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todayonline - 27 days ago

Robot vacuum cleaners, frozen mala crayfish top Singaporeans’ shopping carts on Singles’ Day

SINGAPORE — What do kitchen towels, robot vacuum cleaners and frozen mala crayfish have in common? These are among the most popular things bought by Singaporeans on Singles’ Day (Nov 11) across several platforms. Other items most purchased by Singaporeans on that day are the Xiaomi Mi Body Composition 2 weighing scale, Colgate oral care, Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and Nintendo Switch gaming console. On China’s Alibaba, the platform that started Singles’ Day, one of the top items bought by Singaporeans is a three-day two-night stay in Chimelong Hotel in Guangzhou. E-commerce powerhouses Qoo10 and Shopee said categories most browsed by shoppers on Nov 11 include electronics, beauty, and home and living. Singapore shoppers also most commonly searched for electronics and apparel on Alibaba, and groceries, beauty and smartphones on its subsidiary Lazada. That such items were at the top of Singaporeans’ shopping lists did not come as a surprise to most e-commerce companies TODAY spoke to, as they had forecast consumer trends prior to the event which, in turn, led to record sales. Alibaba brought in 268.4 billion yuan (S$52 billion) in sales, exceeding last year’s S$41.8 billion haul while Lazada surpassed last year’s 24-hour record in 11 hours. Meanwhile, Shopee saw a surge in sales — 658 times compared to last year — while Zalora and Qoo10 saw 48 per cent and 10 per cent growth respectively. BEHIND THE SCENES Companies used various technologies to cope with the deluge of orders. At Alibaba, automated guided vehicles are programmed to drive, load and unload, and “intelligently distribute” 500 million tonnes of goods in its warehouses. Zalora s warehouse in Selangor, Malaysia. Photo: Najeer Yusof Zalora, meanwhile, has mobile systems that allow its employees to easily find items from rows of stocks in its warehouse, which TODAY visited recently. To process orders in real time, Zalora has an order management system that tracks the inventory in and out of its 470,000 sq ft warehouse, which is about the size of nine football fields split across five levels. “We have done a lot of work on the UX (user experience) side, to make sure the process is almost user-friendly and intuitive, that we can actually bring in new workers and they can learn how to do things within one or two hours,” Zalora’s chief operations officer Rostin Javadi said. Over at Qoo10’s logistics subsidiary Qxpress, it has an automated conveyor belt sorting system that can sort up to 4,000 parcels according to delivery zones in an hour. It has more than 20 delivery zones islandwide. WHAT’S NEXT? The year-end shopping extravaganza is far from over as some companies are already offering deals for the upcoming Black Friday sale on Nov 29 and Cyber Monday sale on Dec 2. Qoo10 said it will offer “highly attractive” deals for all manner of electronic and digital products. Zalora is giving discounts of up to 38 per cent while Shopee is offering up to 90 per cent off electronics and deals on beauty products.


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