VSDaily had an opportunity to interview Kenneth Lee who has selected e-commerce as his choice to start up own business. He founded an online store selling hampers – HamperMalaysia.com in 2005. He started the online business on part time basis during his university time, as a way for him to earn pocket money to be spent during festive season. After few years of his own efforts, he managed to build up his online business successfully and now he operates HamperMalaysia.com on full-time basis under Billz Marketing. Just for a single festive season, he can sell over 5,000 units of hampers.
VSD: Why did you choose e-commerce to start up your own business?
Kenneth: When I was young, I didn’t have much capital to start a business. Therefore, I have chosen e-commerce which only caused me to spend few hundred ringgits to build up the website and started to sell.
VSD: Why do you choose hampers or gifts?
Kenneth: I understand that how busy day to day life has become but people still feel important for them to tell others they care about by sending them gifts during festive season. They want to surprise their loved ones, clients and employees with exceptional products and presentation. Hamper definitely can carry the mean for such purpose. Therefore, I decided to start the business of giving, to provide easy solution for every occasion without hassle on the weather, traffic and time consuming to make people happy in town.
VSD: What were the challenges faced during your business setup?
Kenneth: I faced two key problems which are inventory issue and pricing strategy.
VSD: Who are your competitors? How do you stand out from the competition?
Kenneth: You can buy hampers from brick-and-mortar retails shops as well as from supermarket or hypermarket. Selling online can save catalogue printing cost and catalogue distribution cost. This helps me to improve my profit margin and maintain it at 20 to 25 percent. With extra profit margin, I can use it to provide better products in the hamper. Besides, I also emphasize on fast delivery which I believe is the essential to make customers happy.
VSD: How do you promote your online store effectively?
Kenneth: Word of mouth is the most effective way. The best way to promote your store is to have a great product with fast delivery and good customer service. Search engine optimization (SEO) also playing very important role to promote online store.
VSD: How to become successful in ecommerce?
Kenneth: First, must stay focus in providing good customer service. You need to ensure the email inquiries to be replied promptly. Second, clients always expect fast delivery so I emphasize fast shipping for my clients. Last thing, you must take care your own company cash flow to ensure your business can be sustained from time to time.
VSD: Any risk in doing e-commerce?
Kenneth: Fraud always is number one enemy to e-commerce. For suspicious transaction, I prefer customers to pay me cash instead of via online payment before product delivery.
Please click here to see the review of HamperMalaysia.com.