Zalora Joins the Islamic Fashion Boom
According to 2013 data from the Indonesia E-Commerce Association , or idEA, e-commerce transactions in Indonesia that year stood at around $ 8 million.
Some 74 million Indonesians, or 30 percent of the population, use the Internet regularly. But currently, only 7 percent of the country’s Internet users make online transactions — the rest are unfamiliar with e-commerce or don’t trust it yet.
That, however, is expected to change.
“We believe that in the next five-to 10 years, e-commerce in Indonesia will grow 50-100 times,” said, Fredrik Thomassen, chief executive of Zalora Indonesia, an online fashion retailer based in Singapore which operates across Southeast Asia.
Its Indonesian unit, Zalora.co.id, was launched in March 2012 and only continues to grow, said Thomassen
“Zalora is growing incredibly well in Indonesia, much faster than what we could have hoped for,” he said.
“We see that the market has passed the inflection point and there is a wave of growth coming in.
“A lot more people are going online. Indonesia’s [gross domestic product] is growing. People are getting richer and then they start to buy online.”
The CEO claimed the site is currently ranked number one in Indonesia’s online fashion market.
Zalora Indonesia has more than 800 brands, of which 750 are local. One of the leading categories is Muslim wear, which “has grown at least [five fold] since last year,” said Thomassen.
Anthony Fung, the retailer’s managing director of buying, added: “More than 15 percent of our revenue comes from Muslim wear,” of which Zalora offers more than 100 brands by local designers.
“We’re very focused as a local company, bringing local brands and local designers online,” Fung said.
“There is a huge demand for Muslim wear in Indonesia,” said Fung. “So, we will continue to work with local designers to provide a wide variety of clothing items and accessories.
“It’s all about being the fashion destination for Muslim wear in Indonesia.”
The online retailer recently announced its collaboration with three leading designers or Islamic fashion: Jenahara Nasution, Restu Anggraini and Ria Miranda.
“These designers offer the whole spectrum of elegance, edginess, a good [combination of] colors and versatility,” Thomassen explained.
The three designers created a Spring/Summer 2015 collection exclusively for Zalora Indonesia.
For Jenahara and Ria Miranda, this is their second collaboration with Zalora Indonesia; their first was to mark Idul Fitri last year.
“Sales were very good last year,” Ria said. “It’s because Zalora had great promotional strategies and their website is really easy to access.”
This year, “[Zalora and I] conducted more in-depth research before creating the collection,” the 29-year-old said. “We went through their customer profiles to find out what shoppers really want.”
The result was showcased in a fashion show at high-end eatery Potato Head Garage, South Jakarta.
Ria’s collection consisted of loose-fitted tops, A-line skirts and flowy outerwear in soft pastel colors.
“The collection is pretty basic and much simpler than my usual designs, so every item can be easily mixed and matched,” Ria said. “I hope these clothes can cater to a wider market segment.”
In the same fashion show, Jenahara presented her collection, “Natural.”
“Bold colors are my signature [style],” she said. “But in this collection, I also use a lot of earth tones, such as khaki, dark brown, black and white.”
The line consists of simple, clean-cut items, including mullet tops, and streamlined skirts and dresses that can also be easily mixed and matched.
“The clothes can be worn by both Muslim and non-Muslim [women],” Jenahara added.
For Restu, the project is her first collaboration with an online retailer.
“I’m so happy to be able to work with Zalora Indonesia,” Restu said. “They’re one of the main [online] stores in Indonesia and have a huge customer base.”
Her collection, “Minimalist,” consists of 50 Muslim work wear for women.
“Work attire for Muslim women is quite different: it is more loose-fitted and is meant to hide any curves,” Restu said.
“Minimalist” is made of shirts with puffed sleeves, tailored pants, A-line skirts and jackets made of cotton, rayon and jersey. The latter are adorned with elbow-high slits that allow more movement for the wearer.
Restu is optimistic that e-commerce will help boost Indonesia’s fashion industry.
“I believe e-commerce offers huge potentials for [Indonesian] fashion designers,” she said. “These days, the traffic jams in large cities are so bad that people prefer to buy their clothes online.”
All three collections are readily available at Zalora.co.id and are priced between Rp 299,000 and Rp 699,000 ($23-$54).
The retailer plans to expand its collection of Muslim wear five fold by the end of this year, while targeting a 25-fold increase by June 2016.
“Twenty-five times [growth] in two years is very exciting,” Thomassen said.
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Source: The Jakarta Globe