Over the past few years, the e-commerce brand Pomelo has grown into one of the success stories representing the Thailand startup ecosystem.
Yesterday, the company officially expanded beyond its home country with the opening of an offline store located at [email protected] in Singapore. It is the largest omnichannel Pomelo store in Southeast Asia and is the first step in what the company says will be an effort to expand fairly quickly across the city.
Furthermore, the store will be a testing ground for future technology-based developments and innovations. While Pomelo CEO David Jou could not reveal a lot of details, he did hint at the possibility of the startup building a system to eliminate traditional check-out lines (possibly using a Pomelo payment system).
The company will also work to continue to blur the line between the in-app and in-store experience.
“I think what we want the brand to become is a place that is personal and customised specifically for you … so when you log into the Pomelo app, that experience is going to be perfect for you,” said Jou.
Pomelo Launch event
David Jou, above, the Co-founder and CEO of Pomelo, was the man of the hour at the launch. Explaining why he decided to launch in Singapore he said,
“Singapore is our biggest market outside of Thailand. We have a couple hundred thousand customers here and we’ve been growing the brand over the past few years. So we thought it was the perfect time for [Singaporeans] to come and experience the product.”
The store was packed. A representative of Pomelo said they chose [email protected] (which is a fairly central and thus an expensive rental space) because they really wanted to “go for it”. The company decided to enter Singapore with a bang and try to hit its highest-traffic areas immediately.
A checkout counter at the Pomelo launch. While there is nothing official, it sounded like this may no longer exist in the future.
The event featured fun games that allowed people to redeem tickets for prizes. Also, free drinks!
Who doesn’t love the claw? Plus! It was free. So you could enjoy that competitive spirit without spending ten dollars in two minutes.
While Pomelo has the trappings of a traditional retail store, it has integrated technology into the offline experience. The following four pictures are a neat example of how it works.
This looks like a normal try-on queue right? Wrong! The system used by Pomelo has almost entirely integrated the trying-on process with the mobile app.
It works by allowing people to shop from their phone (be it at home or on the go) and creating their cart. Then they come to the store, check-in with the app and pick up a queue number (as shown below).
The staff will go into the back storage area and pick out the outfits. When the guest arrives, they should be taken to the corresponding try-on where their clothes should already be waiting.
An example of the offline queue system, which is accompanied by a mobile phone version.
This is how the dressing rooms look from the outside. Upon entering, a customer should see their potential orders laid out and ready to try!
The launch event featured some cotton candy and popcorn guys.
The team said there were over 5,000 styles available in-store, but your humble author found one shirt that truly stood apart.
Pomelo is stepping into Singapore ready to look sleek and fashionable.