Lazada is not paying ambassador anything or providing any traffic diversion to ambassadors!
That's what Pixie say when I try to ask for some sort of "motivation" from Lazada.
But then, I had been blogging and sharing the little stuff I know about eCommerce.
Catching Lazada attention on my blog and acknowledging me as a key opinion leader, is kinda "SYIOK" right. Haha.
So when Lazada sends me the invitation to a 3-day camp, 17-19 Feb for ambassadors meetup which with their annual CNY dinner, I pack my bags and came to Lazada HQ. At least free stay and free makan are available hehe.
So on Sunday, we gather and many are Top Lazada Sellers and freshly minted LazStars from the Academy. I also met Sky, a popular influencer in LINE.
For KK, we do gain credibility if Lazada acknowledges and engage us more. But what's the catch for other ambassadors? These are top sellers which are super busy all the time. The pressure of staying on top of the competition and continue to generate good revenue and perhaps good profit is their focus.
Undeniably it felt good to give back to the community. But I think they are here for something else also. It's like throwing 2 birds with a stone right? So I skip all the activities of how we group together, learned about "Design Thinking" to propose and present our club activities.
First of all, we sat in a meeting room and act like directors. The first to come to the present were all the category managers (CM)s. It seems that Lazada CM already have a template. They always start with their Category Vision explaining what they want to be. Then it will be divided into four part - Category Strategy, Assortment Focus, Price Point and Discount Level. Its like a dream for seller who complain that nobody in Lazada wanna talk to them ahaha.
I can't put the slides here, (of course, I took photos, since nobody stopped me) ... because it is a closed-door session. Thus ethically, without owner approval, it is confidential proprietary and not share it publicly.
But I guess it is ok for me to share a small part of it.
In the Toys and Games category, one of the requests is:
Strategy: "Be the FIRST MOVER" in capturing trends from overseas (eg fidget spinner trend).
Assortment focus: Trending toys based on characters or latest popular cartoons eg LOL Dolls or specific trends eg fidget spinner.
Price Point: Competitive vs toyshops and/or night market.
Discount Level: 30% -50%
OK what will you do as a sellers now you know about this?
How about I share my reflection of what I do here.
First and definitely don't go and source for fidget spinner. This is a classic example in which the trend has already ended in 2017.
At times when the seller ask me what are the hot selling product so that they can source and sell, I will suggest that they learn about Product Life cycle.
Logically you want to be at the "Take - Off" Stage rather than at the Maturity Stage. This will allow you to enjoy growth and profit and have the bullets to compete in a later stage.
So Guys, developing the skillet of determine a trend in an earlier stage is more important to source current hot selling product! This is what sought after by the CM/
Wah Lao, it's like seller had to be fortune teller also.
Joey Yap looks at the Feng Shui to foretell the future. Where should sellers look at?
Overseas bro. The trend normally doesn't start in Malaysia. Thus I always try to convince local sellers to sell overseas, because you will see lots of stuff you never see before, including trends which will help sellers a lot.
In fact, most sellers overseas track the Top 500 products in eBay in order to capture the trend in the early stage. Once a new product having good growth compared to the last period, the sourcing team will kick in to connect with the supplier.
Of course, if you can build a relationship with your suppliers, then manufacturer information can be very important because if they treat you as partners, they will share with you information a the new upcoming hot product. Remember, you need to contribute also to qualify as partner.
Actually, if you source from China, the manufacturers are very competitive and their product life cycle is getting shorter. If they had developed or innovated an upcoming product with lower cost and better features, they have roughly 6 months ahead before it is duplicated and improved by another manufacturer.
Ya sorry, the top seller doesn't just sit in front of a screen listing. First-hand information is critical for a seller success as well.
Still, there are many channels you can build your information network.
You can utilize tools like keywords trend analyzer on Google to capture new hot keyword which indicates a trend. You can use social media and web monitoring tool to obtain real-time alerts to monitor millions of sources in real time. In fact, you can "Spy" on your competitor or top sellers, brands by using tools which provide a competitive dashboard to monitor their online activity. If you have the resource, you can even get TV, Radio, Facebook crawling, and advanced analytics.
Even simply joining a parents group or kids group in facebook or chat group, or just talk to your kids will give you unexpected insights.
This is back to the basic of "Knowing Your Target Audience". So much can be done, yet so little had been try by aspiring e-commerce sellers.
Now if you have developed the fortune-telling skillset in eCommerce. Congratulations. But it is only halfway there.
Next is how you want to convince Lazada to believe your fortune telling?
Normal sellers submit their SKUs in flash deal and campaign. But this can't really work if you are holding the product of the next big hit in Malaysia, but not in the market yet.
You have to make Lazada buy what you believe will be the next trend!
That's where the ambassador has the advantages. If I had the SKUs now, I will prepare a presentation with the facts I discovered of the upcoming trend. I will bug the toys category manager for a meeting. In the meeting, I will not just ask for traffic diversion from Lazada, I will even throw in some strategy and activities to drive traffic into Lazada for them to believe my fortune telling.
By the way, I am kinda a very persuasive fortune teller also. haha
Since ambassadors are helping Lazada to engage Malaysia Sellers, I guess the least they can do is to listen to your proposals. If you really hit their paint point, you might gain access to Lazada thru different way then normal sellers.
Some readers might felt at this point that this is unfair and not following the standards. For me personally, there is nothing unfair in breaking boundaries. In competition, it is always how many extra values you added, and whether it is effective in solving your target audience paint point. And bro, doing different things at time is a very powerful competitive advantage.
They dont want just online information, they require offline information such as retail price and night market price. That is also another useful activity to know more about your products price point and find the best product positioning for your SKUS.
Thus I will add in this product positioning using this example.
Of course, to get the early purchase and reviews, first 100 SKUs sold profit can be all utilized as marketing funding for Flash deal and Campaigns. That will help fulfill the discount level require by Lazada. And later if the competitor came in, they still had to compete with my earlier reviews.
Funding? If I had Lazada confirmation of support, there is no issue in securing money to get the volume and price point I need.
Now if you are toy category sellers a, don’t worry. I am not into toys at the moment. My focus is on helping Malaysia Products. It is just a reflection of what I will do if I am a full-time toy category sellers.
At this point, just for a line in a single slide share by Lazada, there is so much to play around. We have many slides shown to us. Imagine the possibility
So thus if you want more information, join the respective club and get to know your ambassadors. Once you are friends, you can seek their opinion on your category and perhaps gain further insights and hidden road in Lazada. But then, this is still second-hand information.
If you want to access to this information first hand, then be active, help other sellers. Share your thoughts like what I am doing now in this article. Then apply to be an ambassador.
We are also allowed to visit their FBL warehouse and strictly no camera and handphones allowed. And it is a WOW factor to see how they work. Each employee can pack 80 packages an hour. Wonder how they do that? That is the knowledge share with ambassadors.
Some more we got to have dinner with Leo, the new CEO of Lazada Malaysia and his management team. Its good to joke around and laugh wjth them.
Even Sky had joined the club.
What are you waiting for?, Really.