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Carousell launches SMB pandemic relief package for HK merchants

Carousell launches SMB pandemic relief package for HK merchants

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The fifth wave of the pandemic has impacted many businesses with many now having to worry about reduced income and customers, said a recent Carousell survey. To support ecosystem and assist SMBs in their business continuity planning, Carousell has launched a special HK$968 CarouBiz SMB Pandemic Relief Package. New CarouBiz merchants can receive up to 40,000 Carousell coins and a CarouBiz subscription under the HK$968 CarouBiz SMB Pandemic Relief Package, which is worth a total value of HK$2,000. Additionally, local merchants can now enjoy additional exclusive offers on the package when they pay by Visa. Carousell has also forged partnerships with various brands to upgrade the package with complementary services, including an exclusive offer to new GOGOBusiness merchants with 10% rebate for every delivery order, and a free Club Sim with one-month no contract period monthly plan that includes 20GB local data and unlimited voice minutes valued at HK$58.

"The past few weeks have been a difficult and uncertain time for Hongkongers. Over 52% of our CarouBiz merchants surveyed have physical stores, and a top concern is if their business can survive the anti-pandemic restrictions. From our survey, we learned that many of our merchants are shifting more of their business online to adapt to this uncertain time. We want to urge small businesses who are hesitant to go online to do so quickly," said Kevin Huang, managing director of Carousell Hong Kong.

The survey done among local merchants to identify top challenges found that 75% of merchants had been affected, and their top challenges encountered were reduced customers (73%), reduced income (43%), and logistics issues (42%). The top three worries of merchants were uncertainty on how to adapt to social distancing measures (67%), business continuity (64%), and logistics issues (62%). Affected by low footfall and rising uncertainty, 59% of surveyed merchants said they had started to move more of their business online to reduce the impact, and 10% took out loans or used credit for more cash flow. Another 10% shared that they had to stop operations due to the recent measures. Around 14% of them said they will need to pivot to a new type of business or side income stream in the interim.

Meanwhile, 69% of surveyed local merchants stated that CarouBiz allowed them to continue business operations despite social distancing restrictions, and 40% shared that the affordable tools helped lower operational costs. "In addition to supporting small businesses, Carousell remains committed to its local community of users and is conscious about their needs. Through providing flexible and tailored offerings, we strive to make it through the difficult times with the local community," Huang added.

Lastly, Carousell revealed that the number of weekly active users in the Hong Kong market was steady throughout January and February 2022, with over 20% year-on-year growth. The growth was a continuation of the 2021 year-end shopping season, reflecting a steady demand for online shopping and greater choice of both C2C and retail merchants.

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