Author’s presentation: When I think of an online platform that lists brick and mortar merchants, I immediately think of e-commerce: âThey help these businesses establish an online presence and sell online, don’t they? But I’ve learned that might not always be the case, in fact.
Shop my husband is a little different from most of the online platforms you know that have merchant listings.
2 years ago, co-founders KJ and Aries had the same vision to create a platform to help traditional brick and mortar stores get online.
But here’s the problem: these merchants wouldn’t sell anything on the platform.
To their surprise, however, the acceptance rate of such a solution was quite high as they would knock on store doors to introduce their service.
In their first 3 months, they were able to find their first 50 stores and were able to raise their first round of funding as well as working with a top app developer to build their app and website.
Today, they have 350 local stores on board, and Shop Hubby is working with over 50 influencers in their campaign to revive these local stores.
Not quite e-commerce
âRelaunching their business means rejuvenating their business models by bringing them online and reaching out to customers not only in their areas of operation, but also in different regions and states,â KJ told Vulcan Post.
Going online definitely adds value to the business of a physical store, he admitted. “However, going online doesn’t necessarily mean they have to sell online, as our goal is to convert online populations to become walk-in customers of these stores.”
Essentially, accessibility is the main thing Shop Hubby wants to address for these stores. It’s rare that you would know about promotions and deals from a physical store if there wasn’t social media, so a platform like Shop Hubby’s that clearly lists stores by category and deals provides a solution for them. customers and sellers.
âCurrently, there is no such app in the market that can integrate all local stores nearby and help local stores reach shoppers, whether local or tourists,â KJ added.
From a consumer’s perspective, Shop Hubby’s platform acts like a GPS or some sort of map with additional information about stores, such as what they are selling and what types of deals they have in it. moment.
You can sort the lists of shops presented according to 3 categories: discounts, category (furniture, electronics, optics, etc.) and by mode of travel (driving, walking or public transport).
Although e-commerce is the hot thing right now, I think there are others like me who still prefer to visit a physical store and buy a product with cash, and these are people. like us who are probably Shop Hubby’s target buyers.
When it comes to ecommerce, it’s much easier to track a merchant’s sales performance.
On the flip side, KJ said Shop Hubby just provides the necessities and the marketing formula for brick and mortar stores, but stores also need to make efforts to increase sales in a sustainable way.
Shop Hubby tracks each store’s online presence metrics through reach, engagement, and live video conversion.
According to KJ, their social media still has a reach of 300,000 posts and they currently have around 5,000 mobile app users.
To increase foot traffic, they also offer customers a daily RM 5 incentive to go out and support local businesses.
Stores that sign up with Shop Hubby pay fees as low as RM 900 per year to access services like professional photographers, videographers, influencers, and social media boosters.
âOur business model is not to capitalize on our social media profits like any other marketing business, but to integrate them all into our app as quickly as possible,â said KJ.
However, how quickly they get to store owners to get onboard remains one of the team’s biggest challenges.
Merchants are generally stubborn, KJ shared, which means they have to spend a lot of time in the field educating them on the benefits of working with Shop Hubby.
This then poses the problem of the lack of manpower to do it on a larger scale. While KJ is grateful for their existing team structure, he is aware that they will need more talent to join them before they can develop further.
The plan for the foreseeable future is to expand their operations in different states and customize different plans for each store in different areas.
With this, every store can maintain its competitiveness and relevance in the future, KJ believes.
Conclusion: I can see that Shop Hubby’s solution is popular with older store owners who don’t quite believe in e-commerce yet. One thing that could improve the experience of using the platform for consumers would be to have a rating / rating system, so that consumers do not need to open both the application and Google to verify the evaluation. It could also instill more immediate confidence in buyers.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Shop Hubby