Kuala Lumpur, Oct 24: SMEGO has launched a mobile app to help businesses move online to compete in the post-pandemic economy. The multi-functional mobile app that enables businesses to automatically create an online store and track the necessary data.
Brands will also soon be able to automatically set up stores on ecommerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee as well.
To ensure a holistic solution for SMEs and MSMEs, the service also includes an I-POS system, a payment gateway and most importantly, training and educational material for business owners to better utilise the service and grow their business online at an affordable rate.
SMEGO has also launched a crowdfunding campaign through PitchIN to raise funds to expand the suite of digital services it is offering to SMEs and MSMEs in Malaysia.
“The impact of the pandemic was felt by us all, but the many SMEs and MSMEs in Malaysia did not have access to the tools and knowledge to help them transition online easily.
“That’s why we built SMEGO, because we believe that it should be easy for businesses to bring their products online easily.
“They form the backbone of our economy, so we must be able to provide them with an easy and affordable way to make their business sustainable from now on” explains the CEO and founder of SMEGO Datuk Westin Chew (pictured above).
Underserved segment of the economy
While there are grants and existing technology solutions available in Malaysia to help businesses make the transition online, there are obstacles that small businesses face in going online.
Due to the complexity of applying for the grants and the high price and complexity of the existing solutions in the market, it often means that SMEs and MSMEs do not have feasible options available to them.
This problem is being addressed, with the recent announcement by the Prime Minister Datuk Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob on the 12th Malaysia Plan, with an emphasis on improving digitalisation for businesses.
The government aims to develop a skilled labour force through the use of technology as well as robust training programmes offered by online course providers.
This would result in businesses being able to perform their tasks more effectively, and SMEGO is ideally placed to aid the government in reaching the projected GDP growth of 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent from 2021 to 2025, as well as retain its competitive advantage over neighbouring countries like Vietnam and Indonesia.
“We have been using SMEGO since the MCO and we have realised that it is so much easier for us to handle both our retail and online store through the platform.
“It helps us save a lot of time and we can easily upload the product images and start selling faster with our own SMEGO e-store.
“Payment is almost immediate and it is simple with no hassle.
“It’s never been so easy to manage both retail and online through a single platform,” Hascott Group founder Datuk Henry Tay said.
How SMEGO simplifies the process of digitalisation
Setting up an online store is not easy, especially for those with a digital background and sufficient resources to hire experts. Beyond the initial capital expenditure and technical knowledge required, small brands often struggle to manage the backend, stocking, accounts and logistics
Understanding this, SMEGO was built to automate this process as much as possible – allowing the business owner to focus on growing their business, while SMEGO provides backend management for their new online store.
The service has built-in APIs into the ecommerce platforms that allow it to be a single interface for business owners to manage, track and promote their online store.
SMEGO was also designed to work for busy entrepreneurs who can easily manage their online store from their mobile phone.
The simplicity of the solution also means that there is no need for extra costs that come from hiring technical experts or developing software for businesses, as SMEGO solves the issue.
The other benefits include business training, as SMEGO offers online courses for those who are in need of training and guidance. This extends to funding, as businesses that need financial loans in the future.
This will soon include transaction data that SMEGO is able to provide, which is required for any future loan submission that enables business owners to expand, which can be a challenge for some SMEs and MSMEs.
“During the MCO, our customers could not buy from us and it was difficult trying to manage multiple different online platforms. “ We are not a big company, so we do not have the staff nor the training to run an online store properly.
“Thanks to the SMEGO team, we were able to set up and run our online stores from our phones.
“It was easier for us to run our business, promote to customers during the pandemic and get payment,” said founder of Chrysalis beauty transform studio and Academy Chrysalis Chea.
In an exclusive interview with DailyStraits.com, SMEGO founder and CEO Westin Chew gives us a low-down on his start-up and why it would be beneficial for traders in the MSMEs and SMEs sphere to use his platform in their respective businesses.
1) Why do MSMEs and SMEs need a solution like SMEGO to help them digitalise?
As the economy is facing a downturn due to pandemics and uncertainty on post covid, many business owners have taken a crucial need to transform or digitalise their business in adopting new technology, and yet a high percentage of business owners are still unknown to digitalisation. SMEGO provides a solution to bridge backend to selling in one system, first focusing on handling the pain point of messy inventory, accounting, paperwork, and stock issues. Second with the upcoming bridge to multiple market places selling channel such as Shopee or Lazada in a single button, hence millions of the sellers in marketplaces today are now able to use SMEGO to manage all their retail selling and online selling with an automatic update to their stock inventory, account and in a single platform rather than self-key in. Third is high percentage of sellers in the market has undocumented sales or bookkeeping therefore with SMEGO solution and account function this enables for the small business owner to have their business in the system in order for future bank loans or grant application for expansion purposes easily.
2) Why is there very little coverage for local SMEs and MSMEs?
Solution providers in the market were built on a website or which require to purchase software base rather than Apps, it often focuses on large corporations SMB rather than micros as large corporation are willing to pay high customisation fees. Some players in the market do have similar functions but with higher costs compared to SMEGO, we focus on delivering the most business-needed solution at a low entry price strategy to assist business owners more to digital fast and effective. SMEGO understands the pain point of business owners and well understands the local culture hence SMEGO was built according to this. SMEGO competitive advantages are low pricing strategy with most needed function, localisation approach, simple and easy to use interface, suitable for all industries and operate anywhere anytime.
3) How does SMEGO help MSMEs and SMEs scale?
By offering a simple and easy to onboard platform of offline and online digital solution, this has helped them to move over from conventional to digital solution easily by offering I-POS system fully in a mobile phone that automatically syncs to a given e-store that comes with a shopping cart, subdomain and payment gateway ready and this has given business owner an ultimate fast solution to sell faster than before. This e-store will soon sync to multiple market places such as Shoppe and Lazada and business owner only require to manage one SMEGO. This has made business owners save time, reduce failure, reduce mistakes, and cost-saving compare to conventionally managing multiple entries
4) Why has SMEGO resorted to crowdfunding for investment?
Technology has driven and escalator the entire business world ever since the pandemic erupted. Digital commerce is yet another new revolution and things are moving faster than ever, it has pushed digital commerce to both B2B and B2C buyers and has driven shoppers to purchase a product they’ve never bought online before, with the growth of 70 per cent buying more than usual. Coming back to question SMEGO initiated this crowdfunding to speed and to scale things faster to cope with the ever-changing digital that we are in now and with the funding, we are also looking to expand into the Southeast Asia market soon by escalating this crowdfunding as well we hope to attract season investors and potential partners to support us in knowledge and experience for our future expansion.
5) How do companies benefit with using SMEGO?
Our users have realised that managing retail and online store has never been so easy with zero mistakes. One of the merchants told me that during MCO (Malaysia’s Movement Control Order), customers could not buy from them and it was difficult trying to find multiple online platforms to run, while the manpower is not there as they do not have a training to run online store before. SMEGO stepped in and enabled them to have their e-store within minutes and immediately enabled them to sell from their phones. It was so easy to get paid with SMEGO’s multiple payment solutions and fast-selling function.
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