Alibaba to open largest Taobao store in Malaysia this month

Tan Mei Zi
A pop-up at MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras gives a sneak preview of what shoppers can expect when the physical Taobao Store opens later this month. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 — Online shopping is all the rage these days, but there are still people who may be put off by the idea of shelling out hard-earned cash for things they can’t feel or touch for themselves on the Internet.

Enter the Taobao Store, with its latest brick-and-mortar shop set up by e-commerce giant Alibaba Group in partnership with Lumahgo Retail Sdn Bhd and MyTOWN Shopping Centre in Cheras.

Spanning 5,000 square feet of retail space, the shop will be the biggest Taobao Store in the country when it opens its doors on November 29, promising a holistic experience that will help customers familiarise themselves with the concept of online shopping.

A medley of products ranging from baby items, electronics, furniture, and beauty tools from both local and Chinese merchants will be available and visitors will be able to test them out and make a purchase through the Taobao app by scanning a QR code.

Staff members will also be on-hand to walk them through the entire process.

Tmall World Malaysia marketing manager Jess Lew explained that by meeting shoppers in real life, Taobao will be able to provide a unique hybrid shopping experience that combines classic retail with digital technology.

“When people shop on Taobao, they often have a lot of questions about the product and its quality.

“With the physical store, they can touch and feel the product and know exactly how to operate it.

“The whole concept of the store is based on giving a better shopping experience to the customer,” she said during the launch of Alibaba’s 11.11 Global Shopping Festival 2019 at MyTOWN Shopping Centre.

Tmall World Malaysia marketing manager Jess Lew said the company is committed to empowering Malaysian merchants as they continue to grow. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

Lumahgo Retail Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Fabian Kong added that the physical store will be a stepping stone for Taobao to reach out to a more diverse range of customers, including those who may not be particularly tech-savvy.

“Our objective is to provide more touchpoints for consumers of all ages in Malaysia, especially those who are not familiar with shopping online,” he said in a press release.

A pop-up replicating the product selection of the Taobao Store will be running from November 8 to 10 at MyTOWN Shopping Centre and shoppers stand a chance to win attractive prizes by participating in various activities.

Approximately RMB50 billion (RM29.6 billion) in promotions and coupons are up for grabs this year which shoppers can use for over 200,000 brands and one million new products in conjunction with the Singles’ Day sales, which falls on November 11.

Consumers spent more than RM213.5 million on Taobao during the 24-hour period of the shopping holiday in 2018 which saw over 180,000 brands and merchants touting their goods.

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