How we helped Big V develop a Marketplace with a Cost Effective Solution - Web Imp

How we helped Big V develop a Marketplace with a Cost Effective Solution

Chermaine Chermaine • March 23, 2022
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Case Study: Big V

It has been a tough couple of years for all of us, many jobs were affected or lost due to the pandemic. Everyone was looking for alternatives to sustain their livelihood. One option that many turn to is to build a home based businesses (HBB).

But having a HBB can be tough. You have to get the relevant certificates for your business, manage your own stocks and even handle the logistics part of it. Not to mention, marketing your own products and services to drive revenue.

Read more: How to Choose the Right Platform to Sell Your Products

We recently helped Big V, a company that provides an online marketplace for HBB to market their products and services without the hassle of handling the administrative work and logistics.

In this case study, we spoke to Vincent, the co-founder of Big V, about how we helped to develop his marketplace in a cost effective manner.

An Interview with Big V

Web Imp: Hi Vincent, thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me. Before we start, do you mind giving me some background info on your business?

Big V: Hi, I’m Vincent and I’m one of the co-founder of Big V, we are an e-commerce marketplace for HBB. When the covid started, my business partner and I were from the events background, so in a way we kind of lost our source of income. Since his wife bakes while I cook, we thought “Eh, maybe we can start something from home.”

So we started cooking and baking, selling to our friends and relatives. We also went to many Facebook groups to promote our products, but because there are too many people doing the same, we had to constantly update in order to get noticed and not get drowned out by the posts.

There were people who approached us, wanting us to sell on their platform. But they don’t handle any of the administrative work or delivery. They just want to list us on their platform.

So there were a lot of logistics, back-end admin work that we needed to do, up to a point that we feel that it was a bit frustrating, ‘cause there’s just so much, it became too overwhelming. So, my business partner and I sat down and we had a chat, and we decided that why not start something that we can ease the HBB administration work?

We want to have a platform where HBB can just come and list their services while we handle all the back-end for them. And our main aim is to set up an association for HBB. Because right now, HBB is not governed by any rules and regulations, except for some basic ones like how they need to have hygiene certificate, and relevant certifications for their business.

Web Imp: How does your platform help with HBB?

Big V: We decided that we would handle all their inbound orders and the logistic part of it.

We don’t charge any registration fee to the vendors who come aboard with us, we just take a cut from the sales as commission. So this way, the vendors won’t feel the pressure of worrying about the overheads before the revenue starts building up. We also take care of the administrative work so they can focus on growing their business.

In terms of supply chain, we have access to contacts which our HBB owners can leverage on to get cheaper-than-market-rate ingredients.

Web Imp: When you first started this project with us, what were your requirements for the website?

Big V: In the first place, we of course want to get the 80% PSG funding. We were looking for one that could actually help us apply for the fund, and that’s why Web Imp was introduced to us by some friends. 

When we had the initial chat with Wilson, he supported the idea and seems to be quite understanding of what we are doing because of the experience that Web Imp had – designing retail websites.

So, then that’s how it all started. We started talking, I shared my design ideas and my aim for the website. Everybody seemed to understand and get aligned on the same page quite quickly. That made me felt comfortable and confident to proceed with Web Imp for the project. 

There were a lot of good suggestions from Web Imp during the design stage of the site. The reaction time from Yao Ming (Project Manager) was quite fast. For the website, I wanted it to be clean, and not too clustered. I want it to be something that we can update on our own regularly.

Web Imp: Oh, you mentioned that your friends recommended us, is that why you choose Web Imp to be your vendor for the website?

Big V: They worked with Web Imp before and they enjoyed working with Web Imp that’s why they recommended you to us, but the main reason that propel us to work with Web Imp is the communication with Yao Ming and Wilson. I mean, people can recommend, but if you are not comfortable, you wouldn’t proceed with them.

Wilson was very supportive, he likes the idea a lot and believes that the business will work out well. He even recommended his clients and friends to come and understand what we do, so that’s good. 

Web Imp: Did you face any difficulties or challenges while working with us? And how did Web Imp overcome the challenges?

Yes. *laughs* The biggest issue was the payment gateway. Wilson and Rain recommended a platform which fits us very well because the charges are very low. But our application was being rejected as there was some miscommunication during the application process with the payment gateway vendor. In the end, we went for an alternative payment gateway: HitPay.

Web Imp: What do you like about the website that Web Imp has built for you?

I like how the user experience on the site is being designed, it was aligned with the direction which I have communicated with the team, so I’m pretty happy about it. So far the consumers have been giving positive feedbacks about the simple navigation ever since we launched the site.

Web Imp: How did your business/the community benefited from the new website?

Yes, they do get sales from our website. For me it is very simple, the website is to generate sales, it’s for people who buys online as another alternative platform beside Lazada or Shopee, we are just another one. 

Our aim is not so much about getting the consumers to buy buy buy, but more of helping the HBB to push their products out to consumers and help them in growing their business. We focus on how to build their business and make it a sustainable and viable one.

Web Imp: During the whole journey while working with us, what were you most impressed with?

I think I’m most impressed by the process. When we first started, the design was slowly forming up and the communication between Yao Ming and us was quite consistent, and he is constantly updating us which I really enjoy.

What did Web Imp do for Big V?

We interviewed Yao Ming, the Project Manager who was in charged of this project.

Web Imp: What challenges did the client have before approaching us? And what solution did we suggest to them?

Yao Ming: The client’s project is a multi-store eCommerce website. They have an idea of how they want the website to be but they are not sure how certain things are integrated.

Therefore, when they look for Web Imp, we also act as a consultant and advise them on how certain features should be integrated. For example, they want a store with different vendors, however, for WordPress, that might not be achievable. Hence, we work around it by creating the vendors as categories and display it in a way that will be easy and straightforward for their potential customers to understand.

Web Imp: What was one area of challenge or a point of difficulty that you had to overcome?

Yao Ming: There was a few challenges that I faced throughout the project. One of the more prominent one would be the Payment Gateway. Because of their business nature, the initial payment gateway we chose did not approve their application. Because of this, I have to talk to the team on finding another gateway that they can use. However, at the point of time, the project is very near completion and the client is getting a bit impatient. So I had to work very closely with the clients to ensure that they do not feel helpless on rectifying the issue. We eventually found HitPay, which accepted their application.

Web Imp: Are the clients satisfied with the project?

Yao Ming: The entire process gave the client more confidence in Web Imp. They managed to launch their website on time, and kickstart their business. Yes, I will say that they are satisfied.

Takeaways from this

Whether you want to start your own website or join the ever competitive marketplace, starting your own business is never easy. With the help from Web Imp, Big V is able to provide a simple e-commerce platform for all the HBB in Singapore to grow their business. We want to help all the businesses out there to create an e-commerce website that can achieve their goals.

If you are looking for an E-Commerce website to start your business,  Web Imp is a Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) approved vendor for ecommerce. We can build your ecommerce website with 80% grant support along with our team of experienced digital strategists.

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