The new model will help Zalora build a leaner e-commerce model without having to own any inventory. For Rocket Internet, the marketplace model is already gaining momentum with other companies in the portfolio, including Zappos clone Zalando and Lazada.
“We have over 15 million visits to our Zalora sites per month; for an independent fashion seller to have instant access to this kind of audience is a previously unheard of opportunity,” said Magnus Grimeland, MD of Zalora.
Unlike more mature e-commerce markets of U.S. and Europe, where both Amazon and eBay are dominant, markets in South East Asia are still waiting for clear winners. And the marketplace model allows these growing e-commerce firms to address a much bigger opportunity without having to spend much on their own. This is what Zalora said in the statement announcing its move:
ZALORA Marketplace will allow vendors from all over Southeast Asia and Hong Kong to create their own branded storefront within the ZALORA site, which will be run and maintained by the seller with support from a dedicated ZALORA account manager.
For now, Zalora will only focus on its current South East Asian markets apart from Australia and New Zealand (through The Iconic), Grimeland said.
“With our latest investment round and long-term value driven investors, we are very well positioned in the region going forward. Growth is strong and margins are improving rapidly. “