COVID-19 SPECIAL

E-commerce helps candy floss shop ride out crisis

Candy floss and popcorn shop Candy House did not have any e-commerce presence before the coronavirus pandemic, but it now depends on online sales to tide it over this crisis.

The retailer, which is a supplier for pre-packaged popcorn and candy floss in Singapore, had a website that served only as an informational tool and channel of communication between customers and the business.

Its primary mode of operation was selling its wares at a physical retail store in Downtown East, while also providing candy floss and popcorn machine rentals for corporate functions and other events.

But with the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, Candy House, which started in 2006, had to venture into e-commerce.

Its efforts paid off, and online sales on retail platform Shopee now make up more than 80 per cent of takings.

Managing director Simon Bong said: "We recognised the importance of employing a multi-channel retail strategy - especially during this time - in order to diversify our revenue streams.

"Given the restrictions on offline retail and events, we decided to bolster potential losses on physical retail by scaling up the sales of our pre-packaged snacks."

But he said that the company lacked the know-how in e-commerce to carry out a sustainable plan and found it challenging to build the required digital infrastructure from scratch, together with the logistics network needed.

He decided to tap the e-commerce booster package and got on board Shopee to sell his goods, while receiving grant support for 90 per cent of the fees involved.

 
 
 

In two to three weeks, he managed to get his products listed on the platform to start his e-commerce business.

"What I found most beneficial was the extensive on-boarding and incubation programme.

"Business owners such as myself sometimes do not possess the relevant knowledge on how to effectively leverage e-commerce's potential and the incubation programme was incredibly useful in equipping me with the necessary skills for a successful online strategy," he said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2020, with the headline 'E-commerce helps candy floss shop ride out crisis'. Subscribe