#Asia Singapore’s budget conscious online store ShopinSEA expands to Malaysia (and beyond)


Director and Co-Founder Andre Loh explains ShopinSEA expansion and how they will benefit retailers


ShopinSEA, a Singapore-based online dollar shop that offers products close to factory prices, has recently announced its first international expansion to Malaysia, with more expansion to other countries in the near future.

Launched in May 2016, the website has seen their customer base grow within the span of three months and has received bulk orders from retailers in Singapore. The company has also been receiving numerous requests to ship to various countries outside of Singapore.

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Due to the requests to ship to customers outside of Singapore, ShopinSEA finally expands first into Malaysia, followed by the rest of the region in the near future.

The founding team at ShopinSEA consists of four Singaporeans and is staffed by individuals from various countries, including the US, Singapore and Malaysia.

e27 asked Andre Loh, Director and one of the co-founders, some questions over email about their international expansion and how they would benefit retailers. The edited transcript is below:

Why did you choose Malaysia as your first country to expand outside Singapore? 

We choose to expand to Malaysia as our next targeted destination as we have gone onto the ground in Malaysia and we know that we are able to offer much better prices than what consumers are able to get today from the large traditional retailers out there.

Additionally, being located next to Singapore and being culturally more similar as compared to other countries, it feels just like a natural extension of our market. Since we had launched in Singapore in May, we had already been receiving a large number of requests from customers in Malaysia asking for shipping to Malaysia, and this to us is a very strong indicator of demand of our products and items that affects our decision on where we wanted to expand to next.

Since soft launching to Malaysia in July, we had seen a huge surge in orders from Malaysia, with some periods having orders from Malaysia eclipsing the orders from Singapore and our Malaysian customer base growing exponentially. This happened even before we started doing any real marketing!

Where do you plan to expand after Malaysia, specifically?

We originally started out wanting to only expand within Southeast Asia. However, we were getting quite a lot of attention from the US and other Western countries through press coverages as well as requests for shipping to those countries as well. As we rely on analytics and customer demand to make our decisions, we are currently exploring options to expand to those countries as well.
Within Southeast Asia, our next focus after Malaysia would naturally be Indonesia and the Philippines.

How can retailers benefit from your platform?

When we launched in May this year, we were originally thinking of only focusing on our retail customers. However, we soon started receiving wholesale requests from established, large retailers in the region. We realised that these large, established retailers liked dealing with us since we are a one-stop contact for a deep range of products that we carry.
Retailers did not have to contact multiple different contact points to look for a portfolio of products that they wanted to purchase, saving time and effort. Additionally, the main benefit that we realised established retailers preferred coming to us was trust.
Large, established retailers that had a specialised procurement department and staff were responsible for sourcing for suppliers of products, and there is a lot of risk of buying from individual sellers on marketplaces.
If the orders were not delivered at all, the procurement team within this established retailers had to be responsible for them. Hence, we act as a single wholesaler to the retailer that provides a deep range of products.
For smaller retailers such as pushcart owners and retailers, we actually work together with them to plan a range of product offerings through the year to keep their inventory fresh.
For example, pushcart owners and smaller retailers can sell desktop plants and desktop accessories in January this year, and a few months later we will help refresh their inventory by focusing on different items such as home decor products.
The pushcart owners like this partnership as it helps keep their inventory fresh, and we partner together with them to plan this range of inventory with them.

Last but not least, what are the most popular purchases on ShopinSEA?

We see the most purchases from Singaporean and Malaysian customers from our Home & Decor Category and All Under S$2 Category. In terms of products, our top sellers have been kitchen tools, table mats, phone and tablet holders, cable organisers, silicon coasters, wall hooks, sports bags, trendy pouches, silicon cosmetic brush cleaning egg, and makeup sponges.

ShopinSEA currently offers over 1,000 items across six categories of Home & Décor, Fashion, Lifestyle, Health & Beauty, Gifts & Stationery and For Kids.

The post Singapore’s budget conscious online store ShopinSEA expands to Malaysia (and beyond) appeared first on e27.

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