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How IBM Services transformed Zalora in Southeast Asia

How IBM Services transformed Zalora in Southeast Asia

IBM Services built and implemented next-generation enterprise business platform

Credit: Dreamstime

As a leading fashion e-commerce retailer in Southeast Asia, Zalora faced mounting technological challenges which impeded growth.

Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing and dynamic markets in the world, with increasing numbers coming online for the first time.

The region houses a young tech-savvy population, 55 per cent of which are millennials, and governments who are actively investing in key infrastructure, providing a backbone for continued development.

According to a report by Google and Singapore-based Temasek, the Internet economy in Southeast Asia is predicted to reach US$240 billion by 2025.

In the same report published in 2016 and 2017, the Internet economy was expected to reach US$200 billion by 2025, indicating the backers of this joint report underestimated the growth potential of Southeast Asia’s internet economy.

The latest report highlights this point, concluding that the regional Internet economy reached an inflection point in 2018, primarily due to “the most engaged mobile internet users in the world".

In particular, e-commerce grew at an unprecedented rate, with the number of active online shoppers more than doubling from 50 million in 2015 to 120 million by the end of 2018.

With this in mind, Zalora looked to IBM Services to help transform its operations to be more agile and adaptable to growth.

IBM Services helped Zalora to build and implement a next-generation enterprise business platform to fully integrate and automate back office operations with their front end.

“The implementation was a resounding success,” said Ruben Stappers, chief financial officer, Zalora. “Not only did we meet the accelerated time table that we set ourselves to deliver on, we also already experienced 3x growth in 2H 2018.”

Solution set

What was needed was a business platform to automate their existing operations and standardise processes, however, Zalora needed the transformation to take place within six months, with the expectation met by Big Blue.

Furthermore, the new business platform was expected to support eight diverse markets, enable continuous digital product and service innovation, and service nine strategic categories across Zalora’s fashion portfolio.

The joint team migrated Zalora’s operations to the cloud, exceeding the six month timeframe stipulated by the firm.

As a result, Zalora could improve their operational capabilities, automate processes, and view critical real time financial data to make better, faster decisions, enabling the business to continuously introduce customer innovations to the market and drive scale across the region.

The fully integrated solution has transformed operations at Zalora enabling automation, standardisation, and scale. Zalora is now enabled to continuously introduce customer innovations made possible with their migration to the cloud, resulting in a 3X growth across the region.


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