Entrepreneur

[MCO] Now That No One Can Fly, Here's What This Subsidiary Of AirAsia's Is Up To

Author’s Blurb: We’ve all heard about the state of the airline industry which has been mostly grounded apart from aiding in the mobilisation of medical professionals when needed. Many other businesses are depending on ecommerce solutions now, and with commercial flights all put on hold, even AirAsia is doubling down on its ecommerce venture.

When OURSHOP was first launched in 2018, the platform marked AirAsia’s venture into ecommerce by offering a wide selection of products from duty-free, high street and local retailers from all over the world.

Upon making purchases online, customers could receive their products on board AirAsia flights or via airport collection.

But with the MCO now in place, things have changed.

“With the home delivery product introduced as recently in March 2020, OURSHOP is now a full fledged ecommerce marketplace focused on supporting local small and medium businesses we love,” said Pete Chareonwongsak, CEO of Teleport, AirAsia’s one-stop logistics platform.

Teleport CEO Pete Chareonwongsak / Image Credit: Teleport

OURSHOP is now hosted on AirAsia’s website which receives significant traffic, and products sold through the platform will be delivered via Teleport.

This is all done under a campaign called Save Our Shops (S.O.S) where merchants can now sign up at zero commission and zero listing fees to market their products on OURSHOP for the entire month of April.

The only thing that the merchants will have to cover is the banking transaction charges of 2% for each sale made.

A New One-Stop Online Shop

Since announcing the campaign on April 4, OURSHOP has received more than 4,000 interested merchant applications.

As of April 14, they’ve had over 1,000 new merchants successfully registered on OURSHOP for the S.O.S campaign to fulfil home delivery services.

Some of the new merchants Pete shared included organic fresh produce farmers Mascorn, roasted cricket superfood brand Ento, soy wax candlemakers 5Luze scents, Asean delights Santan, and more.

They’re hoping to bring on merchants who range from selling groceries, daily essentials, F&B to beauty products and even household items.

“While a lot of products are in the non-perishable category, we hope to also cover fresh produce direct from sources to our buyers and even food delivery in Southeast Asia,” Pete told Vulcan Post.

“Our priority at this point in time is to onboard as many interested merchants on the platform in as short a time frame possible,” he added.

However, this remains a massive task and they’ve had to enlist volunteers within AirAsia to support this process, from verification to onboarding and finally to list their items (SKUs).

A huge win for them has been their ability to help numerous businesses go online in just 3 days, and they’ll be having upcoming Ramadhan specials soon to boost new products.

The Merchants Make The Platform

As it was stated that the zero commission and zero listing fee opportunity would only last throughout April, I asked Pete what would happen to the duration of this offer if the MCO was to be extended again.

He didn’t reveal too much, simply saying, “We expect any recovery post the MCO period (whenever that will be) to be gradual, so we will continue to prioritise support to our merchants beyond our MCO period.”

“We see great opportunity for small businesses to benefit from our data, reach and infrastructure and that’s why we decided to develop OURSHOP for this.”

When the campaign ends, merchants can always choose to opt-out, but Pete hopes that they’ll recognise AirAsia’s intention to build OURSHOP around their products.

“AirAsia is promoting the campaign throughout all available marketing channels primarily emphasising that they are local, made with craft and care, and competitively priced,” he said.

“We have rallied all teams to put together their resources, technology and time to help local businesses go online and transform them to be ecommerce ready.”

That being said, changes are constantly being rolled out by the team as they keep close watch on the situation and progress accordingly, and updates can be found here.

Bottom Line: It’s nice to see such an initiative being carried out by a well-known company like AirAsia. Struggling merchants could definitely leverage on the advantages this platform will offer to them to keep sales running and their businesses alive for the meantime.

  • You can read more on what we’ve written about the MCO here.

Featured Image Credit: Teleport

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