Online fashion retailer Zalora has launched Singapore's first cash-on-collection service with a convenience store chain--a popular model prevalent in markets like Taiwan, and Japan.
Under the pilot project, customers can now choose to pay for and collect their deliveries at participating 7-Eleven stores across the country, according to a statement on Wednesday.
This potentially opens up a new market such as those without credit cards, and provides the round-the-clock accessibility for customers unable to accept deliveries at home during the day. The move follows a similar one by e-tailer Qoo10 in Singapore, which was limited only to facilitating cash payment collection. Last month, Amazon partnered FamilyMart in Shanghai, allowing customers to pay for and pick up their goods.
"This is an exciting step for us as it can help those still apprehensive about online shopping get over that initial barrier. We hope that this collaboration can help us grow the market by increasing consumer confidence in e-commerce efficiencies," said Amanda Eng, marketing director for Zalora Singapore.
If successful, the service will be expanded across all 570 stores islandwide. The current 19 available for the pilot include Pasir Ris MRT, Causeway Point, Clementi Mall, 313@Somerset and Serangoon Central Mall.
New US$100 million injection
Zalora has separately announced it secured a US$100 million new round of funding, representing one of the largest e-commerce investments in Southeast Asia.
It said the new capital will support efforts to scale up operations and gain an even stronger foothold in Southeast Asia. This includes expanding its current portfolio of 500 local and international brands.
Earlier this month, the store delivered its one millionth order since its launch just over a year ago. Zalora is backed by incubator Rocket Internet, which is known for making its fortunes by rapidly cloning ideas of successful companies in new markets before profitably selling them off.
Zalora made a net loss of 70 million euros (US$91 million) in 2012, according to a report by SGE. This was on the back of revenue of 48 million euros (US$62.5 million).