KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Pet cages, smart phone cases and cheongsam, a traditional Chinese dress for women, were only a few of the popular items on Lazada in recent years, as the Southeast Asian online shopping platform wants to find some more of such best-selling items.
One idea conceived by Alibaba, which bought a controlling stake in Lazada, was to tap into Lazada's understanding of the local customers' needs and the abundant products on Taobao and Tmall, two popular platforms operated by Alibaba, said Lazada Group's chief international officer Hans-Peter Ressel at a media briefing on Friday.
"It was a way to get the best Taobao and Tmall sellers and give them access to Southeast Asia," said Ressel, referring to a service called Taobao Collection, which was launched in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia in 2017 and allows consumers in these countries to check out Chinese-made products in their own languages.
"We started with only 1 million products in Malaysia, and today it's 14 million, but Taobao has more than 2 billion," said Ressel, noting the two sides have been working closely together to identify the local needs and bring the corresponding Chinese products online as soon as possible.
"Every day, every week, every month, we are adding more and more products based on consumer trends, consumer demands and consumer search terms," he said, adding females aged between 18 to 27 are the main group of people that are used to buying Chinese-made dresses via Taobao Collection.
He said the total sales in 2017 on the platform more than doubled that of 2016. "Alibaba bought Lazada because we are the market leader here and we know the local marker very well," he said.
Alibaba raised its stakes in Lazada to 83 percent in June. Going forward, Ressel said Lazada will keep abreast with Alibaba in terms of technology and tools and use technology to help customers.