2008 was the year Malaysia saw that digital boom in blogshops. I was in college at that time, and almost everyone of my age knew someone who runs a blogshop. It was a big hit because we were able to buy fashionable clothes that are not sold anywhere in the malls.
Fast forward to 2015, almost everyone now is an online shop owner or has some experience in online business. It is no secret that the minimum entry to run an online business is really low, therefore we Malaysians have somewhat tried to earn some side income through online business.
With so many online shops in the market, of course there will be some good ones that stand out and of course, horrible ones sticking around. For online fashion, we have had shopping review sites such as Emmagem, A Shopaholics Den, Shopping Roll, Your Shopping Kaki, Diary of an e-Shopaholic (which most of them have now gone defunct or changed into non-blogshop reviews exclusives) to help us decide which blogshops were worthwhile and those to avoid completely. It was a really addictive pastime of mine, to read through customers' raves and reviews, and not forgetting, all the juiciest REAL-LIFE MALAYSIAN ONLINE FEUDS that's going on! All of these sites were run by college/uni students, thus these sites also died when they started to go through exams and started working life. (clicking all those links and back logs brings back soooooo muchhhhhh memories from yesteryears!)
There was never really a "professional" review site, (Tongue in Chic doesn't count, it doesn't only focuses on Malaysian blogshops and reviews) so when I heard of a Singaporean-based online review site coming to our Malaysian shores, I was SOOOO HAPPYYYY!!!
How ShopVenture Begin
Min Yong, co-founder of ShopVenture, was once a victim of a bad online shopping experience. Few years ago, she saw the perfect bridesmaids dress online and purchased a multiple set of them for more than $600. However, when they arrived, the gowns looked completely different from what was depicted, not to mention that they arrived several weeks late. Naturally, Min was upset and most of all annoyed that such bad businesses existed. To make things worse, the online shop owner brushed off her complaints and refused to give her a refund!
Having encountered such an incident during one of the most important events of her life, Min was determined to warn other brides-to-be about this unethical company. While there were various forums that allowed Min to start threads to share her experience, there was no go-to website that offered consolidated reviews about online stores. This spurred Min to start ShopVenture, an e-commerce review website dedicated to women’s fashion and lifestyle, and to put accountability back into online businesses.
Every online shopping experience is like a venture because you are literally venturing into unfamiliar territories. This was how the name “ShopVenture” came about. Their vision is to enhance e-commerce, and make every shopper’s online purchase experience a great one and minimise their risks and disappointment through independent reviews from other shoppers.
ShopVenture Founders, Min Yong and Julie dePontbriand
ShopVenture allows users to rate the quality, delivery time, pricing, customer service and overall satisfaction of online shops. They pride themselves as an open platform where users can add independent reviews for any shop and experience. They also have social features such as a Facebook plugin, which allows users to share their reviews instantly on Facebook, making it more interactive for them.
For online shops that have registered with ShopVenture, they are able to access useful tools such as advertising, onsite widgets, and data analytics of registered users. These tools are useful to online store owners’ by allowing them to analyse data and trends of their reviewers, devise new marketing plans and boost sales.
ShopVenture also provides a level playing field for smaller e-commerce stores which may have with limited or no marketing budget to rival larger online shops with bigger budgets. For example, a smaller company could be ranked higher compared to an established online shop based on specific factors such as quality, customer service and delivery time.
What It Means for Shoppers
Honest and unbiased reviews from shoppers like you and me.
Better decision-making when it comes to online purchases.
Help your favourite site to build a reputation within online community (which would help increase their revenue and thus improving themselves for you!)
Discover NEW hidden gems!
What It Means for Business Owners
Know where the REAL problem is.
Fix on aspects that matters most to customers.
Data analytics and advertising opportunities of potential customers.
How It Works
1. Type in any shop or brand that you wish to know about.
(This is especially useful if you want to purchase something from SG because there are SO MANY awesome SG Instagirls promoting SG shops!)
Some of those that have been talked about widely is:
Love Bonito, Klarra, MGP Label, Young Hungry Free, MDS Collections.
2. See Ratings
It will help you on your decision making. Don't forget to check the number of reviewers because you may be fooled due to just one good/bad rating. Also remember to double-check whether reviewers are legit! Some could be fake profiles to tear down reputation on purpose. (I actually think Facebook integration helps in verifying legit users, which is super helpful!)
3. Write Review (if applicable)
Be as honest as possible to help the community grow. Rate accordingly and if the blogshop have tried their best to rectify situations, don't forget to update with a follow-up comment :)
As shopping is turning into digital in almost all areas (heck, we even can get Tesco to deliver fresh vegetables to us! And hello GoGet & Be Malas!), expect to see more business go digital in the near future. And due to the sudden influx of market entries, competition will be very stiff (especially with international retailers at our fingertips disposal).
This is why we need to rely on shopping review sites to give us a clearer indication of ratings. Organic individual reviews are honest and good, but to have them all compiled into one website? That's GENIUS.
Now go on, make your recommendations and rants of your personal shopping experience! (Most of the reviews are now largely SG based, so please add more MY sites to write your review!)