Singapore-based cashback startup ShopBack recorded growth locally and regionally – 1,300 merchants in the region, 500 in Malaysia. From gross merchandising value to its shopper base, the country manager of Malaysian operations, Gil Carmo, said that the company hopes to grow by 20% month-on-month in GMV this year.
ShopBack has a presence in five countries beyond its home market, they include Malaysia (established in February 2015), the Philippines (June 2015), India (January 2016), and Indonesia (March 2016).
The cash back company claims to have more than 500,000 active users regionally, of whom more than half are from Malaysia. Its portals across the region have been attracting more than 1.5 million visits (up from 1.3 million visits in October 2015) monthly, including 330,000 out of Malaysia.
70% of Shopback’s users in Malaysia are repeat customers. Most of the people who try our service usually end up shopping with us regularly, like once a month.
Carmo believes that it would be possible for the company to grow to over 2,000 merchants by the end of the year. According to the company, it registered total cashouts of more than RM4 million, approximately US$976,000 in Malaysia last year, with the largest cashouts by a single person being over RM9,000 or US$2,196.
Gaining consumer’s trust
“I think the challenge is not so much about educating people on online shopping – in fact, I think Malaysians are extremely educated when it comes to online shopping – but [on the concept] of cashback itself,” he said.
While the concept of ‘cashback’ took off quite well in the US and UK, it is still relatively new for people in Southeast Asia who have a natural apprehension towards anything that seems too good to be true. Consumer weariness might hinder the company’s growth but considering the price-sensitive shoppers in this region, the cashback concept has potential to become part of their shopping habits once it becomes more mainstream.
A version of this appeared in Digital News Asia on June 20. Read the full article here.