Most durian sellers foresee demand to remain strong domestically and internationally, especially from the Singaporean and Chinese markets with China’s economy beginning to recover.
Shopping platform Shopee has found that Malaysian durian sellers have been unperturbed by the disruptions and are progressive in their approach to e-commerce.
Durian farmers from across Malaysia are bringing their offerings online.
Even as they look for new ways to sell their harvests, they have to think of innovative ways to keep the durian fresh.
Shan Cheng Durian co-founder and business manager Leow E. Shuen said freshness was one of the many things to consider when selling fruits online.
“To ensure we give the best quality, we collect the durian from the orchard in the morning, extract the pips, package them into vacuum packs and deliver to customers on the same day.
“With so many online sellers competing, it boils down to quality, service and price to win the crowd,” said Leow whose 4.86ha orchard in Balik Pulau, Penang used to receive tourists before the Covid-19 outbreak.
The pandemic has also impacted Mountain Cat Durian’s sales of processed products such as durian puffs and ice cream by 50%, with low business-to-business (B2B) demand from the bakery and confectionery as well as food and beverage sectors.
The company based in Puchong, Selangor with an 8ha orchard in Broga, had to find revenue to pay overhead expenses such as labour and production commitments.
“With our offline and B2B sales being hit amid rising costs, we realised it was time for us to explore an offline-to-online model to sustain the business and ensure that our durian do not go to waste,” said Mountain Cat Durian founder Ma Tuck Mun.
“Prior to selling online, we only had a few orders in a month but now we receive orders every day.
“The current circumstance is an eye-opener for us; it showed us that we cannot be complacent in our business approach by ignoring the digital world,” added Ma.
In a bid to help durian sellers sustain their income and give Malaysians their durian fix, Shopee featured Shan Cheng Durian and Mountain Cat, along with 500 other durian and fruit sellers in its 6.6 Super Sale.
Durian was on sale at 66sen with an added 10% in-store discount for selected sellers throughout the campaign.
Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said the sellers were reminded to ensure that they were able to fulfil the orders, prior to selling.
“We understand that this may be daunting for first-time online sellers and as such, assigned a dedicated team to assist those in need of help,” said Ho.
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