Okay, so you’ve probably never heard of Lazada but that’s just because your based in the US or Europe, if you live in Asia you’ve definitely heard of it. While Amazon may have built a huge market in the US, Lazada is building an eCommerce giant in Asia that really is “the biggest online shopping mall” for the region.
While Amazon branched-out to cover things like hosting Lazada is staying laser-focused on commerce, and it’s working. While the front page of the site might not resonate with you personally it does fit the target audience, which is growing like crazy.
It can be all too easy to think that since sites like Amazon have taken-off here that people around the world must also be incredibly comfortable with eCommerce. Sorry but that’s just not true. Just like people were afraid to buy things online when Amazon first started, so are people in Southeast Asia where the concept of buying things online is relatively new.
“Southeast Asia is notoriously difficult for e-commerce. A majority of shopping still happens offline and many people don’t have credit cards, or are wary of using them on the Internet. However like most emerging markets, the millions of people, rapidly increasing smartphone penetration, and growing population of young and middle class people create tremendous opportunities for e-commerce.” (Source – VentureBeat)
Last week Southeast Asian Fashion retailer Zalora raised a whopping $112M. Yes, there’s something going on here and what we’re seeing in Southeast Asia is going to happen all over the world.
The question in my mind, as should be in all of your minds is how can all of us be a part of it? Now I’m not recommending you go start a business in a market you’re unfamiliar with, but I am saying that the more we can embrace countries that are just starting to get comfortable with the Internet and the concept of eCommerce, the bigger we can grow the world economy.
It’s easy to focus just on what’s happening in your country, especially when you’re in the US. Let’s just not forget that we are only a few hundred million in a planet of 6+ billion people. Ready to change the world? Just remember that Amazon may be an eCommerce giant here and Google may be a search mega-giant but across the globe sites like Baidu and Lazada are doing the same, just for a different group of people.
I think the folks over at .ASIA saw this coming years ago, I’ve been a fan of the TLD and I think it’s going to be one of the big winners over the next ten years as the rest of the world starts coming online the same way the US did over the last ten years. No, I don’t think you should buy a bunch of .ASIA domains hoping to get rich but I do think that as more and more companies in Asia embrace the Internet .ASIA is going to see a huge influx of registrations and really become the go-to domain for the region.
In the US we have .COM and there’s no doubt in my mind that it will continue to be an incredibly powerful TLD. However venture far beyond our borders in a world where .CN and .JP are the norm and .ASIA just might be the TLD that unifies a part of the world that is just starting to get comfortable with the idea of shopping online.
What do you think? As always I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!