By S BIRRUNTHA / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
With the country’s ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, e-commerce platforms like Shopee continue to help Malaysians to shop safely from their homes.
While the Covid-19 outbreak has caught the world off-guard, Shopee evaluated the situation and has taken decisive steps to answer the needs of both retailers and consumers.
In Malaysia, the retail industry is among the most impacted, causing many traditional outlets to face the possibility of either temporarily or permanently pulling their shutters.
With that, many businesses were forced to find a way to digitise quickly to cope with the changes to have an alternative revenue stream.
If before this consumers turn to the online space to shop for leisure items, they are now shopping online for essential household items and daily necessities in order to avoid leaving their homes.
This has resulted in consumers spending an average of 20% more time on its platform a week, Shopee observed, which reflects an increasing reliance on e-commerce as it provides users one-stop access to everything, including entertainment.
Groceries and Pets, Gaming and Consoles, and Home Appliances are highly sought after by consumers as they search for daily essentials, household necessities and games for the family to enjoy together at home. Brands and sellers have benefited from this increased demand, with those offering instant food and baking supplies recording 60 times more orders respectively than the same period last year.
To support the social distancing measures, as well as other governmental efforts and work-from-home arrangements, the e-commerce platform has rolled out several campaigns and initiatives.
In a statement, Shopee said this is to provide a conducive and safe shopping and trading environment for its users, sellers and the community that it serves.
Support package to stimulate economy
In efforts to help local small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) to make up for the losses in offline revenue, Shopee has allocated RM15 million as part of its “Shopee Seller Support Package”.
The package has since benefitted more than 70,000 Malaysian SMEs; however, participation of the package has surpassed that number. It attracted local businesses from micro, small, and medium to even large enterprises and corporations be it from the fast-moving consumer goods sector to fashion and apparel, electronics and more.
It also seeks to support all its sellers by creating sales and growth opportunities, reducing operational costs and facilitating sustainable development through funding, subsidies and education.
Shopee Seller Support Package
Meanwhile, Shopee also used technology to unlock new markets for a product or service that will greatly benefit Malaysians and help ease their burden during difficult times.
Shopee has partnered up with Great Eastern Takaful to offer a protection plan called HospeeFamily, curated specially for those who do not have any form of Takaful or insurance coverage.
This has given more Malaysians the opportunity to own a protection plan, with its affordability and accessibility whilst providing them with a sense of comfort in this difficult time.
In ensuring that Malaysians have access to on-demand healthcare services, Shopee also recently collaborated with DoctorOnCall.
This allows users to purchase Covid-19 test packages on the DoctorOnCall official store on Shopee, as well as vouchers that will enable them to purchase medication and have them delivered safely, via the DoctorOnCall platform.
To bridge the gap between farmers, fishermen and consumers, Shopee also worked with the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA), National Fishermen’s Association (NEKMAT) and the Fisheries Development Authority of Malaysia (LKIM) to have their official stores on its platform.
This initiative is expected to support 1,500 local farmers, 100 Agribusiness Industry entrepreneurs under FAMA and 56,000 fishermen to retain their income and ensure that supply reaches the consumers without going to waste.
Since physical Ramadhan bazaars were cancelled, Shopee recently collaborated with the Selangor government to bring Ramadhan bazaars right to the consumers’ doorsteps.
Understanding how much Malaysians love these annual bazaars, together they launched the Selangor E-Bazar Raya. The microsite enables consumers to access around 900,000 products from an assortment of Raya delicacies, home appliances, baju Raya and more from May to June 2020.
Keeping people nourished and entertained during MCO
Shopee has also been working closely with authorities to help minimise disruptions, and this includes managing the supply chain together with the industry and regulators.
The e-commerce platform worked with manufacturers and distributors in both local and regional networks to offer Malaysians convenient online access to face masks especially when the whole nation was facing a shortage.
To ensure a steady supply of goods to its users, it worked with 1,000 brands and retail partners as well as 800,000 sellers nationwide.
Shopee said it is something that the platform needs to do to help eradicate Covid-19.
Shopee Regional MD Ian Ho (picture) said: “The Movement Control Order (MCO) may have caused some delays in the movement of stocks but it is not something that we cannot overcome without proper and meticulous engagements with the industry, regulators and authorities.”
Meanwhile, to provide peace of mind to users when shopping on its platform, Shopee also placed precautionary measures to offer additional protection to users, staff members, warehouse and delivery fleets, by complying with the Health Ministry (MoH) guidelines.
Additionally, it also hosted various campaigns in conjunction with Hari Raya, as well as Shopee Live and Shopee Games to keep its users entertained during the MCO.
Growing the local community
To raise funds for the medical frontline workers, Shopee has collaborated with the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) and the Malaysian Medical Association Foundation (MMAF) to introduce the Shopee MMA Covid-19 Fund.
Proceeds will go towards providing support and help take care of the healthcare and welfare needs of the frontline workers while they help combat the virus.
The Fund also had unwavering support from local celebrities like Datuk AC Mizal, Che Puan Sarimah Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Vida, Fahrin Ahmad, Elyana and Irma Hasmie who not only contributed but also helped spread the word around.
As of May 158, the fund collected more than half a million ringgit.
Additionally, Shopee also introduced the new “Salam by Shopee” feature, designed to make browsing and shopping easy for those in search for halal products, prayer items, wudhu-friendly cosmetics, Muslim fashion and more.
The feature boasts deals, offers, vouchers and services such as Resepi Raya (to find ingredients for Raya delicacies), Pilihan Halal (products from Halal-certified brands), Azan (reminder on prayer times) and Derma (donations to charity organisations).
Building an inclusive ecosystem
Moving forward, Shopee said it will continue to leverage on its key strengths to build an inclusive ecosystem and are committed to driving long-term and sustainable growth.
The e-commerce platform added that it will continue to provide access, convenience and value to users through its annual mega shopping festivals namely the 9.9, 11.11 and its 12.12 Birthday Sale.
It will also continue to unlock more opportunities by entering strategic partnerships that would benefit retailers, consumers and the economy.
At the same time, engaging local communities and helping to create more online entrepreneurs will remain as Shopee’s long-term goals.
“We do this by working closely with the government and its agencies, authorities and associations to provide an avenue to traditional businesses to bring their businesses online, especially those impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak,” Ho said.
Shopee noted that it will always monitor the landscape and government policies and adapt as required to support the needs and bring about a positive impact to users, partners and retailers.