App allows Singaporeans to buy from stores in Bangkok

A man wearing a sign promoting the Zilingo app on Orchard Road, Singapore.
A man wearing a sign promoting the Zilingo app on Orchard Road, Singapore. PHOTO: ZILINGO/ FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER)- Shopaholics here can now get a Bangkok shopping experience - minus the heat and the crowds.

Online retailer Zilingo has partnered more than 2,000 small enterprises in Bangkok and Singapore that sell apparel, accessories, bags, shoes and lifestyle products to over half a million active users.

The Bangkok-based site, which was launched in January, is the brainchild of Ms Ankiti Bose, Zilingo's chief executive officer, and Mr Dhruv Kapoor, Zilingo's chief technical officer. Both are Indian expatriates living in Bangkok.

Ms Bose told The New Paper via e-mail: "We saw an opportunity to bring real value to thousands of smaller sellers who don't have the resources to create an online presence for themselves.

"People love to shop in Bangkok, yet these sellers are completely offline at the moment."

With Zilingo, sellers can sign up directly to sell their products, although registration for both buyers and sellers is currently limited to those living in Singapore and Thailand.

The products will go straight from the buyer to the seller.

Ms Bose said: "Anyone can register and sell on Zilingo, we don't discriminate across looks or price points.

"We don't, however, allow counterfeit products and have very strict policies against them."

Ms Bose's first shopping experience in Bangkok in 2014 was the inspiration for the website.

As a shopper, she wanted to be able to visit the city's small independent sellers online, which sparked the idea for Zilingo.

All the Thai brands on Zilingo cannot be found in Singapore.

They include Jipata Swimwear, which sells handmade swimming apparel, and Blood B Plus Jewellery, which offers unique and modern accessories.

The company hopes to be the go-to website for shops across South-east Asia, but it started with Bangkok because of the city's reputation as a fashion hub.

"We think the e-commerce market potential is quite large, both on the seller and buyer side," said Ms Bose.

"We know so many people who just come down to Bangkok to shop, and now they can do that (with this) app."

SINGAPOREAN BRANDS

The site also carries Singaporean brands sold at young, hip spots such as Haji Lane and Bugis Street.

These include Lead Design, which sells framed typography, and watch brand Shoplavotre.

Zilingo's founders say it took six months to build the website's pool of 2,000 sellers.

Seller Chanel Wong of online beauty brand Mybeautystory said: "(Zilingo's) seller interface is very user-friendly and always improving... In addition, the courier service is efficient, friendly and accommodating."

Ms Emily Goh, founder of apparel brand Sophialuv, whose products are also on Zilingo, said her brand's partnership with Zilingo has "resulted in higher conversion online".

Shop online for Korean products

Shopping websites selling make-up and skincare products from South Korea are popular among Singaporeans. These are two sites that offer Korean products not found in bricks-and-mortar shops here.

Hush (hush.sg)

Hush sells Korean bath, make-up and skincare products from brands such as Nature Republic and Aritaum, that are not sold at shops here.

They also carry Korean brands familiar to Singaporeanssuch as Iope, Innisfree and Dr Jart.

Hermo (hermo.my)

Similar to Hush, Hermo, which was started in Malaysia, sells bath, make-up and skincare products from South Korea.

Their best-selling brands include April Skin, 3CE, Memebox and Holika Holika.