Shopee Malaysia has partnered with the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association to bring Petaling Street traders online ahead of Chinese New Year via the "Petaling Street Goes Ong-Line" initiative. This offers participating traders including Hai-O, Hari Hari, and Oloiya a platform to promote their goods nationwide and is also part of Shopee's "Buy Malaysia" initiative.
Currently, there are more than 1,500 items by Petaling Street traders and these companies are also able to leverage Shopee's 2.2 Chinese New Year sale which will end on 13 February. At the same time, the traders can also tap on free Shopee University eCommerce workshops available in Mandarin, English, and Bahasa Malaysia. The second round of Movement Control Order has reportedly led to traders experiencing losses of up to 95%, according to the press statement.
While Shopee declined to share the monetary value of the initiative, regional MD Ian Ho explained that the team built a microsite to create dedicated exposure just for the Petaling Street traders. Upon capturing the attention of Malaysians, it needed to ensure that it could convert that attention into sales for the traders. Hence, it decided to offer cashbacks and shipping vouchers to incentivise and encourage Malaysians to support these traders.
Ho said the purpose of the free Shopee University training courses is to enable traders to learn the tips and tricks and sustain their business in the long run. "We began work the moment the news broke about the traders facing existential losses. When you read about traders that have been in business for two, three generations saying they experienced 95% losses, it is disheartening and alarming. We knew we had to act," Ho said.
The microsite was done within three working days and the urgency stemmed from the fact that it wanted traders to be featured in time for its 2.2 Chinese New Year sale. At the same time, Shopee has also rolled out a series of initiatives within its affiliate marketing network to drive traffic and conversion for the traders. It is also releasing social media postings to drive traction for the online initiative in the lead up to Chinsee New year.
"More specifically on recreating the experience of Petaling Street, while we are unable to recreate the sounds and smell of Petaling Street, the team put in deep thought into the design of the microsite and campaign artwork to recreate the experience through sight. That can be seen in something so simple as the image of the iconic archway known to represent Petaling Street on our banners and the street signage to replicate the different lanes of Petaling Street," he said.
Separately, with Ramadan and Hari Raya set in April and May respectively, Ho said the team will have some time to plan something larger and more impactful. For traders who are looking to open up their stores on Shopee in time for Hari Raya, Ho urges them to do it now and familiarise themselves with the system, as well as take advantage of its Shopee Seller Support Package.
Meanwhile, Ang Say Tee, chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Hawkers and Petty Traders Association, said with this partnership, it hopes that Malaysians will support the vendors by purchasing their Chinese New Year needs from them and help protect the legacy of Petaling Street. "This street is an important part of history which defines our multicultural nation. Please help us ensure that it does not go extinct," he added.
Last year, Shopee launched the second edition of its "Buy Malaysia" campaign in partnership with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA). In 2019, the eCommerce platform said that its campaign was met with success, with the average daily order of Malaysian-made products on its platform increasing by 330%.
Separately, the Selangor state government is also running the Chinese New Year E-Bazaar until 7 March and predicts 25,000 micro-businesses and SMEs to participate. Bernama reported that the state government will hand out RM2 million in subsidies in the form of vouchers for purchases on Shopee and Lazada. The campaign also seeks to help micro-businesses digitalise their businesses.
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