M’sian E-Commerce Marketplace For Registered Businesses
In 2015, we witnessed the birth of Shopee. By that time, e-commerce giant Lazada was already established.
That same year, however, another e-commerce marketplace was launched. His name is Youbeli.
Unlike the two giants, it is a fully locally invested company, and it was launched specifically to serve local SMEs by bringing them online, especially for those with low IT skills.
But of course, we had to ask ourselves: what gave Youbeli the confidence to go for it despite the competition of the time, both established and potential?
“Based on what we know at the moment, the two companies are still not making any money from their business,” Chua, CEO of Youbeli, told Vulcan Post.
While Youbeli itself is not yet profitable, it is not in deficit either. He also pointed out a difference between his goal and that of others.
“Our direction is still fairly straightforward, which is to help SMEs sell online. Maybe we’re not going with 1,000 sellers selling the same product, but on a smaller scale, to allow users to choose from quality sellers. “
“Comparing and verifying information of this size takes time, and we know that time is the most expensive resource,” he added.
Quality rather than quantity
Any ad you see on Youbeli would only be posted by a registered company, as it currently does not accept individual sellers.
It is a way for it to maintain and ensure its quality levels. Interested sellers should present complete company forms and their manager’s CI upon request.
Some of the notable sellers on Youbeli are well-known brands like Nestlé, Razer, Logitech, Pelangi, and Sasbadi, for example.
Just because it’s a registered business doesn’t mean customers aren’t scammed.
When someone makes a purchase, Youbeli steps in to withhold payment to sellers until the transaction is complete.
On the flip side, some customers are also known to rip off sellers, and Youbeli combats this by making sure customers send proof of a registered email and verified phone number.
Focus on customer service, not acquisition
When Youbeli first launched, the team had several hurdles to overcome.
This included convincing sellers that selling online would benefit them in the long run, especially since their first sales were generally lower than their traditional sales activity ”.
They also needed to be trained in basic e-commerce knowledge and marketing skills.
Chua said that the cost of acquiring users is increasing, so on Youbeli’s side, they are trying different methods.
Offering niche products and working with agencies and partners such as MDEC, SITEC, telecom operators and banks to attract users are just a few of the ways.
To further develop the business in a context of better funded competition, Youbeli avoids burning money to get high traffic and sales.
Instead, they double the added value to customers.
“From the last marketplaces that have gone out of business, we know that good customer service is more important than a big number,” Chua said.
Take slowly and regularly
Youbeli is currently working in partnership with the Taiwanese and Indonesian markets to offer more products and services to its customers.
“We now have 2 million SKUs and plan to produce 5-8 million products over the next 2 years. With this increased variety, we expect sales to increase fivefold, ”said Chua.
To do this, they will work with more quality merchants, foreign partners and local shopping centers.
So far, they have collaborated with Star Avenue by Mah Sing Group and more recently Petaling Jaya Digital Mall for O2O marketing campaigns.
As for service, they plan to implement same-day deliveries by next month via a third-party shipment.
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There is no doubt that ecommerce sites have fierce competition with each other, and each must find a way to retain customers while attracting new ones.
The biggest players do this by offering integrated mini-games and rewarding customers with coins or vouchers.
It’s a fun and interactive way to build customer loyalty and encourage them to keep buying.
From what I can see Youbeli doesn’t offer such things, and maybe that might not even be a priority for the team, who just want to focus on customer service and quality offers.
However, I believe that with people’s desire for instant gratification these days and their short attention span, having a mini-game or two with small rewards could increase the awareness of the Youbeli brand among the Malaysian audience.
Nonetheless, they’ve been holding up pretty firmly for 5 years now, and I think their less aggressive growth strategy is working in their favor.
- You can read more about Youbeli here.
- You can read what we wrote about ecommerce here.
Featured Image Credit: Youbeli
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