CapitaLand links with Alibaba, Lazada Singapore

CapitaLand is advancing its omni-channel strategy by forging an alliance with Lazada Singapore, and has also signed an agreement to manage Alibaba Shanghai Center, comprising four office towers and a retail podium.

Photo 1_Alibaba Shanghai Center_exterior

Photo 2_Alibaba Shanghai Center_plaza

Its China project is the start of a strategic collaboration between the Singapore-based real estate group and Alibaba Group, Asia’s largest e-commerce company, to reinvent modern retail through the seamless integration of offline and online (O&O) channels.

CapitaLand’s Singapore deal involves an agreement to launch an exclusive online mall on Lazada Singapore, which is part of Lazada Group, Southeast Asia’s largest e-commerce platform, now essentially controlled by Alibaba. The shop-in-shop on Lazada.sg will position CapitaLand as Singapore’s first omni-channel retail landlord connecting retailers to shoppers both offline and online, complemented by a world-first in-mall collection service for shoppers.

CapitaLand store on Lazada SG

“Even as new technologies disrupt traditional business models, real estate remains an important part of a holistic customer journey, as affirmed by leading digital players who are seeking to gain a foothold in the physical space,” says CapitaLand president/group CEO Lim Ming Yan.

He says he foresees win-win outcomes for all parties as strategic alliances are forged to future-enable properties and support retailers in embracing an omni-channel business model.

“The key to unlocking the next stage of growth lies in blending physical and digital channels to create a seamless O&O experience for the customer.

“We will continue to leverage digital tools and partner disruptors to strengthen our customer engagement, embrace smart building technologies to uplift the quality of our built environment, and harness data to enhance customer experience at our properties.”

Supports Smart Nation

The Lazada deal supports the Smart Nation push to reinvent retail. CapitaLand will launch a shop-in-shop aggregating the offerings of retailers in its Singapore malls on Lazada.sg by the end of the year.

Shoppers at the CapitaLand official store on Lazada.sg will have the option to collect their purchases in CapitaLand malls, and in so doing so will be rewarded with membership points in the CapitaStar loyalty program.

Initially CapitaLand will roll out two unmanned click-and-collect lounges at Plaza Singapura and Bugis+ for shoppers to collect purchases or make returns. As well as collection lockers, the lounges will have fitting rooms and a product-testing bench.

“As the owner and manager of Singapore’s largest network of shopping malls, we have embarked on creating a digital channel that supports our mall tenants in tapping the growth potential of e-commerce,” says CapitaLand Mall Asia CEO Jason Leow.

By enabling shoppers to collect online purchases in its malls, last-mile delivery costs for retailers will be reduced in the long run.

“Also, our retailers will enjoy comprehensive marketing support in the physical and digital space and get a leg-up in their e-commerce business.”

Shoppers will not only have the option of click-and-collect, but benefit from free delivery and have 14 days to make returns, says Lazada Singapore CEO Alexis Lanternier.

“This partnership is an important step for Lazada to expand our network of partners as we evolve the e-commerce ecosystem in Singapore.”

Both CapitaLand and Lazada will help onboard retailers and promote the platform to shoppers, with the intention of rapidly scaling up the initiative in the next two years.

‘Bricks and clicks’

Under its contract with Alibaba, CapitaLand will oversee the pre-opening and management of the shopping podium and one of the four office towers in Alibaba Shanghai Center, which has a total gross floor area (GFA), excluding car park, of about 80,000 sqm. The four-storey shopping podium – three levels above ground and one basement level – takes up about 20,000 sqm.

Alibaba Shanghai Center is strategically located in the northern core of Shanghai’s Hongqiao CBD, less than 2km from Hongqiao Transportation Hub. Scheduled to open next year, the retail component serves working professionals and residents of the mid- and high-end housing zones nearby.

Leow says the company and Alibaba will jointly explore the possibilities of combining “bricks with clicks”, starting with Alibaba Shanghai Center, and creating O&O experiences.

Alibaba Group’s head of intelligent building, Wang Tao, says Shanghai is an important platform and the group’s headquarters there will serve as a strategic nerve centre for rolling out Alibaba’s New Retail strategy.

“We believe our collaboration will chart new frontiers in integrating online, offline, logistics and data across a single value chain to meet the needs of consumers.”

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