The size of the Malaysian market for the gift industry is estimated to be between $ 1 trillion and $ 3 trillion (between RM4.1 trillion and RM12.4 trillion), one-third the size of the Japanese market. That’s according to Ryo Okubo, COO of Giftee Malaysia, a subsidiary of giftee Inc from Japan.
This demand for gifts is largely due to the many festivities that are celebrated in our culturally diverse landscape, from Hari Raya to Chinese New Year and Christmas. Consequently, it presents a huge opportunity for e-gifts, further accelerated by the pandemic as more Malaysians are welcoming digital transactions as the norm, from e-commerce to e-wallets.
“We realized that, until now, digital gifts have not been widely adopted in Malaysia. However, there is great potential for Giftee Malaysia to enter the market with the advantage of being the first to move, ”said Ryo.
So to make their presence known, they have already partnered with 16 well-loved F&B brands in Malaysia, including Secret Recipe, Starbucks, Tealive, and llaollao.
A digital gift card
Currently, Giftee Malaysia has launched 2 of its 4 solutions available in Japan: eGift System (eGift) and giftee for Business.
eGift recalls the physical experience of purchasing a Starbucks gift card for a friend who can then go to a physical Starbucks location to claim their drink for the value of the card.
Giftee Malaysia essentially digitizes this transaction. On their site, gifts can purchase an electronic gift and personalize a digital card with a message. After payment is made, the gift sends a unique link to the gift recipient, who can claim their frappuccino at the store, for example.
However, the recipients themselves do not need to be physically present at the store for redemption, which means that someone else can do so on their behalf.
Ryo also added: “They have the option of receiving the gift if these brands are available on a third-party delivery platform, such as GrabFood or foodpanda, or on their own delivery service. “
With virtual gift cards, businesses can eliminate the printing of physical vouchers and gift cards. This also makes it easy to track and manage your inventory of the number of gifts or prepaid items that have already been claimed.
Meanwhile, the business giveaway works for the B2B marketplace by allowing businesses to send electronic gifts to customers as campaign gifts or rewards for completing a survey. Think of those free Subway cookies you’d get from taking a survey via the link on your sandwich receipt.
The team noted that this system is currently being used by more than 100 companies in the banking, consumer electronics, insurance and Internet industries. Some names include Maybank, Prudential, Samsung, and Lazada, who use these electronic coupons to help with their marketing and promotional activities.
Helping brands on their journey to digitization
As the country embarks on its Malaysia Digital Economy Plan journey to transform Malaysia into a digitally-driven high-income nation, local businesses are also evolving. To meet the changing needs of consumers in the pandemic, Giftee Malaysia believes they have an important role to play.
In the case of Secret Recipe, which supplies its cakes to consumers for birthday celebrations and the like, sending a loved one an electronic gift with an electronic card can recreate the experience. It can be an experience that families have been lost due to MCO restrictions.
Although Giftee Malaysia is predominantly working with the F&B industry for eGifts, they are not turning a blind eye to other potential industries out there. F&B was a starting point, as it is an easier market to penetrate with the right strategies.
Once the Giftee Malaysia platform gains more trust from both consumers and businesses, Ryo hopes to expand its offerings in the form of experiences. For example, spa treatments as wedding gifts or diving trips for friends who enjoy the outdoors.
You could say that eGift is something like the defunct Groupon, without having to print your coupon as proof of purchase.
“For our business gift solution, this is industry independent, as businesses from a wide range of industries typically engage in marketing and promotional activities and can take advantage of our electronic gifts as a way to enhance engagement in their business. campaigns or show your appreciation. to his own clients and clients in a footless way, ”added Ryo.
In Japan, giftee Inc began by incorporating F&B businesses, but has now penetrated the retail industry, with a total of 157 brands currently on board. “So we think the same development trend would occur in Malaysia,” Ryo said.
More than word of mouth marketing
Back in their home country Japan, the team told Vulcan Post that giftee Inc reached a quarterly record as of the first quarter of 2021, with a distribution volume of ¥ 4 billion (about RM150 million with an increase 76.2% y-o-y), and net sales of ¥ 1,093 million (around RM41 million with a year-on-year increase of 141.9%).
Of course, these numbers were provided by companies that switched business activities from offline to online, something the team itself recognized. But this phenomenon presents more opportunities for the company to replicate these results in Malaysia as well.
“With eGift, brands can use a C2C (consumer to consumer) platform to sell their products as eGifts. When a customer sends an e-gift to a new user, this allows brands to reach new customers and potentially expand the market and generate more revenue, ”added Ryo.
In addition, giftee for Business works as a platform for B2B transactions, where brands can market their products to other companies such as eGifts in incentive campaigns. “This would generate new distribution channels to increase revenues significantly,” he explained.
For brands that already have physical gift cards, like the Starbucks example above, eGift makes these cards more visible and accessible as they are online, and can become a more substantial source of income for them.
- You can learn more about Giftee Malaysia here.
- You can read about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Ryo Okubo, COO, Giftee Malaysia