Looking forward towards to nearer future, particularly these coming 6 months down to the end of 2012, it looks like things are shifting towards lower gear. Partly due to slowed down growth in China retail industry, the sanction on credit card approval towards the general public and higher interest rates for business loans implemented by Bank Negara Malaysia also contributed to the expected slow-down.
If we look around the communities in Klang Valley, we may be greeted by sights of frequent closure of shops or even empty shop houses which have been left vacant for a while.
Nevertheless, the economy is still kicking. Luxury cars like Mercedes Benz, BMW and etc are still selling very well. People are still queuing up at places like Fatty Crab, Bubble Tea house, Gloria Jeans' Coffee and visiting places like Wings Musicafe for both F & B and WiFi; yea can't they Facebook at home ?
Organic shops, bicycle shops and tea shops are booming in our community, people are getting more and more upbeat about living a better quality life.
There is also a strong taste for good interior design retail outlets which present consumers with cozy and not-stressful feeling; a good break from the busy tone of our daily lives.
Thus, Mr. Tan opined that in this scenario, either you are doing very well or doing quite badly, there is no in between. Successful retailers are the ones who are able to understand what today's consumers want and provide accordingly - it is about trends!
One of the popular retail trends these days is deployment of paper-based loyalty stamp cards where it goes like if you buy 10 coffees, you will get 1 free. Isn't it nice ? Why not ? I can always drink 1 more. After that, you get started all over again with a new cycle.
It is a great invention, I wonder who started it ? And a company called Werebits Sdn. Bhd. actually computerised it and sell it as ChopInk.
ChopInk supports iOS and Android platform. Retailers who signed up will just need to pay RM 48 per month to have all of it running. There is no specialised hardware required, all retailers need to do is to print out the QR Code from the system.
ChopInk saw this opportunity where there may be annoyingly too many paper-based loyalty stamp cards for an average consumer to carry and high chances are that they will be lost!
By using ChopInk, consumers get to earn every single point deserved while merchants get to maximise more sales.
Up to date, 18 brands and 40 outlets are using the system all over Malaysia, mostly in Klang valley and Penang. Werebits targets to sign-up 1000 outlets by end of 2012. Currently they are employing own sales team as well as some appointed channels for the task.
The system is leveraging on Amazon AWS cloud computing infrastructure (which ensures 99.9% uptime and scalability) and the team has invested RM 80,000 into the project.
The system also serves as backend social media and sales analytics platform for the retailers. It is secured using SSL technology and self-developed algorithm for abuse detection where retailer's HQs can reset the QR Code on real-time basis.
Through ChopInk, retailers are able to know who their regular customers are and maintain a repository of their contact information for use in future marketing campaigns and reward programs. Retailers can decide what and how much they want to give away for their reward program and how many loyalty stamps it will take for cusotmers to receive rewards. ChopInk also provides professional services.
During the launch, it was officiated by representatives from Wings Musicafe and Gloria Jeans' Coffee.
Lim Sin Khim, CEO of Wings Musicafe; Ho Heng Yew, Marketing Director Of Werebits Sdn Bhd; Teon Ooi, Co-founder of ChopInk; Aida Noryati Abdul Muti, Marketing Manager of Gloria Jean’s Coffees with Tan Hai Hsin, Managing Director of Retail Group Malaysia launching the ChopInk mobile app
It is very simple to use, just check out the web site.