Lemi, a technology company building a digital ecosystem for small local businesses, announced that it is expanding its efforts to bring micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines onto its digital platform to support their recovery efforts from COVID-19.
With the Philippines economy predominantly made up of MSMEs (99.52 percent of total businesses as of 2018) and a high Internet penetration rate among citizens (72.7 percent), Lemi believes that conditions are favorable for MSMEs to embrace digitalization efforts. The company’s suite of digital solutions is expected to supplement ongoing government initiatives to boost digital adoption among MSMEs and help them find new markets for their goods.
The highlight of Lemi’s solutions is a unique gamified loyalty program with tailorable, automated rewards, which will help businesses improve customer engagement and retention. An October 2020 study found that 82 percent of respondents owned loyalty cards and 31 percent used them two to three times a week. However, digitized loyalty programs have expensive set-up fees and monthly subscription or maintenance fees, so these programs usually belong to larger retail players who can afford the significant costs. As Lemi’s offering has no upfront charge and features an intuitive user experience on any mobile device, it helps MSMEs enter the loyalty program space easily and makes them a more attractive option for consumers.
Besides the in-built digital loyalty program, businesses will also obtain free access to other tools when they claim their business page on Lemi. These include an advanced customer relationship management (CRM) system where businesses will be able to send re-engagement gifts to their customers, a custom microsite optimized for search engines (SEO) and cross-platform use, and a digitized coupon creation, selling and tracking system complete with customer success analytics and integrated secure payment systems. While these features are all complimentary, customers who wish to further enhance their services will be able to upgrade their plan to Silver or Gold status and unlock more advanced functions, in-depth analytics and exclusive invitations to industry events.
“Supporting small businesses and authentic experiences is the heart of Lemi and is the reason why we exist – even more so now with COVID-19 taking the greatest toll on them. We realized that accelerating their digitalization would be the first step to helping them survive, and so we developed a suite of digital solutions specifically to help them generate more revenue and connect with their customers during this critical period,” said Cheryl Ng, Founder of Lemi.
With Lemi’s solutions, the digital transformation journey is much more streamlined for MSMEs, as everything from the loyalty program to the chat function will be provided in one comprehensive package. This greatly simplifies the creation of new revenue streams for business owners and enables them to easily build relationships with target audiences. Furthermore, Lemi users will also naturally help amplify an MSME’s reach by recommending them and adding them to their curated lists as they discover new, local experiences.
To help reduce the burden of cost, Lemi does not charge for setup. It earns revenue on a commission model based on economies of scale – it only becomes profitable with mass adoption. Additionally, all profits earned by Lemi will be reinvested into further supporting local businesses in the Philippines.
“The Philippines was a natural focus for us due to the sheer volume of MSMEs who could benefit from our solutions, which meant we could help more people. The high digital literacy and smartphone usage among Filipinos is also encouraging – this digital maturity means that MSMEs who make the shift will be able to reap the benefits of digitalization very quickly. We look forward to helping Philippine MSMEs narrow the digital divide through our services,” Ms. Ng concluded.
Thus far, Lemi users have recommended over 3000 businesses in the Philippines. The company aims to formally onboard 1000 partner MSMEs and expects mid-double-digit month-on-month growth in the Philippines by mid-2021. It also hopes to expand its network regionally and bring its digital offerings to MSMEs across Southeast Asia in the future.