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Fave’s solution for businesses affected by Covid-19
February 13, 2020 News

 

As Covid-19 victims continue to increase, many governments are making drastic changes to ensure their citizens are safe. This includes imposing travel bans of tourist from certain affected countries to requiring employees to work from home. While China has the largest amount of Covid-19 cases, Singapore has the most number of cases in Southeast Asia.

White-collar workers can choose to work from home as all they need is a laptop and a stable internet connection. But the same does not apply for other jobs. Many industries are foreseeing a huge amount of losses due to travel bans. The reduced number of tourists are not just affecting the tourism industry but the hotel and retail industry as well. Analysts are predicting retailers to experience significant losses during this period.

To help businesses ease their burden, digital merchant platform Fave has come up with a “Get Back Up” program as an initiative for businesses to boost their sales through the various solutions available and face the potential economic slowdown.

According to Datuk Jake Abdullah, Managing Director Malaysia, Fave, retailers are still bound by their monthly overhead costs, be it rental, utility bills or staff salaries. These costs will remain the same for months despite the slowdown in sales.

“We are offering merchants the ability to set up special offers to attract more customers who shop online through deals, feature their business online with special marketing booster packages, introduce cashless payments to reduce staff exposure to viruses while dealing with cash. We are even offering financial loans for those we might need support in their cash flow in the next several months.”

The program is expected to help impacted businesses bring new customers and increase regular customers through strategic customer loyalty program and marketing campaigns. Fave’s program offers introductory rates for all new merchants to register for Fave services and leverage on customers online and ensure that their business is taking measures to mitigate the slowdown.

 

Increase in contactless sales

So does this help boost sales?

Interestingly, while the virus is keeping many away from work and going out, there is still a demand for online sales and deals. People still need to get food, medical supplies and other essential goods. Some may choose to buy online while others would still go out and prefer to go cashless, as this would mean they would have less human contact and interaction, which in turn does reduce the risk of being infected.

“While we have seen certain segments and areas declining, for example, outlets in malls in the Klang Valley, we have seen particular segments increasing as well, for example in convenience stores and pharmacies,” he emphasised.

This is where Fave’s strength is. Fave connects merchants and customers by delivering a seamless payment experience and merchant rewards. It serves as a payment aggregator for the most popular cards and e-wallets by integrating them with other strategic partners, Fave offer merchants more value-added and more customer exposure through marketing, data, financing and operations. Merchants can now focus on what they do best for their customers; because everything else is taken care of.

Fave is available across 35 cities in Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia with over 30,000 merchants on its platform specialising in F&B, beauty & wellness, retail, services, fitness, travel. Over 4,000 deals go live daily, serving over two million active monthly users regionally. Fave’s focus will be to strengthen its market share through continued merchants’ partnerships, and the expansion of new services ranging from mobile payments, customer loyalty, marketing solutions to financing in 2020.

According to Fave’s 2020 retail trends in Malaysia report, the F&B industry saw returning customers contributing 54% towards sales, making customer loyalty a potential revenue stream. The retail industry saw 77% of total sales generated by new customers through deals, which were made up mostly of women aged between 25 and 34. The health and fitness, together with the beauty and wellness industries, also noticed increased shopping habits and patterns through deals.

“There is no denying that Malaysians love discounts. And Fave lures customers with cashback. At moments like this, every little bit helps. Now is the time for merchants to transition into the cashless movement to reduce the risk of getting exposed to the virus among their staff and their customers.”

Jake pointed out that while cashless payments have been a trend for the last year, it’s now becoming a necessity. He explained that Fave is in constant conversations with merchants discussing how they can help them, and cashless payments have been one of the easier prevention measures for merchants to take up as any merchant can set up their account on FaveBiz in less than 5 minutes and start accepting credit card and e-wallet payments at a flat rate.

 

It’s all about data.

What makes Fave’s database interesting for businesses is the data that it provides to customers. Jake mentioned that since Fave announced the program, there have been a number of enquiries from merchants looking to tap upon the program. And it wasn’t just because of the soft loans and such offered by Fave but more to the data that Fave provides to the merchants.

There’s no denying that data is essential for businesses today. And Fave delivers exactly that for businesses. Merchants are able to get various insights on their businesses such as which products are more popular, which outlets are better, customer demographics, popular sales period and other interesting information which they can use to boost their revenue.

Having said that, Jake did acknowledge that SMEs may sometimes be a bit sceptical towards such information which is why Fave’s business development team helps SME merchants understand their data. From there, merchants see how the revenue numbers are improving and help them adopt a strategy. Jake added that currently, about 40% of SME merchants know what their data is all about and how to monetise from it while the remaining 60% are learning how to make the most from their data.

“By listing their services on Fave, merchants have exposure to millions of online users who browse their phone from the convenience of their home or office on-the-go. Now, any offline business can attract more customers and secure sales in advance from online customers. We offer customised CRM plans including geo-location-based communication for merchants to boost their sales. If any of the merchants are interested in that, we encourage them to send their enquiries about it on our platform.”

 

The way forward

While the Covid-19 outbreak is slowly becoming under control, there is no telling when such situation can arise again. And it is also still too early to determine how serious the long-term effects of this virus will impact the various industries. One thing for sure, technology is enabling businesses and consumers to have more options when facing such situations in the future. The only question is, can businesses cope with the demands.

As Jake puts it, “we are monitoring our platform data as well as relying on externally available information to assess the potential impact on businesses. With every crisis, there is an opportunity, and we are here to support merchants to go through this tough period together. We optimistically hope that the pandemic will be contained, but we all must be prepared for a midterm to long term impact for the entire year of 2020.”

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