Behind the Scenes of A Digital Transformation

More brands are looking to jump on the e-commerce bandwagon to capitalize on its growth and acquire new customers, and one brand shares their tumultuous journey before they could get to where they are today.

Thunder Match Technology Sdn Bhd (TMT) launched its official store on Shopee in 2018 as part of its digital transformation plan and long-term strategy to solidify its position as Malaysia’s largest IT and Mobile Chain Store both the online and offline. In was in September that year that they rolled out their biggest and most aggressive online push, during the Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day, which saw their e-commerce sales multiple by 10 folds, generating over RM1 million in revenue in the span of a week. However, the sudden surge in sales served as an eye-opener that selling online isn’t merely about listing up products, providing discounts and trading.

Transforming a 22-year-old company into a digital one while creating and sustaining value to its online and offline markets was no easy task as TMT Founder; Managing Director, Adrian Yu shared, “From a pioneer of an IT and Mobile Chain Store in Malaysia whose business is built largely around brick and mortar to becoming the first shop-in-shop (SIS) Brand Store on Shopee Mall, I must say the journey was not easy. The struggle was particularly real when we watched in dismay how online is growing so rapidly, but we did not know how to be a part of the wave. So, the first hurdle to overcome was to look at our two-decade long legacy and acknowledge that we needed a shift in mindset before we could transform our business operations to efficiently deliver better value and service to our customers.”

Challenging stereotypes 

One of the key prevailing concerns was how would its retail stores maintain its competitive edge with the surge of e-commerce. Customers would frequently walk into stores, compare prices and proceed to buy online. There were also occasions where customers demanded for the online price of a product at a store,going so far as to show the prices of its products listed on Shopee. Explaining that such issues have created a common misconception that online and offline stores would compete with each other.

Seeing the challenge as an opportunity, TMT undertook the omnichannel approach for its branding, marketing and pricing efforts. Priding itself in always prioritizing customer experience and satisfaction, TMT successfully created a seamless ecosystem combining its offline and online. “We are exploring different Online to Offline (O2O) models that are integrated even in our marketing initiatives. For example, we are currently exploring a click and collect model where customers can order an item online and collect it from our retail store. By providing such a service, we create a better customer experience across multiple touchpoints,” added Adrian.

Operational revamp for operational readiness

The rise in popularity of e-commerce necessitates operational enhancements in how traditional retailers conduct all aspects of business. A prime example would be how TMT who had nine fulfillment centers across the country did not even have the necessary resources and space to cater to online sales. This was evident during the Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day. Their centers were put to the test and while a majority of orders made their way to its customers, TMT suffered late shipment and in few cases cancellations.

Instead of calling it quits, they relooked all of their existing systems and processes for warehousing and fulfillment capabilities before investing in upgrading their warehousing systems and processes with the latest technology.

Trusting the experts

TMT then streamlined their nine fulfillment hubs to three and equipped it with dedicated resources, including a 10-man team with in-depth e-commerce technical expertise. They did all these with the help of a Malaysian founded multidisciplinary consultancy firm, CAP that provides business transformation solutions to retailers like TMT who seek to thrive in the highly digital world of today.

Adrian said that the “Shopee 9.9 Shopping Day last year was a very steep learning curve for us. The actual results were way beyond our plans and projections. From a sales standpoint, the campaign was extremely successful, but we finally understood that it was more than just our mindset that we needed to change if we wanted to win the e-commerce game. In hindsight, we are proud to have made the decision to go digital, as it has not only benefited us in profit but made us optimize our business.”

In honour of its success, TMT will be taking over Shopee on the 20 February for its Super Brand Day. As part of TMT’s Super Brand Day, Shopee will be introducing a raffle draw for the first time ever. Running from 17 to 20 February and at just RM1 per raffle ticket, shoppers stand a chance to win up to RM30,000 worth of prizes such as the Playstation 4 PRO, iPhone XS Max, gaming peripherals by HyperX and Razer and more. The raffle tickets also double as an RM18 Shopee voucher to be used on the TMT official store.

TMT will also be providing a lowest price guarantee on over 1,000 laptops, mobiles phones and other electronics products in addition to the RM300,000 worth of vouchers they are giving out. Furthermore, those familiar with Shopee’s Shocking Sale will be psyched to learn about the Shopee Super Shocking Sale which will feature a further markdown on top of the Shocking Sale prices. Limited quantities available.

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