With Singapore in the circuit breaker period to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak, NUS-linked e-commerce companies Shopee, Carousell and ShopBack are seeing robust traffic and transaction volumes, as well as a spike in demand for personal hygiene products and items that support a telecommuting work arrangement. They are also contributing to the community by launching campaigns to support families and seniors in need during this challenging period.
"We have made these relevant products easily accessible to all users through the ‘Shop From Home’ campaign, which features various collections including Shopee Pharmacy, Stay Home, Stay Comfy, and more. Shoppers can also get daily necessities with next-day delivery through Shopee Mart," said Mr Tiger Wang, Head of Marketing for Shopee Singapore.
Shopee is led by CEO Mr Chris Feng, an alumnus of the NUS Overseas Colleges (NOC) programme. Shopee is also supporting the community during the pandemic. “We understand that these are difficult times and as a homegrown e-commerce platform, we are focused on supporting our community during this global pandemic. In line with the government’s recent measures, we launched the ‘I’m Staying Home’ campaign, to unify Shopee users by giving them a platform to pledge to stay home. The ‘Lend A Hand, If You Can’ campaign allows users to purchase essentials items and donate to vulnerable groups,” Mr Wang said.
Shopee has also launched the ‘#SGUnited Shopee Support Local’ campaign, to increase exposure and drive traffic to SMEs, and help local sellers and partners navigate this unprecedented situation.
Fellow online shopping platform Carousell is driving traffic to Singapore enterprises with its '#SupportLocal’ campaign. Carousell has initiated a ‘COVID-19 Free Ads for Charity’ programme offering up to S$2 million in advertising support for non-profit organisations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines that are helping to replenish supply of food and essential health products. It is also working on initiatives to care for families and seniors in need during this challenging period.
Carousell was founded in 2012 by Mr Quek Siu Rui, Mr Lucas Ngoo and Mr Marcus Tan, who came up with their business idea for an application to help people sell their used goods, after the trio spent a stint at NOC Silicon Valley.
Meanwhile, cashback rewards platform ShopBack is showing support for local food and beverage merchants through a campaign on their app-based rewards platform ShopBack GO, to attract more users and drive sales. The ‘Takeaway’ filter helps consumers to find restaurants with takeaway options and good takeaway deals in their neighbourhood.
ShopBack was founded by NUS graduates, Mr Henry Chan from NUS Engineering and Mr Joel Leong from NUS Arts and Sciences, who conceived the company during their days in the NOC programme. The company announced an extended round of equity funding from Temasek Holdings this year, with the total deal value amounting to US$30 million. This adds on to the US$45 million that it raised from other investments last year, and positions the company strongly for growth.
"Product innovation and customer focus are at the core of ShopBack, and we are proud to have transformed the rewards industry by providing users with a simple and seamless way to save while they shop. With the new funding, we will develop new rewards and discovery features to help our users save even more money and time by making smarter buying decisions, both online and offline through ShopBack GO," said Mr Leong.
Through ShopBack’s early years, NUS Enterprise provided the company with exposure to a regional network, infrastructure support, and strong mentorship. This has enabled the start-up to on-board new merchants and bring more value to their users.
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