You may or may not have noticed it, but last month, popular online fashion retailer Zalora added a new category tab to its offerings. So along with categories such as "Clothing", "Shoes", "Accessories", "Sports" and "Beauty", you can now find "Essential Supplies".
Yes, in a time when few are going out and even fewer are dressing up, the regional fashion player has wisely pivoted to serve up pandemic essentials such as masks and sanitisers, household essentials like laundry detergent and dishwashing liquid, health supplies such as vitamins and supplements and a selection of food from snacks and pasta to baking supplies and alcohol. There are also baby supplies and plenty of beauty products.
The offerings are under Zmart, which has tied up with various suppliers which can benefit from Zalora's reach, marketing efforts and supply and delivery systems. Christopher Daguimol, Director of Brand Communications at Zalora, tells 8days.sg, "We introduced the Essentials category in April. As a 'data first, then fashion' company, we have been capitalising on our data to gain insights on geo segmentation, buying behaviour and assortment. During this Circuit Breaker period, one of the first things we noticed was a marked increase in demand amongst consumers for basic necessities and home essentials. As an e-commerce player with deep logistics capabilities, we leveraged our sophisticated supply chain network across the region to launch the Essentials category to meet our customers’ current needs, and I’m proud to share that it has been positively received thus far.
"Working with reputable partners such as Corlison, Legendairy Milk SG, Lifetrons SG, Decks Pte Ltd, Allstar Marketplace, Prestigio Delights, Bloom Concept, The Cocoa Trees, Vitakids, The Nurturing Co and more, we have been offering products across Food, Personal Care and Pharmaceuticals, that include hand sanitisers, face masks, detergents, health supplements, food and snacks. As we continue to monitor the situation, we will continuously review and add to the category where necessary, to provide access to these products, supporting our customers and the wider community."
For fans of Zalora's fashion offerings, don't worry — their usual trendy dresses and accessories are all still available. Christopher tells us, " Although we have recently pivoted towards growing categories like home and personal care essentials, we believe that consumers will continue to shop for fashion and lifestyle products. We have also noticed that the types of fashion products that customers are shopping for now have changed during this period. For example, as more people stay at home, we have seen an uptick in demand for sports and loungewear offerings. To address this, we have been working closely with our brand partners across the region to expand the assortment of these items so as to continue delivering the best in-class shopping experience to all our customers. We've also included a CSR component, donating masks and funds to the Singapore Red Cross."
So now you know — one more great option for all your Circuit Breaker needs as we power through one more month. Don't expect a huge selection like the online supermarkets, though. There are mostly just a few products under each category. Like "pasta and noodles", which has four SKUs from two different brands and "baking" (seven SKUs from a handful of brands). The snack department is well-stocked, though, with a good variety of chips, candy, chocs and nuts. Many of the products are premium offerings, with organic and vegan options from smaller and more specialised and indie labels, which sets Zmart apart from the supermarkets, thanks to their partnerships with organic and health food suppliers.
Watch out for the delivery charges, though. We tried to buy snacks, wine and face masks, which are all supplied by different merchants. You need to hit $50 spend with each merchant to get free delivery, otherwise it's $4.90 per merchant. So if you're buying from a few different merchants, the delivery charges can really add up. If you're purchasing a lot of snacks from, say, The Cocoa Trees, which is one of the bigger merchants on Zmart, then no problem.
Check out the offerings at www.zalora.sg/essentials.