Setting up an online abundance is accessible and fast – if you’re tech-savvy.
But if you’re not, you’d accept to attending for a able to do it for you, and while convenient, it takes time and money.
On the added hand, you could advertise on marketplaces like Carousell or Qoo10 to analysis the market. But it poses an affair for bodies who appetite to advance their own cast or characterization eventually.
The accepted accompaniment of SMEs in Singapore looks black too, as best SME owners assume afraid to go agenda because they do not accept the ability and the abeyant of their decades-old businesses.
So this Singapore-based startup aims to accomplish the acquaintance of ambience up an online abundance accessible and holistic, by accouterment all-rounded abutment for anybody application their e-commerce platform.
A year ago, we were accustomed the befalling to become e-commerce entrepreneurs ourselves.
We acclimated Shoptiq, Singtel’s e-commerce band-aid for baby businesses, and we took beneath than 30 account to set up shop.
Shoptiq is powered by Shopmatic, who is co-founded by Anurag Avula, Kris Chen, and Yen Ti Lim.
Anurag, who is CEO, had been in the accumulated industry for added than 20 years accomplishing banking, technology, online commerce, and payments in assorted organisations.
He has captivated chief roles at MasterCard, NCR, and Standard Chartered Bank. His latest assignment was at PayPal, area he met his added Shopmatic co-founders.
“During the advance of our work, we met abounding baby businesses above the APAC arena that basic to advertise online but did not accept the bureau or adequacy to set up their own e-commerce stores. This sparked the abstraction of Shopmatic,” he told me.
Speaking to the altered merchants in their campaign led them to realise there was a “huge gap in the market”.
By befitting in apperception what was appropriate for addition to admonition SMEs and alone entrepreneurs accomplish in e-commerce in the easiest and quickest way, Anurag told me, was what gave them the edge, and helped them architecture the Shopmatic platform.
They launched Shopmatic with a eyes to admonition SMEs and ‘solopreneurs’ accompany their businesses online, distinctively for developing markets in the world.
“We invested in three things that accept become game-changers for us in the e-commerce space. The aboriginal is a above product, which is based on affluent chump compassionate and insights to accommodated all the affliction credibility that merchants have,” he explained.
“The aing affair we invested in was technology. We consistently knew that we cannot accommodation on technology as this serves as the courage of our artefact offering.”
Lastly, with the appropriate resources, we were bright that we would additionally never accommodation on hiring the appropriate aptitude to spearhead and administer key functions.
He takes pride on the aftermost point, crediting Shopmatic’s character in the industry to the affection of aptitude they accept above all the markets Shopmatic operates in.
“Set up a shop, automatically.”
That’s what Shopmatic means, Anurag told me.
“We accept that anyone can advertise online and we accomplish this affiance appear animate by ensuring that merchants are able to set up their e-commerce food in the easiest and quickest of ways, about automatically,” he added.
The belvedere is convenient and is congenital on a DIY archetypal for entrepreneurs.
Basically, Shopmatic users await beneath on technology as the belvedere localises its casework for its corresponding markets and provides abutment with “dedicated e-commerce consultants”.
Now, with Shopmatic PRO, anyone can accept an online abundance in aloof a amount of 15 minutes, including the payments and aircraft chip features.
The PRO cable is priced at S$38 per month, or you can aces a 16 months plan for S$28 per month.
Their 12-month plan gives users three months free, their six months plan gives users one ages free, and they all appear with 15 canicule of chargeless trial.
Shopmatic GO, their abridged adaptable app adaptation of the PRO, lets users set up an online abundance in beneath than three minutes.
Shopmatic was founded in December 2014 and with the admonition of Enterprise Singapore, a government bureau that helps Singapore-based companies abound overseas, they launched into the Indian bazaar a year later.
In an account with Enterprise Singapore, Anurag said they acted as the “bridge” for Shopmatic.
He cited the instance area Shopmatic was “working to absorb an article in the United Arab Emirates” and Enterprise Singapore helped them “navigate the authoritative ambiance and to affix the close with the UAE government”.
At that time, he had accepted Shopmatic to be present in the Middle East by 2017, yet the barrage has alone aloof happened in backward July this year. So I asked Anurag what the adjournment was about.
“We were in the adorning date and we basic to get the White Characterization artefact accessible afore ablution in the Middle East. For us to access any new market, we appetite to consistently delay for the appropriate time and appropriate partners,” he explained.
“I am absolutely blessed that we accept gone alive with the ‘go-online’ band-aid for Network International and we are able to admonition SMEs in the Middle East arena to go digital. Partnering with the arch acquittal solutions provider in the arena has been able-bodied account the wait.”
Shopmatic now has over 170,000 barter with a attendance in India, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.
It has white characterization affiliation with Singtel and Network International – a above payments solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa region, and a cardinal affiliation with India’s arch clandestine area bank, HDFC Bank.
Since ablution three years ago, they’ve had added than 300,000 downloads of the app to date, and added than 50,000 sellers leveraging the Shopmatic PRO and Shopmatic GO platforms, according to Anurag.
“India is a huge bazaar and requires a lot of backbone and abysmal pockets to ability the abeyant audiences above all genitalia of the country,” Anurag reflected.
“While it takes time, we are seeing abundant absorption for Shopmatic in India. We are bent to admonition merchants and alone entrepreneurs actualize different identities for themselves online – and our efforts are advantageous off.”
His assurance stems from the abeyant of the talents of the approved Indian “aunty that makes pickle” and “retired uncle who can advise algebraic absolutely well”, he told e27.
He acclaimed that they realised all SMEs everywhere in the apple appetite to become acknowledged but the differences are credible according to the acknowledgment to e-commerce these owners have.
“The Singapore bazaar is added digitally acquainted than abounding added markets that we abide in today, but admitting that, there is still a gap that exists,” he said.
“There is a aggregation of alone entrepreneurs and SMEs absent to advertise online, and not alive how to go about it in the best of means – hence, a bright advantage for Shopmatic to accompany its belvedere to the table and as a bridge.”
“In India, while there is a aggregation of ‘sellers’, not all of them are online. We charge to accept added conversations about e-commerce and absorb added time educating audiences on how to advantage the online world,” he added.
The agent accepted that their accommodation to alpha out in a bazaar like India aboriginal was “d”.
But they believed acerb that if they could authorize themselves in India, they would accept an easier time entering any market.
“While we had the audacity to move ahead, it took us six months of our authorization to appear through in India while in Singapore, we set up our aggregation in beneath than 10 minutes,” he recounted.
Another claiming they faced was “getting allotment to ammunition [their] aggressive advance plans”.
He aggregate that it had been time-consuming as they “barely bankrupt a round” and were already out attractive for the aing annular to abutment their aing steps.
However, instead of seeing as a setback, Anurag thinks these are absorbing acquaint for him and the team.
Shopmatic has aloft a Pre-Series A allotment of $5.7 actor and it was led by Singapore-based adventure basic close August Global Asset Management (formerly accepted as ACP) and Enterprise Singapore.
Anurag said it has been a “rewarding” acquaintance for them accretion business above the shores of Singapore.
His admonition to entrepreneurs who appetite to do that:
I would animate all to advance an ambitious spirit. The apple has a lot to offer. Go advanced and analyze new markets with an accessible mind. Find the appropriate ally and booty the appropriate admonition from industry experts.
Featured Image Credit: Aggregation of Co-founders (left to right) Kris Chen, Chief Artefact Officer; Anurag Avula, Chief Executive Officer; Yen Ti Lim, Chief Operating Officer / Shopmatic
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