New shopping app, Shopee, enables the buying and selling of products anytime, anywhere in double quick time. CEO Chris Feng, 32, tells ZIEMAN it’s never been easier for anyone to be a retailer than now.
What are shopping apps like Shopee doing for the Malaysian scene?
Mobile commerce has taken Malaysia by storm. Malaysians are now shopping even while they are on the go. Today, a large part of online purchases in South-East Asia takes place on mobile.
In Malaysia, mobile penetration is very high and stands at 140% (1.4 phone per person) with 45% of smartphone users having made a purchase via their phone in the past year. More Malaysians are leaning towards shopping via their mobile devices, a trend that continues to encourage existing and budding online entrepreneurs.
Shopee aims to elevate the standards of social shopping in Malaysia by addressing the needs for a more comprehensive social commerce experience, by providing secure payments, live chat functions, integrated logistics and inventory management.
How does your company encourage entrepreneurship?
With Shopee, we believe anyone can become a retail business owner. We have a number of budding local entrepreneurs who have actually used Shopee and have successfully started their own retail businesses.
Individuals often wish to set up their own online retail businesses but lack the know-how like setting up, coding and maintaining a website, taking steps to ensure mobile optimisation or facilitating payment and delivery. Shopee allows sellers to come on board easily and decisively.
With this user-friendly mobile interface, a user can list a product for free in less than 30 seconds. Simply snap a picture, describe the product and set a price. This keeps the barrier-to-entry to a bare minimum.
Shopee is also reaching out to youths in local universities and colleges to offer workshops on how they too can become entrepreneurs and utilise Shopee as a platform for their business ideas.
It’s said that Shopee was specifically designed with the consumer in mind. How so?
Shopee offers customers a fuss-free shopping and selling experience. Fraud and transaction risks are common issues in existing consumer-to-consumer platforms. These issues seriously compromise users’ online shopping experience.
Shopee hopes to change that by providing a secure and hassle-free marketplace, through the following features like a Secure Payment gateway where Shopee can eliminate fraud and transaction risks via Shopee Guarantee, our secure payment system. We also take pride in our high-quality listings.
Shopee does rigorous screening process to ensure all items listed on the marketplace are of good quality. We also have integrated logistical support and work closely with established local logistics providers, to ensure users receive reliable and efficient end-to-end delivery services.
Shopee goes beyond the conventional product-purchase model. Through the various social features built into the platform, such as the use of hashtags, we provide additional incentives for consumers to shop. We also make browsing and buying fun and social for our users, allowing them to easily share with their networks what they find on Shopee. Shopee was launched on the Apple App Store and Google Play in June 2015 and have recorded several million downloads across the region in the last five months.
How many countries has Shopee penetrated?
We are currently experiencing strong growth across Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
What are the special features of Shopee?
Products listed on Shopee are divided into sub-categories, allowing buyers to navigate easily. Shopee is also unique in the way it incorporates hashtags. One special feature is Shopee’s Trending Hashtags, which highlight the latest fads in mobile commerce and can be changed in real-time, depending on what Shopee users are collectively browsing and purchasing.
Another one is Shopee Live Chat, which allows buyers and sellers to engage each other in real-time conversations, address questions through instant messages or calls and send pictures of products before a purchasing decision is made. And Shopee Guarantee provides safe in-app payments to protect both sellers and buyers where payment is sent to the seller only after the buyer receives his/her purchase and accepts it.
And if conflicts occur, Shopee’s Dispute Resolution steps in to resolve the issue through objective investigations and fair resolutions.
What is Shopee’s exact user base?
We are currently based in seven countries. We have been warmly received in Malaysia, as well as regionally. Shopee remains to be the most popular shopping app amongst consumers, with over three million items listed and more than 600,000 social media followers. Our app has four million downloads regionally since launching on Apple App Store and Google Play in June 2015.
How is Shopee different?
Besides being the leading social and mobile-first marketplace, Shopee combines the authenticity of a peer-to-peer marketplace with payment and logistical support, making online shopping easy, secure and fuss-free.
The Shopee platform is driven by user-generated content and ease of communication. Buyers and sellers can collectively curate products and inspire conversations on the latest retail trends on the mobile-led marketplace, creating a community of trend-spotters and trendsetters.
How popular is Shopee in Malaysia after its introduction in November?
In Malaysia, we have recorded half a million download since launch date with 400,000 items listing.
We received positive ratings and feedback from both sellers and buyers. On the buyers’ side, we get interest from various entrepreneurs from renowned brands like Christy Ng (@christyng), to muslimah wear, to Adana Gallery (@adanagallery) and student entrepreneurs such as Bryan Tham of 91 Loading (@91loadingenterprise).
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