18 May 17 The Straits Times by LEE XIN EN
Online shopping platform Lazada Singapore has moved its warehouse operations to the SingPost Regional eCommerce Logistics Hub in Tampines in a bid to streamline its e-commerce and logistics efforts.
The move also signals Chinese tech titan Alibaba's growing ambitions to capture the South-east Asian consumer market, as both companies - Lazada and SingPost - have received significant investments from Alibaba.
The hub, within the Tampines Logistics Park, integrates both warehousing and delivery capabilities, and will improve efficiency and hasten turnaround times, said Lazada in a press release yesterday.
Mr Alexis Lanternier, chief executive of Lazada Singapore, said that the move was a "natural step" for "closer integration with our partners to better serve the needs of Singapore customers".
He said the move also helps the company to be adequately prepared for the Great Singapore Sale, which will start on June 6.
"We are bringing in more brands than ever before, local and global. Customers can shop more with the confidence that their orders will be processed and delivered faster," he said.
Mr Sam Ang, executive vice-president of SingPost and chief executive of Quantium Solutions International, said that the collaboration will "result in scale and efficiencies" for both companies.
"These efficiencies will help the SME e-tailers that are connected with the Lazada platform to strengthen their competitiveness in the e-commerce market domestically and internationally," he added. Both Lazada and SingPost are backed by Alibaba.
The Chinese tech titan spent US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) last year to acquire a controlling stake in Lazada, which was started in 2012 and operates in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Alibaba also raised its stake in SingPost in January this year to 14.4 per cent, signalling its ambitions to expand into the Asean consumer market.
In March, it unveiled its first collaboration with Lazada - a dedicated website for consumers here to buy directly from Taobao, Alibaba's largest shopping platform.
The site, known as Taobao Collection, is translated into English and aims at solving difficulties which shoppers have when shopping on Taobao - such as ease of payment methods, shipping options and language issues as the Taobao site is in the Chinese language.
Alibaba's strategic moves come as United States retail giant Amazon is said to be expanding into the Asean region soon.