FASHION and lifestyle e-commerce platform Zilingo has launched a business-to-business portal to help MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) “[scale] up their businesses efficiently,” according to its Philippine executives.

“Zilingo is re-imagining the entire supply chain and aggregating all parties within the same platform by offering services and software that can help businesses do better,” Sheila Mauricio, head of sales and business development at Zilingo Philippines, said in a statement.

The new portal, called Zilingo B2B, allows retailers and manufacturers access to Zilingo Asia Mall, a global marketplace for fashion and lifestyle items. Ms. Mauricio likened Asia Mall to China’s Alibaba but focused on sourcing fashion and lifestyle items.

“Southeast Asia is the fashion hub of the world — this is where most of the clothes are made,” Ms. Mauricio told BusinessWorld during an event on Feb. 7 at the Chateau 1771 Restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.

Aside from the marketplace, Zilingo B2B also offers cataloging, marketing, and financial services.

“We [offer] everything a business might need to scale up in this platform,” Ms. Mauricio said.

Their cataloging services allows businesses to bring their items to the Zilingo office in BGC or to their third-party partners for the items to be photographed and compiled into a catalog.

“For a small retailer who is just starting out, cataloging will cost upwards of P20,000 since they’ll be hiring photographers, but with this service we charge starting at P100 per item,” Ryza Dipatuan-Razo, Zilingo marketing director, said in the same event.

For flat photos without models, Zilingo charges P100 per item but for catalogs with models, they charge P200.

Zilingo also handles sourcing for items as they are currently growing a supply team which will onboard manufacturers for sellers.

“We expect to introduce a hundred sellers this year on the supply side,” Ms. Mauricio said.

But if retailers can’t find suppliers locally, a team will assist them in sourcing their items in other places like Bangladesh or Vietnam.

The platform also offers financial services via a pay-later scheme once businesses place their orders on Asia Mall.

“Our interest rates are much lower than the banks, we charge less than 1% per month interest,” Ms. Mauricio said.

The service, which launched in 2017 in markets like Indonesia, accounts for a majority of Zilingo’s overall revenue, something they hope to replicate in the Philippines.

“The good thing about our service is there’s no exclusivity: you can buy from Asia Mall or use our cataloging or marketing service and you can sell in other platforms like Lazada or Shopee,” Ms. Mauricio said before noting that this is one of the biggest draws of the service.

Indonesia is currently their biggest market for B2B and Ms. Mauricio said the Philippines is poised to become second once the B2B business is fully operational.

“Judging from how fast we’ve grown our business-to-consumer platform (, we’re optimistic in the growth of our B2B business,” she said.

Zilingo’s retail platform launched in February last year in the country. The platform is currently in the US, and in Hong Kong, Bangladesh, Vietnam, among other Asian countries. — Zsarlene B. Chua