Online retailer Zalora to bring in more new brands [Business Times (Malaysia)]
(Business Times (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) KUALA LUMPUR: The Internet has literally changed the way we live. Some say it has made our lives easier while others would feel it has done more damage than good.
Regardless of the differing views, Internet users worldwide have increased tremendously over the last decade. For example, in Malaysia alone, Internet users are expected to grow from 18 million in 2012 to 25 million in 2015 (based on the Economic Report 2013/2014 that was released last year).
Given that the country's population is currently about 30 million, that is about a 23 per cent growth in three short years.
As the Internet penetration rate is on the rise, many businesses decided to have an online presence as part of their growth strategy and as a means to reach out to more customers both locally and abroad.
The retail industry, for example, has seen such change. Many retailers have now formed a presence online to reach out to a wider market and sell more products.
One such example is Asia's biggest online fashion store, Zalora Malaysia, which has seen a tremendous growth in the country since its official launch in March 2012.
Registered under Jade Services Sdn Bhd, Zalora Malaysia offers a wide range of fashion apparels, accessories and shoes for both women and men.
Althougt the company only has an online presence, the response from the public has been overwhelming.
In the past two years, the online retailer has seen one million unique visitors on its website at an average of two to three times per month.
Zalora Malaysia managing director Giulio Xiloyannis said last year, the company saw its sales grow 400 per cent year-on-year.
Although he did not disclose the sales value, he said the company aims to achieve similar growth this year.
"We saw a nearly 50 per cent growth in December, 100 per cent during the Hari Raya period and 15 to 20 per cent in the other months," Xiloyannis told Business Times last week.
On the online retail industry in Malaysia, Xiloyannis said it is not so different from other countries.
Although the local retail sector offers a wide range of products, it started to see slower sales late last year due to the government subsidy rationalisation measures and the rising cost of living.
However, Xiloyannis said this would not deter customers to shop online, particularly for fashion items, as the online retail market in Malaysia is very small but with huge growth potential.
Moving forward, Zalora Malaysia will focus on bringing in more international and local brands as well as opening new sections, such as Zalora Marketplace, which will allow independent fashion designers and sellers to use Zalora Malaysia's website as a platform to reach out to potential customers.
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