AMAZON sold their very first book in 1995 and in 2015 Americans spent over US$341 bil online. E-commerce has evolved in the last 20 years and is now a major part of the world’s economy.
It doesn’t stop there; eCommerce is evolving in real-time and we are seeing the rise of microbrands intent and it is changing the social commerce – changing the way we think about online selling.
Microbrand is a small-scale brand recognized only in a certain geographic location, produced in one area or in a niche market. Microbrands operate a direct-to-consumer (DTC) model meaning the company foregoes the middleman by selling and shipping products straight to the customer.
According to PHD Media Llc – a communications planning and media buying agency – with technology as their native language, microbrands are bred online and designed to move fast. Microbrands are mobile-first, hyper-social, channel fluid and deliver a seamless buying experience to internet-savvy consumers with extremely high expectations. These differences point to a significant gap between what consumers want and what traditional retail offers.
Over in Malaysia, Poptron Malaysia Sdn Bhd was established in 2019 with a mission of fostering a community that loves and appreciates emerging brands, beautiful products, and the creators behind them by connecting lifestyle microbrands and content to a like-minded global audience.
Poptron– a lifestyle social commerce platform – launched its curated e-commerce site on September 4, 2020 to offer microbrands selling high quality, natural and eco-friendly products or artisanal goods a platform to connect with like-minded global users.
Over 100 microbrands with more than 700 different types of product listings have since come on board, ranging from personal care, fashion items, arts and crafts, to pets’ necessities as well as home and living products.
“Before the movement control order (MCO), I used to frequent local arts bazaars and discovered a lot of interesting, high-quality products from small brands and businesses,” said Poptron’s founder, Brian Johnson Lowe.
“Due to the pandemic, bazaars came to a halt, so these brands are depending on online sales, usually gathered from various social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Online demand generation became a critical area of focus, and it became quite evident that securing new customers online isn’t as easy as it seems.”
In its latest development, the local start-up on Jan 5 announced a US$ 1 mil funding from a NASDAQ listed company. This strategic investment will enable Poptron to scale its operations and technology toward being a key regional social commerce platform.
Poptron is planning to fundraise the remaining US$375,000 on pitchIN – an equity crowdfunding platform in the first quarter of 2021 (Q1 2020). These investments will be used to develop the platform’s version 2.0, expected to be up in January 2021 as well as expand the team and begin operations in Singapore by Q1 2021.
Poptron helps sellers overcome key pain points in customer acquisition, business management and regional growth by using a single platform to handle everything from enquiries to shipping. Users will also be able to discover, follow and shop with peace of mind through a practical and intuitive user interface while tracking each delivery straight to their doorstep.
“With Poptron, we hope to gather all these brands in one place for consumers to discover, our idea is to prove the value of this unique platform and increase the business returns of our merchants first,” he commented.
Meanwhile, there are almost 2.2 million microbrands globally in 2020, with the total available market of US$7.6 bil. Out of this, the serviceable available market for Poptron is worth US$3.8 bil, which counts for 1.5 million out of the expected 3.79 million global microbrand market in 2025.
Poptron aims is to capture US$1.6 bil of the market share with 600,000 microbrands generating Poptron’s global revenue in 2025. – Jan 6, 2021