Resurgent amidst the pandemic, group-buy is seeing more individual shoppers who wish to save money via exclusive discounts and free delivery from bulk orders. In Singapore, this cost-saving method of purchase is typically organised within friends and neighbours through private chat groups to reach minimum order requirements for unique, imported products. While advantageous to those with connections, others interested in group-buying are left out, with no knowledge of ongoing group-buys.
Swiftly spotting the gap in group-buy exchanges, Lyon Kong, Continuing Education and Training (CET) student participant of Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Programme and founder of ShareCart, built his business to make group-buying accessible to all. Through this social technology platform, users can take part in group purchases and collect their items from their participating neighbours.
Lyon Kong, Founder of ShareCart
Confident of the potential of this product, Lyon and his team worked tirelessly, going back and forth each detail to optimise their business plan. After rounds of reviewing and correcting, the team managed to develop a successful marketing model to reach out to a targeted pool of audience to participate in their group-buy solutions. They also battled with the need to keep business costs low and leveraged the increase in demand for daily groceries due to the pandemic to quickly expand their user base. Complicating matters was competition from retailers but they managed to overcome this and come up with ways to approach local major importers directly.
True to form, their efforts paid off tremendously! ShareCart grew quickly, attracting more than 60 active group-buy communities in Singapore and are now close partners with some of the biggest importers in Singapore! They have also expanded vertically to become a main importer of strategic products such as the Japanese Okinawa eggs which are well known for their rich orange yolks and high nutritional value.
Lyon and his team were subsequently awarded the StartupSG Founder grant worth S$50,000 with the help of SUSS’ recommendation as an Accredited Mentor Partner (AMP) in the Alibaba Cloud-SUSS Entrepreneurship Programme. Through the additional funding, they hope to grow the team and improve on the customer experience through continued development of their platform.
“The journey thus far has taught me and my team to be confident about the value that we bring to the table. Calculated risks have to be taken to adapt and step out of our comfort zone in order to grow,” reflected Lyon.