DSYR’s quest to promote lifestyle by design
By Gabey Goh November 22, 2013
- DSYR, with its tagline ‘Let’s Redesign Normal,’ showcases the work of local and international designers
- Founders believe that e-commerce competition is good; it validates market and helps educate users
THE Malaysian e-commerce space is getting pretty crowded as more players, both homegrown and international, wade in to grab a slice of a growing and robust pie.
But for one local startup, the presence of all these other players is a good thing. The company sees itself as a different venture, bringing something unique to the online marketplace table.
In an interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), DSYR cofounder and chief executive officer Ben Chin (pic),said that the e-commerce industry in this region is beginning to pick up at a very rapid pace.
However, he noted that it’s just a fraction of the e-commerce sites in the United States or China, and that the industry here is still relatively young with a lot of room for improvement.
“We have the big boys like Rocket Internet and Groupon having a tight grip on the mass market. It’s great that they are going pretty aggressively in terms of advertising and educating the market about e-commerce.
“Newer startups can only benefit from this. Their strategy is to sell everything under the sun like Amazon, and we are really impressed with what they have done thus far,” he added.
DSYR, with its tagline of 'Let’s Redesign Normal,' is an online marketplace which showcases the work of talented local and international designers.
“On DSYR, you will be able to buy the most interesting designs we can find, curated based on how well they surprise and delight. And how effectively they elevate everyday objects in terms of form as well as function,” said Chin.
He said that in the e-commerce market for design, there are a few players and some of them have done a really good job.
“We think that this is a validation of the market and we should all move forward together to educate people about what we are trying to do,” he added.
It is here within this sub-category of design that the DSYR team believes it adds unique value for interested online shoppers.
“Our strategy is very different. We think of our site as a magazine. Everyday we meticulously curate new products for our customers and handpick items that we think will 'wow' them. What we look for are products borne from creativity, be it in the design or the functionality of the product, and in some lucky instances, both!
“We have one rule for our buyers: ‘Don’t pick something you won’t purchase yourself’ Our products fall into everyday categories (fashion, home & living, art, accessories) but are meant to elevate the design standard of our customers,” Chin explained.
Since DSYR’s debut in July 2012, it has garnered about 50,000 members, with an average growth of about 6,000 monthly, he claimed. The company also has over 41,100 fans on its Facebook Page and boasts an average basket size of RM200.
To date, it has worked with over 500 brands from 20 countries such as the United Kingdom, Holland, Japan, Spain and Italy, alongside 50 Malaysian brands.
When asked, Chin said notable partnerships included those Bozu, an Italian furniture designer company; and Individium, a local brand of t-shirts sporting designs inspired by the periodic table of elements and merged with witty one-liners.
Most recently, the site added Desigual Fashion, a French streetwear brand which recently opened a store at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Pavilion Shopping Mall. The brand’s Autumn/Winter accessories line, which aside from its stores, can only be found online only on DSYR.
“We had one product that went rather viral due to its quirky look, the Ostrich Pillow (pic). Another one we recently featured is NewKube, the world’s smallest MP3 player which was a big hit even internally with the team,” said Chin.
With a track record being built, he said he hopes the marketplace’s growing credibility will open more doors and gain the trust of more local designers here in Malaysia, as well as bigger brands internationally.
“We are confident that with the right products and marketing, we will be able to stay ahead of the competition. We see competition as a healthy way to move forward,” he said.
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