Have you enjoyed the ‘milk’ by MilkADeal.com (MAD)? As one of the top daily deals sites in the country, MAD had featured over 3,000 deals since its operation started in 20 January 2011. Daily deals site is type of online business selling discounted vouchers of food and beverages, electronic gadgets, household products, SPA and slimming beauty services.
One of the most memorable deals offered by MAD was Amarylizz Spa deal which sold at RM49.00 instead of RM850.00. “We sold over 1,000 vouchers for Amarylizz Spa and they were able to convert close to 35 per cent of our customers to become their repeat customers. Although this may not seem like a big deal but it helping genuine and sincere entrepreneur like Liza Borja that puts a warm smile on my face at the end of a stressful working day,” Shaun Lee, the co-founder of MAD told me. Liza is the owner of Amarylizz Spa operating in Kota Damansara.
Prior to co-founding MAD with Wilson Quah, Shaun co-founded WineActually.com, Malaysia’s first licensed online wine store. He is a well-trained qualified chartered accountant and also a member of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS). Shaun is able to proof that starting up an online business does not require any web programming or information technology (IT) background.
Shaun is also operating HiShop.my, a members’ only private sales website which has been established close to 2 years as well as White.my which was launched two months ago. White.my is an online store selling lifestyle products with FREE nationwide delivery.
VSD: Why did you start MAD?
Shaun: The belief that I am able to make a difference in this space in this lifetime, making lives better and cheaper for consumers, whilst making an honest living. The result of MAD shows we have saved consumers over RM21.6 million to date.
VSD: What are the challenges faced during the start-up process? How did you overcome it?
Shaun: Just like a brick and mortar business, one of the greatest challenges during the business setup phase is to drive new customers to our website. To overcome it, we had to be very careful with our advertising budget, monitoring the effectiveness of our ads very closely so we don’t spend more than we can afford.
VSD: How do you compete with other daily deals sites?
Shaun: We tap onto the bloggers network via exclusive partnership with Nuffnang and ChurpChurp which are the top bloggers network in the region.
VSD: How do you think about e-commerce in Malaysia?
Shaun: It is our belief that e-commerce is now ripe in Malaysia contributed by the past two e-commerce waves. The first wave was given by the leading low cost carrier AirAsia where you can see even the elder generation also buy the flight tickets online. The second wave was from group buying and daily deal sites. These waves are very important ‘events’ as it educates people to transact online, giving them the confidence to do more online transactions in the future. Therefore, e-commerce is a very exciting space to be in right now.
VSD: What are the factors will affect the growth of e-commerce in the country?
Shaun: In my opinion, the two key ingredients of e-commerce are higher internet penetration rates and lower postage cost. Malaysia definitely has room for improvement in terms of internet penetration, especially in the second and third tier cities of the country.
by Alice Lee