AN ONLINE fashion boutique run by two brothers took the crown at the Malaysia Top E-Commerce Merchant Awards 2016.
Operating since 2011, siblings Gan Chin Hock, 25, and Gan Chin Heng, 29, run Sally Fashion, which sells the latest in women’s clothing.
Unlike most online shopping sites, Sally Fashion offers customer service from 9am to 1am.
It was this factor that drew the attention of judges and also left them curious about the business and its name.
“Sally is actually the name of my brother’s girlfriend,” said Chin Heng on receiving the trophy, certificate and RM10,000.
“This is a real surprise. We did not expect to win.
What began as a random idea went on to become a business with more than 20 employees, selling the latest trends for women in Malaysia as well as in Asia.
Inspired by his former housemate, Chin Hock said Sally Fashion was not his first online startup.
“I used to run an online forum when in college as a source of income.
“My former housemate at the time was selling clothing online and it worked so well that I decided to follow suit.
“Later, my brother and I joined forces.
“Currently, we have no plans to open a physical shop but we are looking to expand online and sell more products,” said Chin Hock.
Organised by the Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (SITEC), 60 e-merchants competed for the award, which was based on their ability to create an innovative user experience.
Finalists were chosen based on the decision by a panel of 12 judges as well as public voting that took place between March 22 and 31.
The top seven finalists were ShaShinKi, 123Cheese.my, Aone Plus, Satu Gadget Dot Com, i-Pmart, Princious.com and Game Hyper Mart, which took home RM1,000, a trophy and certificate each.
Each of the 10 companies was also given free use of a co-working space at the Selangor Digital Creative Centre for one year.
SITEC chief executive officer Yong Kai Ping said the main purpose of the awards was to make e-commerce a public movement.
“The key to e-commerce is public confidence.
“Through this award ceremony, we hope to encourage more consumers and merchants to use e-commerce because we cannot just rely on regular trade.
“The time is right for us to expand into cross-border trading and we can achieve this if we think big and sell to the world,” he said.
Multimedia Development Corporation e-commerce enablement director Wee Huay Neo said Selangor was the first state to drive e-commerce in the country. “As much as we need more buyers, we need more sellers, payment gateways and selling platforms.
“Right now, 5.4% of the GDP is by e-commerce. Less than 0.2% businesses and less than 10% of SMEs are using e-commerce.
“Selangor’s initiative in driving e-commerce makes them a role model for other states and hopefully, we can have a higher percentage this year,” she said.
State Investment, Industry and Trade, Small and Medium Industries and Transportation Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Kim said e-commerce was an integral part of the future.
“Malaysia has many unique selling points and we are geographically in a strategic place to become a trading hub.
“Therefore, it is crucial to develop human capital and talents in e-commerce, especially when considering the fact the halal market is worth RM7.76 trillion (USD2 trillion).
“We must nurture a society of entrepreneurs with a global mindset who do not just sell to the domestic market, but also to the region and the world,” he added.