PETALING JAYA: BoxMe, an e-commerce fulfilment provider headquartered in Vietnam, which has been operational in Malaysia for the last two years, is looking to ramp up its operations here via increased marketing and brand awareness efforts.
Its marketing manager Lim Yong Kim said the company started in Vietnam four years ago as a fulfilment service provider supporting e-commerce businesses. However, the company decided to expand to Malaysia when Vietnamese e-sellers expressed interest in expanding their market here.
He told Sunbiz in an interview the company wants to move a step further to engage local e-commerce sellers and solve the issues they face in scaling up their businesses.
“Not that many people have heard of BoxMe Malaysia, so we want to create brand awareness so that those in the local market know there are opportunities to go outside of Malaysia and BoxMe is one of the channels or network that you can tap into.
“Right now, we’re working on engaging local e-commerce sellers to help them solve the problems they face, especially when they want to do cross-border trade,” he said.
Lim added that he had identified a couple of ways to engage Malaysian sellers, which includes participating in discussions on seller’s groups or forums, as well as directly interacting with e-commerce sellers to address their pain points.
“From what I’ve observed, a lot of local sellers know about the concept of cross border [selling] and they want to do it but they don’t know what steps to take. Basically they don’t know about cross-border trading and so we want to help them overcome these issues,” he said.
He explained that BoxMe’s latest initiative of global cross-sales was launched at the beginning of the year.
Given the huge potential of the e-commerce industry in Southeast Asia, he said BoxMe wanted to be the network to link sellers to the local market in countries abroad by offering warehousing and partnering with courier services to ensure delivery to the end customers.
According to a survey called “Riding the Digital Wave: Southeast Asia’s Discovery Generation”, conducted by Facebook and Bain & Company, e-commerce value in Southeast Asia has expanded seven times from US$5.5 billion (RM22.7 billion) to US$38 billion, surpassing online travel as the biggest internet economy sector.
“Boxme generally wants to let local e-commerce sellers know that there is an opportunity to sell across to other countries as there are huge opportunities lying in wait,” said LIm.
On the issue of competition, Lim said that while there are other providers in Malaysia who also provide order fulfilment services, he believes BoxMe’s strength lies in having their own warehouses in each of its operating countries.
“Those players who are similar to us, their limitation is they might have warehouses only in Malaysia so their base is limited. Boxme has warehouses in several countries and we also have a network connection in other countries. What we offer is an ecosystem of fulfilment solutions, warehouses and logistics.
“For SMEs, one of the main problems when scaling up is dealing with logistics. Expanding in size also means a rising demand in storage, management and order handling. If a business chooses in-house fulfilment, they will have to bear a large amount of operation costs which can be a large burden for turning profits if sales don’t go as planned,” he said.
In terms of the price of their services, Lim said BoxMe aims to provide premium service at a reasonable price but did not elaborate.
The company currently has one warehouse in Subang, but will be relocating to a larger space in Kota Damansara next year.
Looking ahead, Lim said BoxMe’s main goal is to become the biggest fulfilment network in Southeast Asia, with their next expansion to be to Singapore and the Philippines.
“However, one challenge we have to overcome is establishing a logistics network in each country we enter as each has its own legal system and usually no clear policies to support e-commerce and logistics,” he said.
Lim said with BoxMe’s partnership and fulfilment centres in China, Hong Kong and the US along with its global drop shipping platform, the company is well on track to create a fulfilment network that allows sellers around the world to sell in and out of the region without hassle.