Digitalising the retail business

When the pandemic hit the country, businesses nationwide experienced an unprecedented situation. With the addition of the Movement Control Order (MCO), retail businesses saw immediate drop of footfall to zero for months.

Even as the government allowed for freer movement, Malaysians were caution to leave their homes. With the help of the Celcom Business Suite, players such as G2000 were able to accommodate and adapt to changing times and adopt digitalisation. BusinessToday speaks to General Manager, May Han on what the year has been like for the outlet and how digitalisation helped paved the way to a new era.

  1. How has Covid-19 disrupted your business operations in 2020?

2020 has been a tough year for retail businesses.  In retail, footfall traffic and sales plunged when lockdown measures were enforced. We experienced total zero revenue due to no e-commerce support. Expenses remained status quo and we also experienced immediate bleeding of P&L.

  • What were some of your plans for the year and how much of it did you manage to execute it?

 Digitalisation is the key to act upon lesser traffic to the malls.  People shop online as they cannot go out of their house during lockdowns. Retailers should continue using digital channels even when stores are open back up. 

Social media marketing is one of the best ways you can stay in touch with your consumers even when your stores are opened and business is normal.  Covid-19 has forced us to use current events to guide social marketing strategy, but this can also apply after the pandemic in order to stay relevant to your target audience.

  • How did the Celcom Business Grant benefit your business? 

It helped us in embracing digitalisation be it in terms of the payment processes, point of sales, procurement, e-commerce and social media marketing among others for our retail business.  With the Covid-19, many of us prefer the cashless payment method which helps to reduce the transfer of virus. 

Integration of the payment process into our point of sales system is also essential to reduce the mistakes of payment received and sales reconciliation.

  • What were some of the highlights of the Suite that you would recommend to other businesses in the country?

The suite will highly benefit the property. This will allow them to conduct all sales and processes of these property digitally. This will also developers who are already having virtual show houses to sell their properties.

  • Did it manage to help you adapt to the new normal?

It was not easy especially when it comes prioritising safety.   We need to emphasised safety through technology to promote health and safety in order to improve the shopping experience.  These included contactless delivery and payments through delivery drones.  Many of our consumers prefer frictionless buying experience with fewer touchpoints and easier accessibility.

And  using cloud based app like compliant IA, we were able to pre-schedule or request health and safety inspections.  Additionally, these could also work on any device to access and complete checklists in store.

  • What were some of the challenges you faced as a business in adopting digitalisations?

Our challenges came down to getting our employees and customers adapting to the digitalisation process.  There were lots of learnings as well as trial and error to get the process smoother and perfect.

  • What are your vision for 2021? 

To fully prepare for 2021, retailers like us must be aware of the dynamic nature of fraud and realise that a static, one size fits all approach will not be effective. 

To combat tech savvy fraudsters, retailers should be prepared to utilise tools such as AVS, Card security codes, 3-d secure and chargeback alert.

We have to also diversify our offerings to consumers’ needs such as having e-catalog to service both our existing and potential customers. We are also finding new niches we can move into since it is always beneficial to try a few new things here and there and then stick with works.


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