Fairmart empowers every store to unlock the power of omnichannel retail.
- In partnership with eTail Asia, Tech Wire Asia had the pleasure to interview Jan Gasparic, Co-Founder & CEO, of Fairmart on the challenges and opportunities in e-commerce for retailers.
The retail industry has been facing increasing challenges over the past few years. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic affecting physical retail sales, changes in customer shopping habits and preferences have also had a huge impact on physical retail stores.
Despite this, the retail industry continues to experience growth. According to the National Retail Foundation, e-commerce and in-store retail complement each other. In fact, as the world returns to pre-pandemic times, the opening of new stores increases traffic to a retailer’s website by an average of 37%. It also drives up the share of the web traffic within that market by 27%.
In Southeast Asia, the retail industry is also experiencing a surge, both online and at physical retail stores. Taking Singapore as an example, retail sales for February grew 12.7% YoY with no signs of slowing down. As such, retailers now have to focus on improving the customer experience, both online and offline. To achieve that, retailers need to have the right tools and technology in place.
While there are plenty of e-commerce and retail solutions in the market today, it can be rather challenging for smaller businesses to understand how they can make the most out of it. Most large retail brands develop their own retail websites or partner with an e-commerce provider and leverage emerging technologies to meet customer demands.
This is where Fairmart comes in. Catering to small businesses, the Singaporean startup empowers communities by accelerating local commerce. This includes building products that remove operational complexities, especially when it comes to running a physical store.
“Fairmart empowers retailers to quickly digitize large inventories and connect them with relevant sales channels. Today’s retailers need to move fast in response to changing shopper demands. We help them to do more with the inventory they have, maximizing their opportunities for sales,” commented Jan Gasparic, Co-Founder & CEO, of Fairmart.
Fairmart simplifies e-commerce for the retail industry
According to Gasparic, Fairmart helps retailers in two key areas. First, Fairmart’s proprietary technology will automatically generate online product listings. This allows retailers to list all of their inventory online and saves an average of 200 labor hours each month. All of a retailer’s inventory can then be managed from a single dashboard.
Second, Fairmart connects to all the major digital sales channels such as Google, Shopee, Lazada, Facebook, and Instagram. Retailers can quickly connect all their inventory to multiple channels at once. Orders are then processed from a single system, saving time and reducing cancellations due to stock-outs.
“The pandemic made it exceedingly clear to every retailer that e-commerce needs to be part of their regular offering. While in-store shopping has returned, shoppers are retaining the digital habits they built up over the past two years. What this means for retailers is that they need to service their shoppers via the appropriate channel,” explained Gasparic.
Fairmart also pointed out that the landscape in South East Asia is especially complex as there are multiple e-commerce marketplaces across the region. As many shoppers will also shop across several marketplaces depending on the promotions available, Jan believes that retailers need to have a presence across all these channels otherwise they will always face the risk of losing out to a competitor.
“To meet this challenge, modern retailers need a tool that supports this strategy. Managing stock, price, product data, and orders across 5+ channels is an incredibly laborious task today. Fairmart’s mission is to build this tool in a way that is accessible to everyone,” added Gasparic.
The e-commerce journey
Interestingly, Gasparic acknowledges that while there are numerous e-commerce and retail solutions available today, picking the right one can be challenging. As such, Jan highlights three common themes that always stand out when making a decision.
- First is responsiveness from the vendor. Retailers can get a good sense of how important their business will be by their responsiveness. If they’re not providing the answers needed then it is not likely they will be addressing serious issues when the time arises, as it surely will.
- Second, it is the ability to get somebody on the phone. If vendors can’t be reached or refuse to take calls, it will only make the situation more difficult. Ultimately vendors are there to solve a problem, and communication is a key part of that.
- Third, the information they provide should be clear and actionable. Beware of any vendor that is evasive or hides key information during any engagement with them. Their role should always be to be empowered to do more.
When it comes to customer data, Jan mentioned that Fairmart takes the security of its customers’ data very seriously. Fairmart’s security is tested and audited by external cybersecurity partners, assuring that the data is secure with them.
“It’s important that cybersecurity is only as good as its weakest link. Fundamental security hygiene such as maintaining a strong password and changing it regularly is key to keeping your data safe,” added Gasparic.
At the end of the day though, Gasparic asserts the retail industry is still very much dependent and guided by shopper behaviors. The key long-term trend over the past five years has been omnichannel retailing. For Jan, shoppers will continue to adjust their behaviors based on a broad range of factors and the most successful retailers will be those that can meet them at the right channel at the right time.
“Fairmart significantly simplifies the implementation of omnichannel retail strategies by addressing key challenges of order and inventory management. This empowers every retailer to maximize their reach and meet their customers where they shop,” said Gasparic.
Gasparic is part of the speakers who will be sharing their insights on e-commerce and the retail industry at the eTail Asia Summit 2023 in Singapore. Gasparic also mentioned that Fairmart will be making several exciting partnerships and feature announcements that will unlock great value for customers at the summit.
eTail Asia is a premier e-commerce and digital marketing event that offers valuable insights, knowledge sharing, and networking opportunities to industry professionals. eTail Asia brings together some of the brightest minds in the e-commerce industry, including leading retailers, tech innovators, and digital marketers. eTail Asia also offers a platform for industry professionals to connect and build relationships with like-minded individuals.
Attendees have the opportunity to learn from experts through keynote speeches, panel discussions, and workshops as well as connect and build relationships with like-minded individuals.
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