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Lazada Sellers in Singapore Find Store Bug Cancelled Orders

Sellers in Singapore using the online retail service Lazada found that it wrongly cancelled several orders between 17 and 21 March 2022. Some sellers discovered the anomaly and raised the issue on social media, including Facebook groups. The e-commerce company attributed this anomaly to “an operational error” and told a local media outlet that they would take steps to avoid such incidents happening again.

Lazada Singapore home page

Today Online reported that a seller received a message from Lazada, which is owned by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, on 21 March 2022 saying that the company was looking into an “early order cancellation anomaly” that happened over the weekend. The news spread throughout the Singapore seller community, with people taking to social media to air their grievances. A Facebook group for Singaporean Lazada third-party retailers was flooded with posts from members describing their situation.

Online retail portals like Lazada and Shopee act as go-betweens for shoppers and sellers, which may include large name-brand companies and small one-person operations. These sites receive money from customers who want to buy goods and hand them to sellers who distribute them. Normally the process goes smoothly, but in the event a transaction does not go through, the money is refunded to the customer’s preferred payment medium. Some of these events include customer order cancellations or delivery issues.

Because of this automatic cancellation bug, however, some sellers noted that their orders were already out for delivery and worried about whether their goods would be returned, if at all. They also raised concerns that they would lose the money spent on labour and marketing thanks to the cancelled orders. Another concern that has been raised is that customers would not be able to recover money saved through e-vouchers because refunds are usually given for money actually spent.

Facebook post by concerned Lazada seller
Social media post by concerned Lazada seller (Credit: Facebook/Today Online

Lazada told Today Online that they took these cancelled orders seriously, and promised that this anomaly would not happen again. They would issue vouchers to affected customers and help sellers recover any potential losses. However, this was not the only incident affecting online retailers this week. Lazada’s leading competitor Shopee’s platform was down on Tuesday, 21 March 2022, with sellers reporting that they could not process orders for five hours.

Lazada is one of the largest players in Southeast Asia’s very competitive e-commerce market, which has seen massive gains thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report from TechCrunch, the company made US$21 billion in 2021 and had 130 million customers that year, an all-time high for the online retailer. Moreover, the company is working with 922,000 sellers every month, double the number a year ago. Roughly half of these sellers are in China.

This incident comes as Lazada is marking its 10th anniversary this month since it was founded under the Rocket Internet umbrella in Singapore. Alibaba acquired the company in 2016. As Lazada grew, it encouraged major brands to sell on the platform under LazMall, giving customers a chance to buy from reputable companies. Lazada is celebrating this anniversary with sale events in its various markets.

  • Lazada Singapore sellers reported that their orders were automatically cancelled by the e-commerce platform from 17 to 21 March 2022, as confirmed by the company.

  • The cancelled and unfulfilled Lazada orders led to money returning to customers and sellers being concerned about lost revenues.

  • This incident comes as Lazada celebrates its tenth anniversary, punctuated by record customer and seller numbers.

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