Lazada, the e-commerce site that is majority owned by Alibaba of China, has announced that it is adding fresh groceries to its product range as it seeks to become Southeast Asia’s “biggest e-commerce ecosystem”.

In a move that mirrors Amazon’s advance into the grocery market in the US, Lazada said it would integrate RedMart, the Singapore-based online supermarket that it acquired in 2016, onto its own platform on 15th March.

It means that consumers in Singapore will be able to buy groceries and fresh produce along with Lazada’s other product categories on one single platform, the company said in a statement.

The new RedMart will feature similar design, tools and functions as the existing RedMart app and website, with Lazada promising that users can expect the same shopping experience, from browsing to completing orders.

This includes the option of completing their transactions from other Lazada stores in one go and having more payment options, such as the Lazada Wallet.

Customers also can expect RedMart’s two-hour deliver slots, available seven days a week, to continue while other Lazada sellers will be fulfilled separately.

According to Lazada, the grocery market in Southeast Asia is expected to be worth US$309bn by 2021, with shoppers going online more than twice a month, and it sees the sector as being key to its regional growth strategy.

As such, it said it would launch its online grocery and supermarket business in at least one other city in the region from the second half of 2019.

Roger Egan, the co-founder of RedMart and recently appointed group head of supermarket at Lazada, will oversee the company’s expansion plans and he expressed confidence about its prospects.

“RedMart’s move onto Lazada is just the first step in our ongoing journey to be a game changer in the online grocery market, and become the region’s most trusted supermarket and e-commerce platform as customers increasingly shop online,” he said.

Also commenting on the development, Lazada Group co-president Jing Yin said: “We want to drive the evolution of grocery shopping in the region by combining our unparalleled assortment of products and superior logistics network to transform the way customers get their daily essentials and fresh produce.”

Sourced from Lazada; additional content by WARC staff