By Arra B. Francia, Reporter
ONLINE fashion retailer Zalora Philippines said more Filipinos are getting more accustomed to buying fashion items online, noting that its platform has grown tenfold since it was first introduced in the Philippines.
“The growth is tremendous and accelerating, in line with the overall growth with digital usage… For peak days we get up to half a billion unique visits a day… It’s grown tenfold from the first year and it continues to grow,” Zalora Philippines Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Paulo L. Campos III said in an interview on the sidelines of a private equity forum in Makati last week.
The increase in site visitors is complemented by the length of time customers spend browsing for products, which Mr. Campos said indicates a shift in customer behavior.
“We’re seeing a shift in the customer behavior, if you see the usage statistics on our app, 75% of our business is from the mobile app. And we see them visiting multiple times a day, session times are increasing. So people are really getting habituated now to shopping for fashion online,” he explained.
“Not only are our customers more engaged by spending time and buying more, but (there are) more customers overall. Visits are growing,” he added.
Zalora Philippines’ mobile app alone has already been downloaded seven million times, according to Mr. Campos.
With this, the executive said Zalora would have to strengthen its partnership with retailers to meet the demand for more products.
Zalora Philippines currently has over a thousand brands across different fashion items such as clothes, shoes, and accessories available on its website.
“We have partnerships with large companies such as SSI (Group, Inc.), Bench, Penshoppe, Golden ABC Group, Primer… These are really the ones fuelling our growth, so we’re working with them closely, it’s a big priority to meet the drastic increase in demand,” Mr. Campos said.
Zalora Philippines is also working with small to medium enterprises and entrepreneurs to help them introduce their products on the online platform. Mr. Campos noted that about 50% of their sales come from homegrown brands, presenting up and coming designers and entrepreneurs an avenue to sell their products without having to spend money for a physical store.
The company is also looking at establishing more pop-up stores across different Ayala Malls in line with its partnership with the Ayala Group. Zalora Philippines currently has two pop-up stores located in Greenbelt 5 and Glorietta where customers try out items found on the website and also pick up their online purchases.
“The plan would be to, on a case by case basis, launch new ones especially to feature new brands and new partnerships. It’s our way to highlight a certain portion of our inventory such as the exclusive brand we carry, like when Abercrombie and Fitch was first sold here in the Philippines,” Mr. Campos said.