Malaysians love shopping malls and shopping. But most of all, we love discounts. In pre-pandemic times, we may have even gone out of our way to visit Genting Highland Premium Outlets and Johor Premium Outlets just to get brand-name items at a cheaper price.
Inspired by this demand that he noticed in the locals, Kyle and 3 of his old friends set out to create a market that replicates these premium outlets called CepatBeli, which was released in May 2021.
One man’s (almost) trash is another’s treasure
“During the pandemic, I was exploring different ways that I could support myself and one of the ideas that came up was how to store usable products that are close to their expiration date (less than 6 months),” Kyle shared his lightbulb moment with Vulcan. Mail.
“Then I realized that with the economy so bad due to COVID-19, there may be a way to get these unwanted goods to consumers who may want them at a steep discount.” Kyle further explored this idea and also included discounted clothing, inspired by the concept of the premium outlet.
The home page of your e-commerce platform / Image Credit: CepatBeli
So Kyle and his friends (who came from supply chain, sales, and marketing) set out to invest RM15K each on this idea. Kyle is the only one who works at CepatBeli full time, while the others come in from time to time to help out when needed.
Onboarding providers took a straightforward approach with the help of a “thick face,” Kyle said. “I would say that in the first place it was a combination of adequate and concise explanations about what we can offer them. We want them to understand that there is no loss on their side to work with us. “
By getting brand owners and manufacturers to join directly, they cut out any middle man or reseller, helping CepatBeli reduce the costs of what they are selling.
Ease the hassle of e-commerce for merchants
On their site, you can find some notable trademarks like Aik Cheong, DC Comics, Volkswagen, etc. The types of products they sell include fashion, babies and toys, electronics and accessories, and dry foods.
The team provides these merchants with free warehousing, pickup and delivery, order fulfillment, and even graphic design services as they want them to experience a hassle-free end-to-end solution. To monetize, they then take a small percentage of the sales that merchants generate.
The team behind CepatBeli / Image Credit: CepatBeli
Because they are a new team with no IT and e-commerce experience, they sought guidance from the MDEC through talks, meetings, and entrepreneurship classes such as Go to e-commerce.
It was also through the MDEC that Kyle and his team met their angel investor, who pointed out weaknesses in their business plan and taught them how to get the product right for the market and how to focus on reaching their market.
Convince merchants and users that they are legitimate
As a new business, it was difficult for them to convince brands to trust their site, so they offered the aforementioned hassle-free services to incentivize brands to participate.
However, it was more difficult to convince users that the products and brands on their site were authentic. “Many consumers had concerns about the authenticity of the products, as these products were discounted up to 70%,” Kyle explained.
Offers many would be skeptical of at first / Image Credit: CepatBeli
So they are currently addressing these concerns through brand awareness campaigns and Facebook live events, where they provide significant discounts to early customers in the hope that positive reviews will grow. As of now, they are seeing a lot of household products being purchased on their site.
Malaysians are very price sensitive and are always looking for the cheapest bargains. Campaigns with free shipping above a certain amount always attract consumers out of reach, ”Kyle said, adding that they implemented that strategy upon realizing this.
Initially operating out of Kyle’s home, they now have a warehouse space in Shah Alam to accommodate their growing stock.
Earning enough to give back during the pandemic
“One of our big mistakes in the beginning was trying to save costs in our initial web development, and this resulted in us having to rebuild the website from scratch again when users increased and the platform couldn’t keep up with requests,” Kyle remembered. .
But Kyle cut their team a little bit because their first website was also a pilot without any market validation, so they didn’t dare to invest more for a better website at first.
Fortunately, the general pandemic did not affect them too much, as they are an e-commerce business, which we have generally seen thrive in times like these.
While Kyle declined to comment on his income growth, he proudly shared that the team was able to run a CSR campaign to give back to the community during the second MCO. They handed out masks, easy-to-cook meals and daily essentials to delivery passengers passing through Centrepoint Bandar Utama.
Kyle running his CSR campaigns / Image Credit: CepatBeli
“We are currently doing another round of CSR campaign to provide aid packages to the white flag program and charities. We are working closely with the city council to determine the location of the homes needed and will ship them directly to your doorstep, ”said Kyle. Her ability to give back was also what she defined as her proudest moment yet.
Thanks to their connections with MDEC companies and events, they can purchase big brand products and delegate them to those who need them. “As times are tough during the pandemic, providing reliable products is in itself a great bargain,” concluded Kyle.
- You can learn more about CepatBeli here.
- You can read more ecommerce articles that we have written. here.
Featured Image Credit: Kyle Keah, Co-Founder of CepatBeli