Retail Hero Chapter2: HerbalFarmer



Retail Hero Chapter2: HerbalFarmer

When it comes to Chinese herbal medicine stores, most people’s first impression is the bitter taste of medicinal powder and the dark and messy display of goods.

It has been a rule ever since ancient times that many heroes are youngsters. Mr. Teo Chin Hong, a 30-year-old business owner, has successfully changed the world’s impression of traditional Chinese medicine stores. Teo created the spacious and exquisite Herbal Farmer stores and successfully showed young Malaysians that health preservation is the coolest thing to do.

Moreover, Herbal Farmer has successfully attracted many young people who have never tried traditional Chinese medicine to step into the store and try it. Teo attributes his success to effective Digital Transformation. In fact, the number of HerbalFarmer physical stores is increasing steadily in the shopping malls all over Malaysia. The success of Herbal Farmer is a solid proof to countless traditional retail business owners that the future of retail is still filled with unlimited possibilities and opportunities.


HerbalFarmer Reversing the stereotype

Walking into any Herbal Farmer store, one will notice these things immediately: the store is comfortable and bright, the staff wears uniforms with Chinese characteristics, the store has shelves like a supermarket, and the product packaging design is simple, quality, and innovative.

According to Mr Teo, HerbalFarmer advocates the idea of ‘health preservation from young, and provides high-quality, sulfur-free Chinese herbal medicine to young people aged 25-40.

He added that the traditional Chinese medicine industry uses sulfur to process medicinal materials in order to preserve them for a long time, but this practice is actually harmful to the health of consumers.

Therefore, after founding “HerbalFarmer” in 2017, he insisted on providing sufur-free products to protect the health of its customers. This also helps in ensuring product quality and stability.

The spirit of farmers: strict adherence to product quality

“If the name is not correct, the words will not go well.” One of the things that gives business owners a headache is choosing the right business or brand name. If a brand name is too long and difficult to pronounce, customers will not remember it. If it is too simple and unusual, the market might not accept it.

In fact, the name “Herbal Farmer” was only confirmed after several rounds of discussion. Mr Teo stressed that the word ‘medicine’ is the most direct expression of the products sold, while the word ‘farmer’ emphasizes the spirit and philosophy of the brand.

“Farmers must be rigorous and careful in every process, from sowing, tilling, and harvesting. Only in this way can high-quality crops be produced.”

Whether in production, packaging design, employee training, sales, or customer management, HerbalFarmer upholds the original intention of farmers and strives to be the best in every detail.

“In terms of production, we have not only obtained HACCP and ISO9001 certification, but have also achieved standardization in production processes, internal document management, and product knowledge. At the same time, our traditional Chinese medicine practitioner team will also conduct regular monthly training to our employees to consistently enhance employees’ product knowledge.”

Currently, Herbal Farmer offers more than 300 products, ranging from seafood yam slices to Huayan, ginseng, Cordyceps sinensis, natural scented tea, healthy chicken essence, cashew nuts, and imported low-fat healthy snacks.

Therefore, through the standardization of the aforementioned, Herbal Farmer can effectively ensure product quality, better explain the efficacy of various products to customers, provide them with added value, and increase customer awareness and loyalty.

In addition, Herbal Farmer will continue to provide promotions, gift certificates, and redemption points to members to encourage them to return for more.

The powerful synergy of e-commerce and Chinese herbal medicine business

With the arrival of digital retailing, Herbal Farmer that promotes the concept of “modern health preservation” is not left behind. In fact, according to Mr Teo, HerbalFarmer had started getting ready for online transformation as early as 2019.

“At that time, our original idea was to bring the concept of O2O and e-commerce into our Chinese herbal medicine business and provide our customers with online shopping services,” said Mr Teo.

When the pandemic came, Teo was grateful that Herbal Farmer was well prepared. Thanks to prior preparation, the company managed to organize all product information in a very short period of time after the implementation of the MCO, and quickly launched their online shopping services. Moreover, Herbal Farmer was also selling on third-party platforms, including Shopee and Lazada.

The pandemic has accelerated the pace of digital transformation for HerbalFarmer, leading to a significant increase in sales during that period of time.

The synergy created by combining e-commerce technology and Chinese herbal medicine surprised Mr Teo and showed him the right business direction.

“I have helped my father run a Chinese herbal medicine store since I was a child, and my experience prompted me to enter the industry. I want to continue running my father’s business and grow it to a bigger one,” said Mr Teo.

Extra Knowledge

What is the difference between O2O and OMO?

O2O stands for Online-to-Offline, which refers to the combination of offline business opportunities and the Internet, making the Internet a platform for offline transactions.

On the other hand, OMO (Online-Merge-Offline) is a retail model that merges the power of online and offline. It refers to the use of the Internet, big data, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technical methods to re-optimize the organization of people, goods, and industry. The OMO concept deeply integrates online (cloud platform), offline (physical stores), and logistics, so as to improve and transform the production process, distribution, and sale of goods.

In this way, online and offline act as independent entities, providing consumers with an integrated and seamless shopping experience.

“Popularizing and carrying forward the Chinese Herbal Medicine Industry”
by The Founder Of Herbal Farmer, Mr. Teo Chin Hong

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