CEO Series

Merchants Are Scared Of Going Online For Many Reasons—This M’sian Service Fixes Most Of Them

  • Red Dino is an e-commerce solutions provider that helps online merchants and suppliers manage and coordinate their accounts across multiple online marketplaces.
  • Founded in 2016 by Wong Kim Yoong, Red Dino aims to eventually offer their services via a software platform called DinoSync that will be available to users via a subscription-based model.

You’re a seller of things, you want to sell what you have, and you know you need to do it online.

In 2018, more specifically, how to do it best?

You have your options—Lazada, Shopee, 11street all come to mind. Putting yourself on more platforms opens you up to wider markets; not exactly rocket science.

Easier said than done, however. Ask anyone managing an e-commerce presence larger than a single platform, and they’ll tell you that the very many things to juggle. Inventory management, voucher systems, store front designs, etcetera can morph quickly from mere tedium into a giant unwieldy checklist that no sane body wants to deal with.

This problem right here is the one that KL-based Red Dino wants to tackle and eliminate.

Founded in mid 2016 by mass communications graduate Wong Kim Yoong, Red Dino labels itself a platform that takes on all the hard work behind the e-commerce game and allows you—the eager entrepreneur—to focus on selling, and selling, and nothing else.

“At the beginning, it was more of a part-time job or favour to help out a friend in the shoe business set up an online presence,” said Kim Yoong. “I set up and managed different marketplace accounts for him on Lazada, Zalora, 11street, Lelong, and LogOn.”

“It wasn’t easy at first since I had no experience selling online, but through trial, error and a lot of time studying the market, I started to get better at it and we were thrilled when the sales doubled.”

What transpired next was basically the story of Kim Yoong getting better at e-commerce and getting more customers, and of him getting to know just what the market needed.

“I learned that there were plenty of local manufacturers and business owners who needed this kind of service to help them set up online stores simply because they’d no time to learn another business in addition to their brick-and-mortar one,” he said.

“I also found that that many of them were not willing to spend the resources and hire actual talents to manage their online stores.”

Sellers Should Just Sell

Today, Kim Yoong together with his co-founders Jolene and Sebastian operate Red Dino as what they call a marketplace account retainer, where they take care of product uploads, inventory management, pricing, marketing, and everything else related to online selling, all while charging their clients a reasonable management fee every month.

Kim Yoong explained that by taking over these tasks, Red Dino essentially helps its clients stop worrying about the minutiae of e-commerce, allowing them to focus on selling, growing, and scaling.

Image Credit: Red Dino

“We aim to create significant impact by creating a tool to help out online sellers,” he said. “We want to help sellers across Southeast Asia grow and excel in e-commerce, and hopefully one day we’ll be able to reach out globally.”

Already, the team behind Red Dino have managed to secure themselves a healthy number of customers. Some of them include names like Black Hammer (one of Malaysia’s top providers of safety shoes), Alpha Pharmacy, and Playboy Malaysia. Kim Yoong feels that all this comes from their ties with some of the region’s most popular marketplaces.

“We’ve built strong connections with marketplaces such as Lazada and Shopee, especially with Lazada—we’re their official seller and we even assist them as lecturers in some of their webinars,” he said. “Thus, clients who engage us for retainer services have a chance to be noticed by account managers within these marketplaces despite them being new or without sufficient sales. This will help them boost their product visibility.”

Make It All Digital

But not content to just rest on the sweet results of their retainer service, Red Dino—like any company looking to scale—hope to continue innovating.

Soon, they plan to release an SaaS (software as a service) product aimed at helping online sellers rely on nobody but themselves for managing their online sales.

Calling it DinoSync, the upcoming subscription-based service will let sellers integrate their multiple e-commerce accounts into a single platform, giving them complete vision and control over things like inventory, price changes, multi-warehouse integration, and everything else to let them stand on their own as online business owners.

“For DinoSync, we aim to target the mass-market SME, meaning that whoever that wishes to sell online in different marketplaces will be our target audience,” Kim Yoong said. “Our pricing will be affordable enough that even students can use it.”

No Dino Crisis Here

Looking at the long-term, Kim Yoong thinks all the right ingredients are present for his business to succeed.

“Statistically, the e-commerce scene in Malaysia in the last five years has been constantly growing, and experts believe that it’ll continue to grow in the future. I strongly agree,” he quipped. “From what I see, e-commerce in Malaysia is only in its infancy compared to other Asian countries like Singapore, Taiwan, and not to mention China.”

Kim Yoong (right) and Sebastian (left) at the Sunway iLabs Accelerator programme / Image Credit: Red Dino

And though e-commerce has recently become a lot more accessible, Kim Yoong still trusts that there will continue to be demand for the things his company offers, especially the upcoming DinoSync platform which they hope to turn into their bread and butter.

“The demand to set up marketplaces today might not be as high because it’s now easier to set them up,” he said. “But that’s okay because our direction is headed towards becoming a SaaS company.”

“I believe the demands for services like our account retainers and DinoSync will definitely increase, because the more sellers go online, the higher the competition to sell will become,” he added.

“As a result, sellers will reach out and venture into more channels to sell their products, and to do so effectively means to use software such as ours to manage their e-commerce business.”

Feature Image Credit: Red Dino

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