I’m all for supporting home-grown Singaporean brands and talents. I do think we have a lot to offer, and not just in areas like medicine and technology (which we‘re already known for). I’m talking about up-and-coming industries like design and fashion, where Singaporeans are slowly starting to make their mark.
Problem is, it’s often hard to discover emerging brands: whether this is due to poor marketing or ignorance on my part, I can’t say. So when Megafash — an online marketplace that showcases Singaporean fashion brands and lifestyle products — spoke (or rather, emailed), I listened.
What’s Megafash about?
Simply put, Megafash is an online platform where local brands relating to fashion, lifestyle, and design can sell their goods. Designers and budding entrepreneurs can sign up with Megafash (here) to be part of the community, which will allow them to reach out to a wider group of potential consumers. The site also serves as a one-stop destination for buyers looking to purchase locally-designed products.
How Megafash Began
If you’re into online shopping, you would have heard of chickisslove.com. This was the original platform through which Megafash operated until 2012, when the current site was founded.
Regina Choy, Marketing Executive at Megafash, explained why it took so long for them to launch officially: “We have been in the market for a while but have been lying low as we wanted to test the market and get some sort of validation before proceeding.”
And it seems their efforts have paid off too: at the time of publication, Megafash had 250 brands on board, and according to Regina, more are joining them everyday.
With the site’s focus on local brands, I had to ask Regina exactly what it was about local talent that Megafash found appealing. She replied, “Local entrepreneurs are (…) quick to cater to local demand/trends, and this gives us tremendous dynamism in navigating consumer shifts.”
“Local brands have a local story to tell, and consumers usually associate better with content/products closer to the heart (…) with a good community, local brands are able to forge a niche in the market and hold its own against the onslaught of international brands,” she elaborated.
How Does Megafash Work?
Blogshops are a dime a dozen, at least in Singapore. So when I spotted a number of blogshops on Megafash, I got curious: How do blogshops benefit by joining Megafash? Don’t they have their own customer base to work with already?
Regina responded by explaining that Megafash operates on the concept of “collective popularity”. With various blogshops joining up with Megafash, they build a community of followers which then carry over to other blogshops that are also listed on the site.
“The obvious benefit,” she says, “will be greater traffic, more engagement and more sales. Our best performer has enjoyed $10,000 in sales within a month on our marketplace. That’s a pretty good feat for local brands.” In other words, when blogshops get on board with Megafash, the number of people browsing — and therefore buying — their items increase, as there is a larger community of shoppers on Megafash than on a single blogshop.
If you’re a buyer or seller living in Malaysia or other parts of the region, don’t despair: Megafash has already entered the Malaysian market, and Regina has revealed upcoming plans by the site to enter the Indonesian market. You might be thinking, though: since Megafash started out with a goal to promote locally-designed goods, how will a brand manage to stand out with so many regional brands coming on board?
We wondered as much, and to that, Regina elaborated, “The idea is to adopt the “localization first” approach in our expansion process, by building up local communities within countries with local brands. Only after this is done well do we open up the marketplace to allow Asian brands to sell overseas.
This means that entrepreneurs who are trying to build up their brand name in their respective communities need not worry that they’ll have to go up against more established brands when they join Megafash. In fact, they’ll be able to leverage on Megafash’s existing community of buyers to gain more traction, which will help them widen their reach within a shorter amount of time.
All in all, Megafash seems to be a pretty brilliant site for helping local brands reach a wider audience — a plus point for any platform in my books. And with more and more brands joining in each day, it seems that Singaporean entrepreneurs agree too.
It’s not everyday we come across brands that are doing their part to support local talent, yet this is exactly what Megafash is doing — and with concrete plans, to boot. So I’m hoping that the site is here to stay, if only for all the extra shopping that I’ll now be able to do.