Alibaba’s Lazada Launches the First Real Amazon Prime Competitor With LiveUp

LiveUp

This is very interesting news: Alibaba’s Lazada last week launched LiveUp, a subscription service that combines perks from several different services.

Tech in Asia:

Lazada announced today the launch of a new membership program in collaboration with its recent acquisition, online grocery delivery service Redmart. The program, called LiveUp, will bring the two companies together with four more international online brands: Taobao Collection, Netflix, Uber, and UberEats.

LiveUp will pool together benefits from the Alibaba-owned ecommerce website and all the other services. It’s subscription-based, with an annual fee of about US$36. To start with, the subscription will be offered at US$21.

LiveUp is aimed at “online lifestyle natives”, as the companies call them. Customers who do a lot of different things online.

LiveUp is available in Singapore now. The companies already plan to expand the service to other countries. It makes sense to roll this out fast: Bringing LiveUp to South-East Asia before Amazon launches its services and Amazon Prime in those markets brings with it a significant first-mover advantage. Amazon recently postponed its entry to those markets.

Here are the launch partners and perks via LiveUp’s FAQ section:

RedMart

5% off total order value charged in rebates.
Member-only promotions

Lazada Singapore

Free shipping, always
Enjoy 10% rebate* on any and every purchase (*10% rebate until 30 June as a launch promotion, 5% rebate after 30 June, 2017. Rebates will be in the form of rebates which you can use for your next order, capped at S$50.)

TaoBao Collection

Free delivery on every order from Taobao Collection (taobao.lazada.sg)

Netflix

Enjoy 6 months of Netflix included with your LiveUp annual membership (First 2 months activated at start of LiveUp free trial, next 4 months upon continuing with LiveUp paid membership)

Uber

Get S$10 off every 10th ride, up to 12x per year
Enjoy exclusive Uber VIP access in Singapore
UberEATS
Refunded* delivery fee for orders over S$35 (*Up to 4x per month)

Do look out for more partners who will continuously be added.

We have been talking for a long time now about how online retailers need to find answers to Amazon Prime, a uniquely industry-crossing bundle that poses a challenge to properly compete with.

Sensible answers obviously differ from company to company, depending on the market context. But it was always striking to us that no one ever tried to compete with the Prime bundle by using a more modularized model.

Jet.com was one candidate we thought would go that route. Jet.com already started with a membership fee model (like Costco). Why not add perks like video streaming from partners (hulu in the US would have been an obvious partner for example) to differentiate oneselfs offer? Why not attack Amazon’s vertically integrated subscription bundle with a marketplace approach? Didn’t matter: Jet.com almost immediately after launch killed its membership fees. Then, after Walmart bought Jet.com, we thought Walmart surely, with a renamed ShippingPass maybe, would start competing with Amazon Prime. Nope, ShippingPass is gone.

With the launch of ‘Subscribe With Amazon’, a new self-service marketplace for subscriptions, Amazon has laid the groundwork for building a massive subscription business in the future, as we analyzed yesterday.

It does not look like Walmart realizes what is coming.

But Alibaba, at least, might.

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5 comments

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