Everpeaks’ Kickstarter programme comes to the aid of e-commerce players
By Kiran Kaur Sidhu August 14, 2019
- Pain points include lack of platform guidance, no suitable product, hefty training costs
- Fully reimbursable with eTrade grant for eBay and Amazon appointed partner
FROM setting up his first eBay account in 2013 to sell vehicle stickers internationally, Joachim Sebastian has come a long way. In 2017, he founded Everpeaks Consulting Sdn Bhd with the goal of sharing knowledge and e-commerce solutions with digital businesses.
With support from the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade), the company is launching its Kickstarter programme to help Malaysian businesses and companies start their export journey.
“We see a gap in the industry where people with great products and brands in Malaysia can’t export on a global platform,” he said, narrowing the problems down to a lack of skills in navigating online marketplaces.
According to Joachim, some challenges these businesses face are, the lack of guidance to start selling on online platforms, having no suitable products that are e-commerce enabled, textbook methods of training and the lack of support when facing issues.
Plagued with these problems, Malaysian businesses, whether dealers, distributors or brand owners were limited from going global.
“Brand owners which are prominent in Southeast Asia have it worse because they come from the Baby Boomer generation, so they are not familiar with the e-commerce world.”
Many are also apprehensive due to the “bad reputation” of e-commerce consultants caused by a few bad apples in the industry. Although Joachim has a business record that speaks for itself and attracts interested parties, these up and coming businesses have tight purse strings especially for training costs.
“We tried the hand-holding method too – you pay us and we run the whole e-commerce business for you – which is the managed services portion of our business, but not everyone can afford the RM100,000 a year price tag,” he explained.
Enter the Kickstarter programme
Considering the mismatch between such a prominent market need for e-commerce training and the hefty price point Malaysian businesses have to bear, Joachim rolled up his sleeves and approached eBay, Amazon and Matrade.
Today, Everpeaks is the first and only channel partner for eBay in Malaysia and Amazon Service Provider Network (SPN) member in Southeast Asia. With this newly acquired status under its belt, Everpeaks reached out to Matrade and shared issues surrounding the cost of the programmes.
Under the eTrade programme, Everpeaks’ Kickstarter programme is fully reimbursable as long as participants meet the following criteria:
- Are a Malaysian owned company (at least 60% Malaysian equity)
- Incorporated under the Companies Act 1965 / Companies Act 2016 / Registration of Business 1956 / Limited Liability Partnership Act 2012 / Co-operative Act 1993
- Subject to available funds from the Matrade eTrade Programme
- Yet to claim any expenses under the eTrade Grant
The RM5,000 programme requires participants to select the platform (eBay or Amazon) of their choice and subsequently guides them from scratch through account set up and compliance support. Additionally, the training bundle also includes an introduction to e-commerce, product strategy and platform strategy courses.
Participants will be eased into the world of e-commerce and the workings of the platform they choose. In terms of platform strategy, Joachim says: “We show you how to grow your business on the platform. These are practical tips and tricks we apply for our clients that have grown their business throughout the years.”
As for product strategy, Everpeaks covers pricing strategy, competitor analysis and platform-specific requirements of the product including photos, listing bullet points and shipping policies.
“We do the platform set-up for them. We digitise the products, we optimise the keywords and have the account set up in the right way with the right documentation and compliance requirements so that they don’t get suspended in the first week, which is what happens to a lot of new sellers,” explained Joachim.
The Kickstarter programme will run in cohorts of ten over a duration of two months with a total of 19 contact hours.
“There are three touchpoints – the introduction, the training and the consultancy day. The rest is all done online via email or phone.”
As part of the programme, participants also get six-months of access to Everpeaks’ Facebook support group.
“It is a closed group which we charge RM250 per month to be part of. There, you can ask the experts any questions you may have. It is a mini-mentorship programme.”
Participants also receive two hours of one-to-one consultation for any difficulties they may experience.
“Before that, we’ll scope the meeting out. We’ll give you some questions to answer and basically, that will give direction to the consultation.”
Additionally, the programme also gives participants a dealership letter from a Malaysian brand owner and RM1,700 worth of product and shipping credit. This means that Everpeaks pays brand owners and has products shipped on behalf of the sellers “to start their journey the right way for free.”
Since the products and seller are still unknown in the market at the initial stage, “they need to get product reviews before the platform ungates their account, so this helps with that significantly,” shared Joachim.
“We basically have identified each and every pain point on why people can’t sell successfully on the export market and we have devised a way for them to get it for free,” he said, explaining that participants earn money and that cancels out the cost of training.
The intake for the first cohort is targeted for Aug 26. Those interested can visit the website for more information.