Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Have you heard about zalora.com ?

One of the things I miss about California is the online shopping.  With websites like amazon.com and retailers like Best Buy, Costco, Cabelas, and even eBay, etc., I would venture that I do nearly all of my non-grocery shopping online.  The sites that I order from typically offer some kind of free or discounted shipping right to my door and I can browse and order any time of the day or night right from the comfort of my home desktop.

Online shopping is still at its infancy here in Thailand.  Aside from the language factor, many expats and even locals worry about the integrity and security of the sites and whether or not they will get their merchandise after paying with all their private credit card info.  And what if the item you bought isn't right?  What is the return policy and how do you get a refund or exchange on the item?  How long will it take for delivery and can we track its delivery like we do in the states?  So the issues are numerous and deter most from participating.


Via a reader of this blog, I was contacted and introduced to Zalora.com.  This site is an online retailer that is striving to become the dominant online fashion retailer of Southeast Asia/Australia/New Zeland.  That is a big piece of pie to bite off.  Retail - Asia - Fashion - all must equate to tons of quality inventory choices and very deep pockets.  So out of curiosity I took a closer look and here is what I found that made them different:

Rocket Internet
Zalora is based in Singapore and has divisions in 11 countries, including most of Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand.  The parent of Zalora is Rocket Internet, a German company which has 30,000 employees and is a publicly traded company that controls business interests all around the world.  Link to companies here.  The reason I mention all of this is that this company is not going to disappear on you after you place your order.  They are big, have deep pockets, and because of their size, they can have a large inventory of brand name products ( i.e. Nike, Converse, Casio, etc.) to offer.  They can also provide the security and integrity for your sale and customer service after the sale is completed.

Another selling point to me is that they offer free shipping above 690 baht ($20), accept CODs,  and provide a 30 day free return policy.  For those that shop in the land of smiles, returns are usually not accepted and once you leave the store...its your problem if things don't fit, break, or not what you expected.  They even have pickup and payment at 7Eleven as an option!

One thing to make clear is that Zalora is not a discount merchandise site.  It offers competitive prices to the department stores and specialty shops, but they do offer fashionable merchandise and brand name products that are genuine and in sufficient inventory in the right size and style for your needs.  Their products are trendy and targeted to a  younger crowd that are into the latest fashions but there is something for everyone.  If you have a wife or girl friend that is into fashion trends, it might be a way to save a few baht.  They are not as cheap as the US websites, but you don't have to pay the extra shipping charges, import taxes, and go through the hassle of customs clearance, etc.


I had a chance to order a pair of their Zalora foldable sneakers from them this week.  What intrigued me about these shoes was that they could be neatly folded up almost flat and put into a suitcase or bag and take up very little weight and space.  This is an idea travel or vacation sneaker for walking around, going to the beach, and just hanging out. It has real rubber non-slip soles and the netting provides ventilation for hot weather like we have here in Thailand and it looks fashionable enough to wear almost anywhere for dinner.   Three colors available here: http://en.zalora.co.th/men/shoes/sneakers/.  Cost is less than $10 USD (339 baht) on sale.  Tried them on today for errands and they seem comfortable enough...will do more testing and maybe a followup post later.

One last thing.  They are offering 'pop up' stores in a number of cities where limited merchandise with all sizes and colors of their products are available for inspection and fitting.  You can't buy the merchandise in the store, but instead can order and have the product delivered to your doorstep.  Neat concept of try before you buy on the internet !

Check them out.  at http://en.zalora.co.th/men/ for more info.



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