they use a little help from AI websites to deal with consistent copywriting, proofreading, and daily content creation. They also use automated shipping and payment for each online selling platform to keep the quality standards of their services.
Sheryll shares advice about knowing what tools work and upgrading solutions can be a smart investment for growing your business. Using their own logistics and high-tech sorting centers, Lazada vendors and couriers can now deliver packages to buyers more efficiently.
Last 11.11, about 500,000 orders were fulfilled in less than 24 hours, attesting to Lazada’s reliability during the Christmas rush!
Karre believes in hard work and discipline. In every business, a shortage of stock can hinder sales. At Lumi Candles, they work hard to organize their inventories and use information from the previous year’s sales to gauge demand and replenish their stock before the holiday season. They don’t just sell volumes they cannot manage—Lumi Candles allow pre-orders starting from November and give discounts to manage bulk orders ahead of the holiday gift-giving season.
Customer service doesn’t end after payment. Aside from swift responses to inquiries, building trust and loyalty must be the heart of any business. Sheryll shared that Lazada’s vision by 2030 is to embrace 300 million customers, create millions of job opportunities, and empower MSMEs across Southeast Asia.
Their small step starts by encouraging sellers to step up their customer experience. To foster loyalty, expressing your sincerity to customers with quality products, honesty, small freebies, and personalized or customized thank you cards can make a difference.
Open the gift of giving the best customer service for your patrons and the most efficient tools for your business operations. Because it’s the season to learn from successful entrepreneurs, find the best business solutions that work for you, and binge-watch more episodes of “At Your SerBiz!” here!
Lazada’s Strategic Partnerships Lead, Mr. George Tongol talks about how you can drive your own business breakthroughs in the e-commerce platform.
If you have a product or service that you think will break the online market, you’re in luck. The digital marketplace is bigger than ever. Beyond websites, e-commerce expanded to social media and selling platforms like Lazada.
Business owner Isaac Saliendra of Peculiar and Odd Eyewear, for example, shares how he started from being a one-man online team, to a business with 50 employees. He recalls how he started worrying about dilemmas such as running a business from a small, 10-square meter room in San Mateo, Rizal 5 years ago.
“Then I got the idea of joining platforms, like Lazada. Because in Lazada, we don’t think of overcharges or any cost in maintaining the store. The only focus that I need to have is my inventory and my packing operations,” he shared.
Isaac’s story shows how you can keep your brand visible online despite strong competition. Remember that everyone wants to get a piece of buyers’ attention. Starting a small business online is more than just having something to sell and a platform to showcase them.
To become a successful online entrepreneur, you have to keep important points in mind:
You also have to stay up-to-date with the latest marketing and tech trends to keep your audience hooked.
Here’s a four-step guide to help you mentally pack for your journey towards online business success:
Ask business experts what advice they would give to new entrepreneurs, and one of the most common thing you’ll hear them say is this: satisfy a need. Creating a financially sustainable business is making sure there’s demand for it. And the first step to discovering in-demand products and services is market study.
Set your goals, find out who your target audience is, and get to know your market well. You can learn more about these here.
After pinpointing these, you can now gather actual data. Market research professionals can help you. You can also conduct your own focus group discussions or surveys (whether online or on-ground). Give participants free samples of your product or service to get them to join. This way, everyone gets something in return.
As Isaac mentioned, “As an owner, I believe that you need to focus on the customer first, second is your employees, and last is your shareholders or the owner of the company.” Prioritize your market’s needs and you’ll know how to go about product development, services, and even company changes.
Branding helps you make a great first impression. While branding is a broad concept, new online MSMEs can focus on business’ aesthetics and how your message is communicated through it. Some guidelines to remember when you come up with these are:
Planning how to package your brand and interact with customers to create memorable impressions. It will not only establish you as a reputable online seller, but also as a go-to place to shop. It’s about finding what appeals to your market so that you’ll stand out in the online selling crowd.
Remember that you don’t need a big budget for this. A compelling and authentic social media presence is a good start that’s free. Be consistent across all your platforms, including the ones you’re building (ex. website, online shop, customer service hub). This will allow you to communicate your products and services more clearly.
Isaac further advised, “The most important aspect of selling online is your photo. Because in reality, we are not selling a product in Lazada. We are just selling a photo with a nice description.” He said to keep reality vs. expectation in mind. In packaging your products online, photos and descriptions have to be as close to the actual item as possible. Be descriptive as well.
Every time you interact with your customers, it’s a chance to capture their hearts and earn their loyalty. To grab that opportunity, give a great customer experience.
Make sure every step of the shopping process is easy and convenient.
From your target customers visiting your store, making a purchase, to receiving their orders, it’s your responsibility to deliver the best experience. Here are a few tips on how you can do just that in the digital marketplace:
Keeping your buyers hooked also goes with good customer experience. This way, you attract them to learn more about your business and return for more purchases.
When it comes to discounts and price points to hook your customers, Isaac shared how he finds the balance between profit and a good deal. “Some items you will have good margin, some none, some even negative. Or we call it ‘pamigay nalang natin yan.’ But the greater idea is the whole picture. Some items you can have good margins so, you get your loss from that ‘pamigay item’ to your high-margin products,” he said, and added “Always see data, margin, and two perspectives. First is macro and second is micro. Both are meaningful towards your understanding of online sale.”
He also added, “Lazada always provides us tools to increase our sales, like seller picks, free shipping, collaborative ads, and vouchers. As a Lazada trainer, I always mention to my trainees the importance of these tools to have great sales during mega promotions. The biggest comparison was an increase of 750% [in sales when using the tools]. It always excites me when mega campaigns are near [like 12.12]. Planning is the key to have successful promotions.”
Studies show that people who’ve had a great experience shopping in a certain online store are bound to buy again. The chances improve dramatically when the store stays in contact with the customer, especially when it has special offers.
Staying in touch with your customers helps your business run through its own customer base.“Customer feedback is the best way to know if your product will be successful. If they have an issue about your product, we ask them what is the main issue. Then we try to solve it. Our main objective is to provide good products to all our customers, because customer satisfaction is our primary goal,” Isaac added.
Here are a few final reminders on how you can stay connected:
Starting a business online is a great way to kick off your entrepreneurial journey. With these online business tips, you’ll be more than ready to take on business challenges. You’ll experience the success that you’re always meant to achieve!
If you want more business content that will help you develop your craft as an entrepreneur, simply sign up to Globe myBusiness Academy to get fresh and exclusive articles, how-to videos, and research papers.
Business owners in Cebu City were treated to a day of learning as Globe myBusiness Academy presented “Create. The Future of Local Businesses.” before small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the Queen City of the South last August 31, 2018.
Held at SM City Cebu, the event introduced new technologies that can help entrepreneurs improve their operations while serving as a platform for SME owners to get in touch with business experts who can help them succeed.
Some of the biggest names in Cebu’s business scene came to the event, including representatives from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the local government of Cebu.
In his welcome remarks, Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo noted the shared mission of Globe myBusiness and the local government in empowering entrepreneurs, thanking the former for deciding to partner with the city in equipping business owners with the knowledge and skills they need to advance their ventures to the future.
“The Cebu City Government always looks forward to the development of aspiring entrepreneurs. With new technology and devices coming up, Globe myBusiness is abreast with the times, just like the city government. We would like to thank Globe myBusiness for partnering with us to improve the way entrepreneurs do business in Cebu,” the Councilor said.
Meanwhile, Derrick Heng, Senior Adviser for Globe myBusiness, reiterated Globe myBusiness’ mission to serve entrepreneurs by inspiring them to become better and keeping them up-to-date on the latest business solutions they can apply.
“Globe myBusiness always thinks about what [will] help entrepreneurs succeed. We want to provide them with tools and solutions that would empower and enable them to conveniently manage and grow their businesses. With Globe myBusiness Academy, we provide learning and inspiration to the Filipino entrepreneur,” Derrick said.
If you’ve missed Globe myBusiness Academy, no worries because we’ve got you covered! Check out some of the best business quotes from the event’s line-up of topnotch speakers below:
“The most important thing to have in business is knowledge. This is why Globe myBusiness came up with Globe myBusiness Academy: to provide knowledge so you can understand the business better. Where will you base your “diskarte” without knowledge? You have to ask the experts to better understand a business.” – Francis Kong, motivational business speaker
“We really get the best quality ingredients in making our ice cream. We don’t look at costs and take shortcuts. […] Our whole team really loves ice cream and is very passionate about it. The motto we live by is if you love someone, you don’t compromise, you always give the best. Always make sure you are passionate about what you do.” – Cheng Lopez, Carmen’s Best Marketing & Sales Manager
“The reality is if you have an idea, there’s probably someone else who can help you improve it. Don’t be hesitant in sharing your ideas because chance favors the connected mind. People with bright ideas often don’t know how great their ideas are until they [speak] to other people and synthesize their thoughts about it.” – Ginger Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops
“A lot of our attention is on the Internet, which is why it is the best place to advertise your business and reach more people. [Still,] never advertise for the sake of advertising. It’s not just about getting more views. You need to have a clear objective for your brand. Keep things interesting because people don’t go online to watch ads, they go there to be entertained.” – Joey Flores, Adspark’s Associate Director for Corporate Marketing
“There are about 19,000 international and local sellers on Lazada and around 95% of them are small businesses. If you have a business and you’re not online, you’re missing a massive opportunity to grow. Lazada has created a marketplace for buyers and sellers to interact, which makes it easier for entrepreneurs to sell online and reach more customers.” – Hussain Khalid, Lazada’s VP – Head of Marketplace
“A lot of Filipinos are now buying online. […] When people want to buy something, they already have an initial list of brands they consider buying from. This is a person’s initial consideration list. Becoming part of that list by becoming visible online should be one of your goals in having your own website.” – Eugene Arboleda, CEO of Taxumo
Want to catch the next event? Sign up at Globe myBusiness Academy to get exclusive invites to seminars, workshops, conferences and other events, which can help you improve your business and steer it to success.
Globe myBusiness, in partnership with the local government of Quezon City, opened the doors to the future as it introduced Globe myBusiness Academy to the city’s robust community of entrepreneurs last July 31, 2018.
Held at the Trinoma Activity Center, the event was packed with small and medium enterprise (SME) owners, who were ready to hear more about how technology can innovate their operations and improve the way they do business.
Derrick Heng, Senior Adviser for Globe myBusiness, said it is an honor to work with the local government in helping SMEs achieve success. He notes that through the partnership, they can reach out to more business owners and share new technology that can help them grow.
“Our mission is to help entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners become part of the SME group, which comprises 99% of businesses in the Philippines. Today we are here to share with you the latest trends, developments, and tips on how you can be digitally enabled in a very competitive environment,” Derrick said.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte was also present during the event, describing it as an opportunity to know more about technology that will help businesses flourish. She said with Globe myBusiness’ help, entrepreneurs in Quezon City will be able to ensure that they are ready for the future.
“I believe that the future means having local businesses that are at par with enterprises in other parts of the world; meaning, they are able to market their products in the global market using technology and digital solutions,” the Vice Mayor said.
“I think it is important to hold events like [Globe myBusiness Academy] because the world is moving very fast and technology is improving rapidly. Businesses have to keep up with changing times in order to become competitive. Through activities like this, we are giving opportunities for entrepreneurs to take their businesses to a higher level,” Joy added.
Meanwhile, key figures in local business were also invited to share some insights on the future of enterprises in the country. They spoke about a variety of subjects including online selling, leadership, supply chain management, starting up, and digital marketing.
Check out these future-ready tips from the country’s foremost experts in business:
According to Raymond, doing business online enables entrepreneurs to reach more customers and target those who are more likely to buy their products. He says that with platforms like Lazada, sellers can even deliver items anywhere in the Philippines.
“If you have an offline business, you should also consider selling online. This is because doing business online is easy and fast. It is highly adaptive and is low cost. You can sign up on platforms like Lazada in just five minutes and get your business going,” he said.
Chinkee says businesses thrive on change, noting that it is the only way for a business to grow. He says that being adaptive to the changing needs of the market and technological developments is an ace that every business should have.
“The world is rapidly changing. Growing your business means having to adapt to change. In the 21st century, it’s simple: innovate or evaporate. If you change, you’ll be able to grab great opportunities. If you don’t, you become extinct.”
Norman stressed how important it is to use technology in monitoring how a business is doing. He says that with the right technology, entrepreneurs can readily check on their processes, adjust promptly, and manage resources better.
“In supply chain management, you can manage the flow of information and ensure the visibility through technology. You have to see everything that’s happening in your business and ensure you’re getting your investments’ worth,” Norman noted.
According to Jaime, Carmen’s Best first sprung when an international figure in the ice cream industry exited the market years back. When the chance presented itself, they did not hesitate to learn more about the ice cream business and seize the opportunity to build Carmen’s Best to what it is today.
“In the middle of 2012, Häagen-Dazs closed up in the Philippines. My father saw this as an opportunity to take its place as the premium ice cream in the Philippines. With the right education and research, Carmen’s Best rose to the top,” Jaime said.
During his talk, Homer emphasized the importance of establishing a great relationship with customers through technology. He says businesses that focus on providing great customer experience are guaranteed to improve their bottom line figures.
“Technology is there to make things easier not only for you but also for the customer. Remember that being customer-centric is essential. If you put your customer first and make sure they get the best experience, money [will] never be a problem,” he says.
If you missed Globe myBusiness Academy – Quezon City, no worries because we’ve got more in store for you! Be the first to know about seminars, conferences, and workshops organized by Globe myBusiness by simply signing up to Globe myBusiness Academy for free!
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