Shopify, Off The Rack Asia – e-commerce hots up in Malaysia

A trolley in loveSome interesting news happening in the Malaysian e-commerce space today.

  • Shopify, the Canadian company, is now in Southeast Asia thanks to SingTel backing. Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India get access to Shopify, and by September, you can work with local payment gateways as SingTel will help Shopify get onboarded. In Malaysia, that means working with MOLPay (NBEPay) or iPay88. Both have woefully terrible pages that break the flow.
  • With Maybank pushing e-commerce and “blogshops”, I’m surprised they didn’t have the foresight to do this. Shopify could have chosen Malaysia as a headquarters, no? Alas, the sufferance when Singapore is your much more welcoming neighbour.
  • I read about a startup, Off The Rack Asia, that aims to compete with Zalora/FashionValet/Rakuten/etc. The story broke at FZ, which is also worth a read. They don’t disclose how much Cradle gave as a grant? It’s anywhere between RM150,000 – RM500,000 isn’t it (CIP150 or CIP500)?
    • This is great for merchants. They have more places to distribute their goods. Love that they’re supporting locals.
    • Target market is 18-35 – I think that’s two broad, you get at least 2 distinct age groups there, if not three!
    • I checked out the site – nice design. I notice that the items are generally quite pricey, so definitely not mass market fast fashion prices.
    • Checkout page can do with improvements. (I must accept terms but can’t read it via a clickable link?) Payment page basically sucks, it heads to MOLPay.
    • No idea if they’re drop shipping or holding inventory. Zalora started via drop ship, but soon realised that fulfilment was an issue, so they have a warehouse with inventory.
    • Zendesk is their Q&A platform (odd choice that you’d pay for such a service).

    Overall, I’m hoping to see improvements in payment gateways with lobbying by all these players. And I wish the girls at Off The Rack the best, it’s a tough space to be in, but one that can only grow as Malaysia itself grows digitally (as does the region).