Bear in the Bag
It’s time to let the cat out of the bag! It’s time to share the launch of Malaysia’s e-commerce platform, BearInBag by Kaching Network Sdn Bhd (Kaching) in collaboration with I Synergy Holdings Bhd (iSYNERGY), which happened on 4 August 2016.
Kaching is a technology company based in Malaysia that provides digital solutions including websites, mobile applications and integrated online to offline retail solutions. iSYNERGY owns Affiliate Junction (AJ), which is an affiliate network in the country.
AJ’s anchor affiliate program, MyKad Smart Shopper (MSS), is a loyalty program designed to leverage on Malaysians’ MyKad smart card system to promote the local retail industry. Using MyKad as the program ID, program members whose MyKad details have been registered by AJ’s affiliates, can enjoy retail privileges at participating merchants’ outlets by presenting their MyKad, while the referral affiliates will be incentivised through the program’s system. The program currently has more than 1,000 participating merchants in Malaysia.
BearInBag is a new e-shopping platform by Kaching that provides online and offline benefits to shoppers and merchants in Malaysia. It is news on the local front because it pledges to support the growth of local businesses with very minimal start-up cost. Rather cleverly, the collaboration leverages on the existing 2.2 million readily available MSS subscribers.
Subscribers of MSS will now get to redeem their loyalty cash points online at BearInBag’s online “marketplace”, where previously, they only had the “brick & mortar” avenue for their redemption. A look at BearInBag’s website (www.bearinbag.com) reveals products as diverse as fashion to technology to lifestyle goods, with merchants such as Focus Point, Bagman and The Travel Store to name a few.
In his opening speech, Datuk Lee Hwa Cheng, CEO of Kaching, shared that the revenue for Malaysia’s e-commerce market is expected to show an annual growth rate of 24.3% until 2020. Taking a page off the exponential growth of e-commerce giants like Alibaba, Lazada and 11th Street, Datuk Lee expressed the hope that home-grown BearInBag can be developed into an (equally) effective e-commerce platform for business growth. Its stated goal is to expand into other SEA countries within 3 years.
Dato’ Lawrence Teo, CEO of iSYNERGY added, “Kaching is an excellent partner to help advance our efforts in bringing online shopping to MSS members and enabling them to enjoy rewards and savings both online and offline with an interconnected loyalty program. By combining the strength of our loyalty program with Kaching’s retail and technology expertise, I am confident that we will be able to revolutionize the e-commerce experience for both MSS and BearInBag members”.
Dato’ Garry Chua Kah Seng, President of the Malaysia Retailer Chain Association (MRCA) was also present to speak at the MOU signing ceremony between Kaching and iSYNERGY. He lauded the partnership between the two MRCA members for promoting the expansion of the retail industry.
In order to robustly grow membership in its first year, the security deposit of RM1200 required for each new MSS merchant will be waived for up to 500 MRCA retailer merchants when they register as a BearInBag merchant. This translates into a win-win for both merchants wanting a share in the e-commerce pie in an inexpensive manner and consumers wishing to spend online where redemption can be realised under a strong loyalty program.
That’s surely a “bear in the bag”!