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Celebrity-owned SG-based online marketplace Mdada feels wrath of customers after delay

Celebrity-owned SG-based online marketplace Mdada feels wrath of customers after delay

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Celebrity hairstylist Addy Lee (pictured centre), co-founder of Singapore online marketplace Mdada, has apologised to customers for a backlog of overdue orders in a livestream on Facebook. Actress Michelle Chia (pictured right) and host Pornsak (pictured left) are also co-founders of the company.

In the livestream taken from Europe, Lee explained that Mdada had run into logistical issues caused by the pandemic, which resulted in delayed goods; according to The New Paper. He added that the company has not made money at all from the trip to Europe as it had failed to calculate the administration fee and GST, which amounted to 12% for some customers. Mdada later said that all food items that can no longer be consumed will be refunded, while customers will receive a weekly update on their orders’ delivery status.

The apology came after Shin Min Daily News (SMDN) detailed the experiences of customers who waited for two months for their orders to arrive. Lee also reiterated during the livestream that Mdada had a delivery timeline of 40 working days. According to The New Paper, Pornsak, was also present in the livestream, said that the team is now entirely focused on shipping out orders. 

Mdada was launched in September 2020 with much fanfare. According to CNBC, the company has since garnered over five million livestream views, with over 28,000 followers. The company has also grown to almost 30 employees. Mdada's unaudited revenue for the financial year ended September 30 2021 had come in at about SG$15 million, CNBC reported.

According to Salil Chari, senior vice-president of marketing and customer experience (AMEA) at FedEx Express, while many businesses are eager to jump on eCommerce, creating a seamless, frictionless eCommerce experience is a complex undertaking. Around 75% of consumers are concerned about stock-outs and shipping delays, and many SMEs are also faced with the daunting task of reaching potential customers and providing a timely, convenient and seamless service experience.

While nearly 150 million people shopped online for the first time during the pandemic, one often overlooked aspect is the customer experience doesn’t stop after an online purchase. "Consumers expect shopping to be convenient, effortless and enjoyable from start to end, including how their product will be delivered. Any setback along the customer journey can derail the experience in an instant," said Chari.

In a prior conversation with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE, Kevin Kan, current CEO of Break Out Consulting Asia and former managing director Asia of CRM and loyalty company AIMIA, said that the key to managing customer expectations is to always be aware of the changing environment and clearly communicating any change.  Delivery and prompt shipping is a big part of the customer experience when shopping online, Kan said.

Meanwhile, founder of ecommerce and SEO consultancy Stridec, Alva Chew, also said most consumers can understand and accept delayed delivery if the situation is communicated clearly upfront during the checkout process. To better manage expectations, Chew said eCommerce operations that are highly integrated with backend order processing and logistics can provide waiting time estimates upfront to consumers before the orders are confirmed.

"Another method would be to provide some sort of incentive - usually a small discount or rebate - for consumers who are willing to accept a longer delivery schedule, something that RedMart previously has executed to great positive effect," he added. Even a simple text message displayed on the website or ordering platform to highlight the longer-than-usual delivery schedule can also help defuse tempers and allow consumers to regulate their own buying decisions. 

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