Amazon isn’t in Southeast Asia yet — the e-commerce giant pushed back plans to enter early this year — but that isn’t stopping future rival Lazada teaming up with a range of companies to offer an Amazon Prime-style membership package in advance of its arrival.
Lazada, the e-commerce firm that is majority owned by China’s Alibaba, today announced an alliance with Netflix and Uber on a membership program called LiveUp.
For a fixed yearly fee of SG$28 ($20), LiveUp subscribers gain access to a range of deals across services from the companies. Those includes promotions and faster/free delivery for e-commerce stores Lazada and Taobao Collection, which is controlled by Lazada’s owner Alibaba, and offers for RedMart, the online grocery service bought by Lazada last year. There is also a free six-month subscription to Netflix, and discounts on Uber rides and UberEats meal deliveries.
The service is initially available in Singapore — the market that Amazon is targeting as its first entry point for Southeast Asia — but the companies said they plan to explore “other collaborations throughout the Southeast Asia region.” In addition, a smartphone app will be available later this year.
“We believe that Singapore is at the tipping point in which consumers are embracing online lifestyle services like shopping, ride-sharing, food delivery and entertainment as a way of life,” Lazada Singapore CEO Alexis Lanternier said in a statement.
Beyond benefits for Lazada ahead of Amazon’s entry to the region, the alliance will also help Netflix find a footing in a geography when many consumers are still reluctant to pay for content. LiveUp also gives Uber a leg-up on its competition with Grab, its $3 billion rival which recently launched a membership program for its customers in Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia is commonly overlooked in favor of the larger markets of India and China, but it is showing promise for tech companies. The region has a cumulative population of over 600 million which, coupled with growing smartphone sales and an emerging middle class, is tipped to send e-commerce surging. A 2016 report co-authored by Google estimates that e-commerce spending across the region will reach $88 billion by 2025, up from just $5.5 billion in 2015.
Top image: Left to right Roger Egan, Redmart CEO, Alexis Lanternier, Lazada Singapore CEO, and Warren Tseng, general manager of Uber Singapore