By Arra B. Francia, Senior Reporter

ONLINE fashion retailer Zalora Philippines (ZPH) is projecting a 50% annual growth in sales for the next five years as it sees more Filipinos shifting to online shopping.

“We will end the year with more than 50% growth year on year, and we expect that trajectory to continue,” Zalora Group Chief Executive Officer Gunjan Soni told BusinessWorld on the sidelines of a company event last week, referring to the group’s operations in the Philippines.

Aside from the Philippines, Zalora also has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

ZPH President and Chief Executive Officer Paolo L. Campos III expressed confidence the growth will continue for the next five years, given Filipinos’ increasing preference for online shopping.

“We actually see that trend continuing in terms of very high double-digit growth for at least the next five years. We don’t see growth tapering, we see it sustaining at the very high double-digit level,” Mr. Campos said in a separate interview.

The ZPH top executive added that sales events, such as the 11/11 shopping event in November and 12/12 sale in December, helped boost volumes by five to 10 times compared to a normal day.

E-commerce adoption is also seen to accelerate. Ms. Soni said that e-commerce adoption in the Philippines is currently at two percent, much lower compared to the United States which is already at 25%.

“We think that the Philippines is going to get there in a far more accelerated way because already the Philippines is number one when it comes to time spent on social media,” she said.

On the other hand, the group is also looking to introduce what it calls a country-agnostic shipping strategy, which will allow customers to choose products from both local and international players.

“One of the propositions we expect to be able to bring is that we will be able to allow them (retailers) to enlist with us, it will not just be listed for the Philippines but listed for all markets. This will allow them to market there, and we will support that growth and expansion,” Ms. Soni explained.

This strategy will also promote new talent and designers in the platform, as they will be able to export their creations to other countries as well.

ZPH recently broke ground for its newest fulfillment center on a 3.7-hectare property in Muntinlupa City. The facility will have 40,000 square meters of racking space and a 7.2-million item storage capacity, on top of 5,000 sq.m of office space for its customer service and e-production teams.