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Printcious Proves It’s Still M’sia’s Go-To Personalised Gift Startup, 5 Years Into The Biz

In your search for gifts that can be personalised, you may have come across Printcious by now. They’ve been in the gifting industry since 2007, albeit under a different name at first: Heartbeat.my.

Now they’ve moved entirely online and will be celebrating their sixth anniversary in 2021 as Printcious.

It’s a proud achievement for the team, seeing as they’ve made it this far while still bootstrapping, and are experiencing healthy cash flow.

Since our last interview with the team in 2016, they’ve switched from a B2C focus to a B2B one.

CEO Vincent Tong told Vulcan Post it was for 3 reasons:

  • B2B has a higher average order value,
  • B2B tends to have a lower customer acquisition cost (CAC) and a higher lifetime value (LTV) than B2C,
  • There is a still a big market opportunity for B2B corporate gifts.

This move has paid off, seeing as they’ve experienced a user growth of 20% YOY, with 70% of their revenue from the B2B sector, and 30% from B2C.

“In 2020, regardless of COVID-19 pandemic, we are printing more than 100,000 items per month from both B2B bulk orders and B2C orders,” Vincent added.

Data Is King

The change in shopping habits during the pandemic has also spurred their production, and SMEs haven’t stopped looking for gifts like mugs, button badges and lanyards to promote their brands and retain customers.

Our spirits haven’t been entirely dampened by the pandemic either, as we’re still celebrating festivities within small, safe circles and sharing gifts.

Printcious is used to this influx of orders during festive seasons, and after all these years in the industry, they understand the importance of being prepared and on standby for the surge in demand.

They predict their customers’ shopping habit weeks ahead through data collected over the months, and ensure that their stock level and manpower can meet the demand.

The Printcious team / Image Credit: Printcious

“We foresee the market demands or conduct our market research based on Google Keywords research and Google Trends. In other words, high search volume equals high demand,” Vincent shared.

For example, from April to June 2020, they found that the demand for jigsaw puzzles increased tremendously as per the searches for it on Google.

“After online research, we realised everybody was staying at home and enjoying their jigsaw puzzle game. With this information, we quickly replenished our materials to avoid stock shortage. After that, we revised our marketing and production strategies to fully focus on these high-demand products.”

Customer feedback is also important; they get this through WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, with their customer service team on standby every day.

Staying One Step Ahead

A simple Google search would tell you that while Printcious is a known name in the personalised gifting industry, they’re far from being the only one, even locally.

Vincent is aware of this, of course, and he’s already set a plan in motion to ensure that Printcious stays one step ahead.

“We have started to focus on merchandise programme, actively seeking partnerships and co-branding campaigns with retailers, Youtubers, KOLs and other public figures, so we can work together to expand their brand exposure and at the same time, provide a solution to their merchandise needs,” he said.

Printcious’ extensive category offerings / Image Credit: Printcious

However, he added, “To be frank, gift personalisation is not so popular yet in the ASEAN market compared to western countries.”

So, for Printcious, competition is a good thing, since they can split the “education fee” amongst one another when education the market about gift personalisation.

Furthermore, Vincent believes it’s a healthy part of any industry as it reminds one to not take things for granted, keep working hard, evolve, and keep up with trends.

In any case, he also said that most of the players in the personalised printed gift industry are friends of Printcious’ as well.

Personal Gifts Won’t Go Out Of Style

I’m not a huge gifter by any means, and I personally struggle with personalising printed gifts for someone since I’m never too sure if it’s something they’d like or not. (Though one could argue it’s the thought that counts.)

As gift trends constantly evolve, I posed a question to Vincent from the position of someone not in the industry: “Do you think personalised printed gifts will ever go out of style?”

In short, he said no. An article by Entrepreneur stated that, “The revenue of the industry is expected to reach $77 billion by the end of 2022. This means that the gifting industry together with personal and corporate gifts will hold almost 80 per cent of the retail market share.”

Printcious’ own research points to the fact that it’s a blooming industry since:

  • It’s now much easier to print a gift based on demand at lower costs thanks to advanced printing technology,
  • E-commerce has made the shopping process faster and easier,
  • Phone cameras make personalised gifts with photos much easier to create.

Not to mention, consumers have grown bored with ready-made gifts and are actively looking for something special and memorable to impress their gift recipients.

“Besides that, touching people’s hearts will not go out of style. And as we are getting busier with our lives and work, with distance apart due to the pandemic, personalised gifts will carry even more weight to receivers as a sign of remembrance and appreciation,” Vincent concluded.

In fact, they’re confident enough in the business to invest in a new production plant this year for a bigger space to have more printing machines for timely deliveries.

  • If you’re thinking of getting some gifts for the upcoming festive seasons, Printcious has given Vulcan Post readers a special discount code: VUL65. This code will be valid until December 31, 2020.
  • You can find out more about Printcious here.
  • You can read more about what we’ve written on Printcious here.

Featured Image Credit: Henry Tong & Vincent Tong, co-founders of Printcious

Categories: Entrepreneur, Malaysian

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