In the latest episode of TRBusiness’ ‘Adapt & Survive’ Skype video interview series, Ourshop Head of Travel Retail and Acquisitions Jonathan Lee discusses the new campaign, which pledges a life raft to struggling retailers at a time of lost incomes.
Companies can now sign up as merchants on Ourshop without paying commission or listing fees following a public call from ebullient AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes to ‘keep retail going’ during the Covid-19 crisis.
“The response has been tremendous: in just over a week close to 500 retailers have joined us – of course this makes up non-travel retail and travel retail businesses,” commented Lee. “It’s a very simple process.”
HOME DELIVERY DEPLOYED
Currently, SOS’s focus is engineered towards Malaysian and Peninsular Malaysian retailers [due to export/import and movement restrictions in Malaysia, as explained below – Ed] but Ourshop says there are opportunities to broaden the service in the future.
“We’ve not only enabled traditional retailers to venture into ecommerce, but are taking the extra step of leveraging on our strength through AirAsia corporation’s logistic arm Teleport to enable fulfilment to customers,” continued Lee.
“This means we can manage the end-to-end service, from picking up products from designated warehouses to delivering to customers’ doorsteps, and so-forth. We knew many businesses were going to be impacted (by Covid-19) and we simply wanted to create a platform or avenue where they could still sell.”
Like other airlines, the indescribable malaise across the air transport sector has hit AirAsia, with most of its fleet in hibernation due to border restrictions in place across much of the world.
Malaysia, AirAsia’s hub, is subject to a movement control order (MCO), with no outdoor activities and travel restricted to a 10km radius.
At the time of recording (14 March), the country has 14 days remaining of its current MCO (until 28 April). It has already been extended twice.
Despite the challenges, Lee praises the company’s ‘very capable team’, which is coalescing like never before.
With travel retail shops closed and flights grounded, typical Ourshop fulfilment options, such as pick-up infight (allowing customers to pay for goods through its online portal) or order for collection on the ground at airport and downtown duty free shops, are not available.
“However, we often say ‘change’ is a constant in our company and the response has been quick,” he tells TRBusiness. “Within a couple of days of the MCO announcement we were able to deploy home delivery as an option for retailers.”
Ourshop connects the Malaysian low-cost carrier’s vast service network (around 90 million passengers across a network of more than 130 destinations) and data-led customer insights to retailers, including those in travel retail.
Customers can benefit from cashless transactions and choose (ordinarily) from a variety of delivery options, as mentioned above.
Adapt and Survive asks members of the travel retail industry community, often working from home, for their candid commentary on the constantly evolving Covid-19 pandemic.
The video series is a direct response to the industry’s critical need for direct, factual and analytical commentary and – in typical TRBusiness fashion – interprets clearly and concisely the challenges faced by travel retail during Covid-19.