Malaysia’s gift industry market size is estimated at US $ 1 to 3 trillion (RM 4.1 to 12.4 trillion), which is one-third the size of the Japanese market. That says Ryo Okubo, COO of Giftee Malaysia, a subsidiary of giftee Inc from Japan.
This demand for gifts is mainly driven by the many festivals celebrated in our culturally diverse landscape, from Hari Raya to Chinese New Year and Christmas. It thus presents a great opportunity for e-gifting, which the pandemic will further accelerate as more Malaysians embrace digital transactions as the norm, from e-commerce to e-wallets.
“We have found that digital gift giving has not yet become widespread in Malaysia. However, Giftee Malaysia has a lot of potential to enter the market with a first mover advantage, ”said Ryo.
To get their presence known, they have already partnered with 16 popular F&B brands in Malaysia, including Secret Recipe, Starbucks, Tealive and llaollao.
A digital gift card
Everything can be done from your phone / Photo credit: Giftee Malaysia
Currently, Giftee Malaysia has launched 2 of its 4 available solutions in Japan: eGift System (eGift) and giftee for Business.
eGift is reminiscent of the physical experience of buying a Starbucks gift card for a friend who can then go to a physical Starbucks branch to claim their drink at the price of how much the card is worth.
Giftee Malaysia is essentially digitizing this transaction. Schenkers can buy an eGift on their website and personalize a digital card with a message. After checking out, the giver sends a unique link to the recipient of the gift, who can, for example, pick up his Frappuccino in the store.
However, the recipients do not have to be in the store themselves for the redemption, which means someone else can do it on their behalf.
Ryo added, “You have the option to have the gift delivered if these brands are available on a third party delivery platform like GrabFood or foodpanda or their own delivery service. “
With virtual gift cards, businesses can eliminate the need to print out physical vouchers and gift cards. This also makes it easier to track and manage the inventory of the number of freebies or prepaid products already claimed.
Meanwhile, giftee for Business is working for the B2B market by enabling companies to send eGifts to customers as freebies or rewards for completing a survey. Think of the free subway cookies you would get if you surveyed the link on your sandwich receipt.
The team found that this system is currently used by over 100 banking, consumer electronics, insurance, and internet companies. Some names are Maybank, Prudential, Samsung and Lazada who use these e-coupons to support their marketing and promotional activities.
Support brands on their digitization journey
The Process of Buying an eGift / Image Credit: Giftee Malaysia
As the country embarks on its path to the Malaysian Digital Economy Blueprint to transform Malaysia into a digitally-powered, high-income country, local businesses are also developing. To meet changing consumer needs during the pandemic, Giftee Malaysia believes they have an important role to play.
In the case of Secret Recipe, which delivers its cakes to consumers for birthday parties and the like, sending an eGift with an e-card to a loved one can repeat the experience. It can be an experience families have missed due to the limitations of the MCO.
While Giftee Malaysia works primarily with the F&B industry for eGifts, they do not turn a blind eye to other potential industries. F&B was a starting point as this market is easier to penetrate with the right strategies.
As soon as Giftee Malaysia’s platform becomes more trusted by consumers and businesses, Ryo hopes to expand its offering in the form of experiences. For example, spa treatments as a wedding gift or diving trips for friends who enjoy nature.
You could say eGift is something like the now defunct Groupon without having to print out your voucher as a proof of purchase.
“For our Giftee for Business solution, this is industry-independent, as companies from a large number of industries can generally start marketing and advertising activities and use our e-gifts to improve participation in their campaigns or to show their appreciation for theirs in an uncomplicated manner pass on to your own customers and customers, ”added Ryo.
In Japan, giftee Inc began onboarding F&B companies, but has since moved into retail and currently works with a total of 157 brands. “So we believe that the same development trend would happen in Malaysia,” said Ryo.
More than just word of mouth
Back in its home country of Japan, the Vulcan Post team announced that giftee Inc had a total sales volume of ¥ 1,093 million (approx. RM 41 million, an increase of 141.9% over the first quarter of 2021) with a total sales volume of ¥ 4 billion Previous year).
Granted, these numbers were made possible by companies moving their business activities from offline to online, which the team itself confirmed. However, this phenomenon gives the company further opportunities to replicate these results in Malaysia as well.
“With eGift, brands can use a C2C (consumer-to-consumer) platform to sell their products as eGift. When a customer sends an eGift to a first-time user, the brands can reach new customers and potentially expand the market and generate more sales, ”added Ryo.
In addition, giftee for Business acts as a platform for B2B transactions on which brands can market their products as eGifts in incentive campaigns to other companies. “This would generate new sales channels to significantly increase sales,” he explained.
For brands that already have physical gift cards – like the Starbucks example above – eGift enables those cards to be more visible and accessible because they’re online and can become a greater source of income for them.
- Find out more about Giftee Malaysia here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Photo credit: Ryo Okubo, Chief Operating Officer of Giftee Malaysia