All businesses weren’t spared from the impact of the pandemic, but some certainly fared better and were even impacted positively.
Thanks to the e-commerce boom in Q2-4 of 2020, e-commerce fulfilment providers made up some of the players in the industry who saw great returns, we learnt.
Fadhli, founder and CEO of LetMeStore told Vulcan Post, “We have experienced almost 20-30% MOM growth in terms of number of parcels. Since March 2020, almost every month we broke our record high in terms of number of parcels per month.”
But even before the pandemic, the 4-year-old company had stable business growth. Compared to 2019, their number of merchants onboarded grew by almost 100%, and their YOY growth for the number of parcels they process per month is almost 300%.
They serve 2 segments of merchants:
- Enterprise clients, who are mostly established brands selling as official stores on major marketplaces like Lazmall and Shopee Mall,
- Online sellers in the social commerce scene, who are commonly active on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms.
The latter is more of their main segment, and LetMeStore benefits them by carrying out all their fulfilment duties, letting the sellers focus on sales and marketing.
Not Enough E-Commerce Fulfilment Players Yet
Since they’ve strongly positioned the company in the social commerce segment, they work mostly with merchants who adopt the stockist-agent system. Therefore, they’ve got to take on a different approach compared to dealing with Lazada/Shopee sellers.
“One of the biggest challenges is merchants in this category usually do not have a proper system to manage their orders and fulfilment. Points of communication are merely WhatsApp and Facebook,” Fadhli shared.
Needing to adopt completely different methods and tools to serve them, LetMeStore designed an e-fulfilment system to cater specifically to their needs.
Many other e-commerce fulfilment providers have created their own management systems for merchants too, so it seems like a fairly standard practice.
For someone not involved in the industry, it feels like while we have a saturation of e-commerce players in Malaysia, the end-to-end e-commerce fulfilment sector is equally saturated.
But Fadhli disagrees. He shared that the e-commerce market in Malaysia is growing more than 20% YOY, and globally, research has shown similar, where they found the pandemic accelerated the shift from physical retail experiences to e-commerce by 5 years.
“In fact, my view on this is the current existing players in the market are still not enough to cater for the growth,” Fadhli said.
“At this point of time, I believe, the cake is big enough for everyone. However, within this short period, we need to quickly build our competitive advantage as the market will eventually be saturated in the near future.”
Partnerships Are Integral To Growth
Integral to their growth has been MaGIC, who guided LetMeStore back in June 2016. “We almost shut down the business, if it wasn’t for being selected to join MaGIC’s GAP Cohort 3,” Fadhli recalled.
The resident mentor helped them polish their ideas, test them, and eventually pivot the business to its current model.
From MaGIC’s events, LetMeStore was able to secure a few partnerships with other startups that were also directly involved in e-commerce.
They even met their first investor, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, founder of MOL Global and Commerce.Asia, at one of these events. He’s been their mentor and strategic partner since then.
Working through partnerships with companies that offer e-commerce management services such as the aforementioned Commerce.Asia and Bizapp has been effective for LetMeStore’s growth too.
As they share a similar client base, this has helped reduce its marketing costs since the approach is more targeted and already supported by existing data.
Next, they’re looking to expand their services outside Klang Valley through partnerships with warehouses that are currently underutilised.
Fadhli said, “We could easily convert them into e-commerce fulfilment warehouses with our technical know-how and cloud based technology.”
“This could potentially help us expand our business with minimum cost by helping the other warehouses stay relevant. At the same time, it will benefit our clients who can store their products at multiple locations for a shorter logistic time.”
To achieve this though, they first need to ensure that their system is robust enough to cater to the expansion, and they’re currently developing the extension module.
- You can find out more about LetMeStore here.
- You can read about other e-commerce related articles here.
Featured Image Credit: Fadhli Tahar, CEo and founder of LetMeStore