KUCHING: Sabah and Sarawak remains a crucial component for online shopping platform Astro Go Shop, whereby East Malaysian customers make up some six per cent of the group's total customer base.
According to Astro Go Shop chief executive officer Dr Grace Lee, with a dedicated warehouse established in East Malaysia since December 2017 as well as aggressive promotions and free delivery, the group is encouraging more buys from this market.
"We believe that there is still headroom for growth as Go Shop continues to leverage on Astro's customer base in Sarawak and Sabah" she told The Borneo Post in an exclusive interview.
"Consumers can look forward to more festive deals and tactical campaigns throughout the year.â€
Among such recent initiatives include free delivery for 30 of its best-selling products to customers in Sarawak in conjunction with this year's Chinese New Year, where customers can check this out on its official website or mobile app.
Lee said this falls back on Malaysians' favourite past time which is shopping.
"This is further proven from the market size of retail industry in Malaysia which stands at RM 100 billion. Of this, five per cent of the revenue comes from ecommerce, which continues to grow underpinned by a high penetration of smart devices, rapid urbanisation and expansion of broadband infrastructure.
"The strong fundamentals for ecommerce in Malaysia saw the emergence of many online shopping brands" she added.
Among which are Go Shop, which is operated by Astro GS Shop Sdn Bhd, a joint venture between Malaysia's leading integrated consumer media group, Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad (60 per cent) and GS Home Shopping Inc (40 per cent).
Go Shop is Malaysia's first home-grown 24-hour lifestyle shopping destination where products and services are demonstrated, sold on multiple platforms including TV, Astro Go, online e-commerce and mobile commerce, offering an anytime-anywhere retail experience.
Established in 2014, Go Shop currently serves 1.3 million users in Malaysia and Singapore across multi platforms of TV, online and mobile.
With the booming e-commerce in Malaysia, Lee applauded Sabah and Sarawak's commitment in transforming towards a state embracing digital economy to focus on a global market.
"We are committed to providing our East Malaysia consumers with the best service, convenience, quality and value from all our various touch point and also maintaining deep and long-term relationships" she enthused.
"Other than the free shipping for 30 of its best-selling products to customers in Sabah and Sarawak in conjunction with Chinese New Year 2018, we also have Flat shipping fee of RM30 for all other products regardless of size and weight of orders.â€
A key feature that makes Go Shop stand out from its competitors lies in its quality check as Go Shop only offers premium and trusted products from various categories - beauty, health and wellness, home appliances and kitchenware, living, sports and leisure, digital, and many more.
"Today, we have introduced 594 new products on our TV channels that are also offered online and via mobile. In addition, a total of 8,000 online and mobile commerce products have also been introduced" Lee detailled.
"We believe our price and product ranges are competitive with the international market. Through our partnership with GS and with the innovative product bundling, we aim to provide great value to our consumers.â€
She noted that some of Go Shop's top sellers from Sabah and Sarawak includes the Primada Pressure Cooker, Primada Intelligent Processor and Blender, Barry Smith Wanderlust Luggage, Strom Gas Stove, Elle Avery 3-in-1 Set, Richenna Perfumed Hair Dye and many others.
Looking at plans for improvement, Lee said this year, Go Shop has plans to introduce new product categories in addition to expanding product variety within each category.
"We will also be increasing the number of direct sourced products for selected fast moving items and categories. These efforts will enable us to expand our product margins" she added.
Notably, the group recorded revenues of RM25 million in the three months following its soft launch without any advertising support and RM189 million in the financial year ending 31 January 2016 following its commercial launch.
In its financial year ending 31 January 2017, Go Shop recorded RM260 million in revenue. As such, Lee expected Go Shop's annual revenue to grow to RM1 billion in five years.
"We have received many feedback from consumers, sharing that they enjoy Go Shop's live product demonstration on TV which allows for a three-dimensionalâ€¯experience of our products.
"Through our live and entertaining product demonstration, our customers are able to relate better with the products and how these products suit their lifestyles.
"Leveraging on talents and popular social media influencers like Pak Nil, Awal Ashaari, Mei Yan, who along with our professional production teams, research each product and our customer segments thoroughly, the products are tailored to the lifestyles and preferences of our audiences and customers.
"Our merchandising, marketing and production teams carefully select only the best from each product category, based on market research to ensure relevance and high appeal to our targeted market segments. Customers have peace of mind knowing that each product bought from Go Shop is authentic.â€