They say two heads are better than one — and when it comes to taking on a player like Amazon, it probably doesn’t hurt to throw an extra head into the mix.
Which likely explains the three-pronged attack on Amazon’s Southeast Asia expansion signaled by the announced team up of Netflix, Uber and Lazada.
Southeast Asia as a commerce region has some tendency to be overlooked in favor of its two super-sized regional neighbors: India and China. But the region accounts for a cumulative population of over 600 million, an ever greater proportion of which are buying smart phones and joining the ranks of the global middle class. In 2016, Google estimated that eCommerce spending across the region will reach $88 billion by 2025, up from just $5.5 billion in 2015.
Clearly a desirable prize — and a worthwhile market to get in on early.
But Amazon isn’t there yet. Plans for entry were delayed earlier this year — and that seems to have slightly cracked the window for future eCommerce rival Lazada to get competitive.
Lazada is majority-owned by China’s Alibaba. The company is looking to get by with a little help from its friends — Netflix and Uber — as it offers its own Prime-style membership program officially titled LiveUp.
For an annual fee of around $20, those who sign on with LiveUp will gain access to a variety of deals on all three platforms. That could mean promotions and faster/free delivery for the eCommerce stores Lazada and Taobao Collection. Subscribers will also enjoy a free six-month subscription to Netflix, discounts on Uber rides and UberEats meal deliveries.
So far the three-prong ecosystem pair-up play is set for launch in Singapore — but all three firms have noted intentions to build out across the region.
“[LiveUp will explore] other collaborations throughout the Southeast Asia region. We believe that Singapore is at the tipping point in which consumers are embracing online lifestyle services like shopping, ridesharing, food delivery and entertainment as a way of life,” Lazada Singapore CEO Alexis Lanternier said in a statement.