DyueMall.com – THE LARGEST ONLINE HYPERMALL IN MALAYSIA With A Personal Touch
DyueMall.com (Dyue or Joy in Mandarin) illuminates the deep aspiration of Xavier Tan, Managing Director of DyueMall.com, has for his stakeholders. His keen observation on the dilemma faced by merchants, entrepreneurs and customers in the daily business world was the inspiration to create the ‘joyful’ online shopping environment for all to prosper. Franchise Asia gets to know more on how this online marketplace is different from others out there.
Tell us briefly the idea behind starting DyueMall.com and what are the plans being made to achieve it?
In brief, DyueMall.com started as an entertainment and information portal in 2007 and was officially launched in Nov 2009. It is currently the largest online hypermall in Malaysia with over 3,000 product items supplied by 150 well-known strategic partners or merchants including Baker’s Cottage, Ogawa, Khind, Olympus, Kollektion, Inuovi Professional, Kleenso, F-Cup Cookies, E-Zee, J&J, Gold Art, Mine Alesi, and etc. We now have 15,000 online subscribers, 18,700 Facebook fans and 2,000 e-licensees.
Here’s a short description on how DyueMall.com got started. Back when I was marketing beauty and spa equipment, I observed a few practices that changed my life forever and were instrumental for the inception of DyueMall.com.
Running a small trading company, I found it difficult working with salon and beauty spas as they frequently demanded for advertising support, high-profit margins and long credit terms to sell my products. They also
wanted effortless selling. It was very taxing for a start-up when I had limited resources. I am sure it applies to other entrepreneurs who are also starting off. As for customers, I found them to be generally suspicious of merchants after being let down by inferior quality products and promises not fulfilled. This certainly posed a great dilemma for me. Due to this I often had to stock-up products.
During those times I experienced the same difficulties faced by many young entrepreneurs trying to make a breakthrough including lack of capital, lack of contacts in the industry and the necessary skill-sets to flourish in the marketplace. And in a predatory world, it is often the big players that squash the small start-ups often winding them up. Back in my mind, I knew there is a better and fair way for the small players to prosper as well.
It was during the early era of internet marketing that I kept trying to figure out how the cyberspace can be utilised as a tool to bridge genuine merchants who are facing difficulties in marketing their products and services with entrepreneurs who are waiting for the lucky break to move forward. Online advertising was rife then, where advertisers profited from the high mark-ups on packages sold. After some years it’s not the same playing field anymore. There was information overload. Advertisers were beginning to fight for attention of the same group of consumers and the same consumer dollars. With information easily accessible via internet, consumers had the upper hand to compare prices making it even more difficult for merchants to mark up prices for a profit. Competition became even more intense.
Consumers became more confused on which product or services to choose. Customer loyalty was at the lowest as customers were more concerned with their expenditure. At such instance, customers often rely on recommendations from family members and friends and also customer testimonials.
That gave me the idea to start DyueMall.com – to play a pivotal role through convergence of the 4Ps of business – offering quality products & services (merchandise) via genuine merchants to the people (customers) at affordable prices. DyueMall.com provides the distribution channel (place). Through the internet, DyueMall.com was able to shorten the distribution cycle by eliminating intermediaries that are common in traditional business setting. In this way DyueMall.com can work directly with manufacturers and distributors to deliver products and services below market price.
Furthermore internet is an effective 24/7 tool with no geographical boundaries, where cyberspace is virtually unlimited. In traditional retail environment the consumers are restricted by certain radius but not in the virtual world. The opportunities are limitless. You can reach anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world. This is not so in traditional business where you are still required to pay listing fees, a high margin on your products and fees for A&P support simply because the real estate rate is very high. It is common for people who control the property to make all the money. In short, there is great disparity between the haves and have nots, with the rich becoming richer – apparent in countries like China and Indonesia that could lead to an M-shaped society – a polarised society made up of the extreme rich and the extreme poor with the middle classes gradually shrinking and disappearing.
To counter this from happening, DyueMall.com was essentially set up to benefit three parties: Merchants who want a distribution channel to sell and market their products, Entrepreneurs (e-licensees) a platform to start a business, and consumers to shop affordably priced products and services at their own convenience under complete trust and security.
The beauty of the system is that merchants need not be concerned about A&P, customer service, inventory, rental space, delivery and other logistics. All they have to do is educate and train e-licensees or agents through events organised by DyueMall.com like road shows, and merchant talks. DyueMall.com will also take care of online advertising and branding of the products. Entrepreneurs need only low investment capital to start with us and commence selling in a low risk environment. As for customers, DyueMall.com offers the ideal online shopping mall where they can easily choose from a long list of product selection right from the comfort and convenience of their home, at anytime.
Malaysians are basically conservative minded when it comes to revealing credit card details and personal financial information. How does DyueMall.com deal with these shortcomings to convince consumers to purchase online through its site?
This could be the case a few years back but I believe Malaysians are already accustomed to disclosing their credit card details in their transactions, e.g., purchasing flight tickets or online banking. I think the apprehension of using credit card for online transactions has greatly reduced with sophisticated online security protection and improved safety measures.
There are well-known e-commerce sites in existence for the public, e.g., eBay, mudah, lelong, etc. How is DyueMall.com different from these e-commerce sites? And what sets it apart from these more established e-commerce sites?
As an analogy, eBay or lelong are more like a shopping mall leasing out a space for anyone and everyone to sell their wares. It provides a venue to do your business online where the owner of the premises is not directly involved with the transactions taking place between the seller and the buyer.
This is where DyueMall.com is unique. We presently have 2,000 Brand Ambassadors (e-licensees) and are continuously growing in number. They provide an added value by acting as supporting facilitators and bridging the merchants and customers in two ways. One is by acting as an army of sales consultants for merchants by marketing the products and services for free. Secondly, as consumers they gain first-hand knowledge of the products and services before recommending them to others. To equip these Brand Ambassadors, a special Corporate Business School is set-up to provide them with the necessary knowledge in marketing strategies. Graduates of this programme are required to produce a set sales target before they are given their graduation certificate. An arrangement is also made with the merchants to provide the necessary product knowledge in order to better equip these unique Brand Ambassadors.
You may then ask how it benefits the merchants who are linked with us. DyueMall.com will provide these merchants the avenue to network through our exhibitions and events which are organised annually. These events would provide the merchants the exposure to the global market. Merchants would then be free from the wastage of resources and energies that are normally needed in branding and promotion. DyueMall.com would provide the necessary marketing plans and strategies for the merchant’s products and services. With our online mall, we will provide the merchant with a complete online setup with coding and html without the hassle of them doing it.
As for customers, including our Brand Ambassadors, DyueMall.com offers Cash Reward Points (CRP) worth over RM100,000 to be redeemed. Every 1 CRP is equivalent to RM1. The reward points also do not have any expiry date attached to it.
What are the expansion plans for DyueMall.com, especially to move into international markets of Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand?
We believe our concept is new and revolutionary and we want to make our base in Malaysia strong first before venturing abroad. Once we have the fundamentals in place, we can easily duplicate the business model into other countries. We also have plans to introduce lots of innovative plans and features to take DyueMall.com to be better recognised. Some of them include, featuring low price products, outdoor billboard advertising, Facebook marketing, original products and lowest price guarantee assurance to remove the fear of customers in making wrong purchase decisions.
We spend the last phase on removing customers’ doubts over the DyueMall.com model through road shows. I strongly feel that many are beginning to accept that the model would work with 2,000 strong e-licensees and 150 active merchants we have now. We target to achieve the maximum 10,000 e-licensees mark based on the population of Malaysia. Beyond this point, we would reach a saturation point where our e-licensees will have to compete intensely with each other for market share.
Even though we operate an online shopping mall, it is also our mission to take care of our merchants so that they can compete evenly on an open and level ground. For example, we only have one merchant – Baker’s Cottage – to supply mooncakes even though we were approached by many other mooncake manufacturers. Again, if we allow multiple merchants in selling a similar product, we will only encourage the same competition that we see in the traditional marketplace – merchants fighting for the same dollar and creating a price war. Then we will be back at square one again. For us it is quality that matters rather than quantity.
We want to take care of the interest of our merchants. We believe in corporating a ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ business concept, in helping merchants to go where the profits and growth are and where there is less competition. We want to avoid everyone competing in the small world. This way we believe DyueMall.com will help both our customers, e-licensees and merchants to prosper in a win-win situation in the end. ‘Buy It. Sell It. Love It.’ is more than just a tagline at DyueMall.com. To us, it is our way of life here.