Mr Foo’s Shopee live started with just 7 viewers, but he has since received numerous orders and support for the products he sells on Facebook and Shopee. He’s been an agent for the local brand Bliese, a fragrances and aroma supplier in Shah Alam, since 2019.
However, his business reached a turning point when one of his Shopee live viewers tweeted a tweet in support of his business to her followers. From a few orders per day, the orders skyrocketed to hundreds in just 24 hours.
1. Can you please tell us about yourself?
My name is Foo Chiat Keat, and I will be 31 this year. Since joining Bliese in 2019, I’ve been working with Encik Izan, my partner and assistant. Bliese has given me the opportunity to join their team as an agent, and I am thankful and honoured.
I was new to selling goods online, and the only platform I knew about was Facebook. However, after selling on Facebook, I was introduced to Shopee, an online marketplace that sells a variety of items from a variety of sellers. As a result, I decided to give the new platform a shot for myself.
2. What does your typical workday look like? How do you keep yourself productive?
Since I set my own working hours and run this business on my own, I have some flexibility with my time. The more orders I get, the more revenue I will earn. Despite having a flexible schedule, I get up between 6 and 7 a.m. to start my day. After getting dressed, I’d take Grab to the Bliese office, which takes about 45 minutes from Cheras to Shah Alam.
When I arrived at the office, the first thing I did was go through the list of orders that had been received via Facebook and Shopee. After going through the orders, I’d make a list of them and pack the products accordingly before handing them over to the courier service to deliver them to our customers.
Furthermore, I will schedule a time to deliver the goods to customers who prefer cash on delivery service. Customers who prefer cash on delivery usually place their orders over the phone or through WhatsApp.
Generally, I leave work between 4 and 5 p.m. Nonetheless, it is heavily dependent on the amount of orders I need to process by the end of each day.
3. What made you decide to sell online, Facebook & Shopee, and doing live?
Everyone nowadays owns a smartphone. I believe that selling online via Facebook and Shopee is the only way for me to reach a larger audience while reducing marketing cost. After all, none of Bliese’s agents are spoon-fed to sell the products; we must rely entirely on our own creativity and effort to succeed.
When I go on Shopee live, I normally do so in my office because it is more appropriate and convenient. I would set up my smartphone camera and Encik Izan would assist me in setting up the lighting and product placements, and we would then be ready to go live.
Nonetheless, I manage everything from marketing to shipping orders, as well as answerings clients’ inquiries about the products. All of these operations, like going on Shopee Live, are performed out solely through my smartphone; no fancy cameras or costly sets are used.
4. Are you the one who manages both Facebook & Shopee store?
Yes, I am the one who responds to comments on Facebook, Shopee, and Whatsapp messages.
5. Before starting selling online, have you already been familiar with the Facebook page & Shopee?
Yes, I am familiar with Facebook, but not with Shopee, so I had to learn it from the ground up. Through YouTube videos, I learned everything from uploading products to writing product titles and descriptions to setting up a merchant account. It is extremely useful for beginners like me.
6. You are so brave to do LIVE, can you please share with us what are the things you will prepare before going on live? Will you prepare a script or just improvise about whatever that comes into your mind?
The only thing I had to do before going live on Shopee was to fully understand the products I was selling. To improve the conversion rate, I typically engage with my viewers by singing and offering rewards.
Furthermore, when I went on Shopee live, Encik Izan usually assisted me with various issues. I recall having just around 7 or 8 viewers on average the first few times I did Shopee Live. Despite the fact that I worked very hard to improve my presentation skills, the total number of viewers is still less than ten.
However, I did not give up because I am certain that my efforts would be recognized through continuous hard work and passion.
My hard work had finally paid off! It was when one of my Shopee Live viewers expressed her support by tweeting about my products. I was taken back by her actions and felt very fortunate and grateful to have such a kind viewer helping my small company. My company’s sales increased dramatically after her Twitter post went viral.
7. Please share with us your best advice to those traditional businesses who are struggling to go online?
I would strongly advise you to go ahead and do it; be courageous! After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never know if you’ll succeed or not.
As I previously said, everybody nowadays owns a smartphone. People shop online more during the pandemic, but I don’t think that will change once the Covid-19 pandemic is over. In comparison, online shopping has become a trend, and I expect that more and more people will choose to shop online in the future.
Based on my own experiences, selling online allowed me to gain access to clients across Malaysia, rather than being limited to a specific location or state.
Moreover, selling online is unquestionably the better option for people like me who want to invest as little money as possible in starting their own businesses, as opposed to opening a physical store. We have even more reason to do so now that we are battling the virus.
I must admit that managing Shopee and Facebook accounts at the same time is difficult, and we can fail miserably in the first few months or years! It can be discouraging, but I strongly advise others to persevere and not give up. Our efforts will be rewarded one day if we don’t give up trying and improving! No pain, no gain!
Share Your Story with Exabytes
Thank you very much, Mr Foo, for your inspiring story and participation in the Success Story Campaign of Exabytes. If you, your friends or family have a good story to share with the world, we will be more than happy to cover it.