Alibaba's e-commerce business unit Taobao Marketplace has begun offering a self pickup service in Singapore to allow online buyers to collect their purchases from selected locations across the island.
Offered in a collaboration with local postal service, SingPost, the self-collection service is available at more than 70 locations — or POPStations — in the country from which Taobao shoppers can choose to pick up goods they purchased from sellers on the e-commerce website.
Alibaba in May said it(US$248.88 million) for a 10.35 percent stake in SingPost, in a deal both companies said could involve setting up a new joint venture related to global e-commerce logistics. The partnership would allow priority to be given to SingPost's logistics services as well as provide Alibaba access to the Singapore postal service provider's global logistics network.
Lim Ann Nee, SingPost's senior vice president of Singapore Parcels, said in the statement that its POPStations offer "secure and convenient 24 by 7 access for parcel collection, at no extra cost". She added that the postal service recently launched a payment service that allows shoppers to pay — via local electronic-payment options, Nets or EZ-Link — when they collect their purchases at the POPStation lockers. Its mobile app also allows shoppers to monitor status of their parcels, be notified when their parcels arrive, as well as unlock the locker remotely, Lim said.
Simon Qi, Taobao International's director of international B2C division, said: "SingPost allows us to provide a convenient, localized service for our Singaporean consumers in locations across the city. We will continue to collaborate in different forms and areas to further improve our platform services and enhance customer satisfaction among local shoppers."
Taobao Marketplace opened itsin September last year, which also serves as its Southeast Asia hub supporting its customers and presence in this region. The company has more than 280,000 registered users here and another 210,000 across the border in Malaysia. Worldwide, the e-commerce site has over 500 million registered users and is the largest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform in China.
Its self-collection service in Singapore isn't the first of its kind, as more e-commerce operators offer a hybrid of brick-and-mortar services. Amazon Locker, for instance, allows customers of the U.S. e-commerce vendor to select a location from which they can pick up their packages.