The partnership will promote Fave's variety of digital gift cards (eCards) from local businesses in Singapore in Malaysia on both Facebook and Instagram platforms. Among the businesses expected to benefit from this new initiative are retail and hospitality, as well as the food and beverage (F&B) sectors.
Starting from 12 May 2020, Facebook users in Malaysia and Singapore will be able to easily purchase or gift Fave's eCards through the "Support Local Businesses" banner on their Facebook feeds.
“We’re trying to help businesses navigate the new normal of today’s economic climate. These updates are part of our overall commitment and responsibility to Singapore and the communities we operate in. We hope that with these tools businesses can take more of their operations online and continue serving their customers as they adapt to the current challenges.”
Said Sandhya Devanathan, Country Managing Director at Facebook Singapore.
Through this collaboration, we also launched a special “Support Small Businesses” campaign which enables businesses to add a “Gift Card” sticker to their business Instagram Stories and also a button on their business profile page for merchants. A simple and quick way to engage with followers and gain more eCard sales.
"COVID-19 has brought great disruption and uncertainty to our economy over the past few months. When Fave launched eCards seven months ago, it was to provide local businesses with a platform to invigorate their cash flow, reward their regular customers and enable cashless payments.”
Ng Aik-Phong, Managing Director of Fave Singapore responded.
He also added saying “by joining forces with Facebook and Instagram, we aim to extend support to local businesses further with utmost speed and urgency. Our partnership will accelerate our local businesses' ability to adapt and digitalize while providing a much-needed income boost to keep them afloat during these challenging times," he added.
While Singapore and Malaysia both have implemented drastic measures to curb the transmission of the virus and allocate huge funds to help these businesses survive, it will not be enough to help these businesses stay afloat for the next couple of months.
According to an online survey, 68.9% of local SMEs suffered more than a 50% drop in business within one week of the Movement Control Order in Malaysia. With that said, these businesses will still need to earn sales to circulate a healthy cash flow and to survive through this level of disruption.
How Fave’s Digital eCard Helps Businesses
This enables local businesses to benefit from a meaningful contribution to their income during the ongoing pandemic crisis. With local businesses forming the backbone of the two countries’ economies, the custom-branded eCards brought by Fave onto Facebook's platform provides an up-front and cost-effective collaboration to generate critical revenue for businesses affected during the pandemic.
Local merchants will also be able to add an eCard sticker on their Instagram Stories to help merchants to establish awareness on eCards in a more interactive way. The sticker will bring their followers to their eCard page on the Fave's platform.
“We know that at a difficult time like this, businesses have real worries in keeping their operations running and counting on every single support they can get. We have listened to what businesses need and we want to do our part in helping them navigate this crisis and keep in touch with their customers. With these gift cards and discount vouchers, we hope to provide means for people to easily share and support their local businesses.”
Said Nicole Tan, Country Director, Facebook Malaysia.
Fave launched eCards on its platform in late 2019 as a more customized form of digital credit from merchant partners to Fave users, with generous discounts and bonus Cashback upon every purchase of an eCard. The paid amount and Cashback is instantly credited to the user’s profile from the merchant on their Fave account upon purchase. eCard credit is valid for six months and is redeemable for multiple visits.
To ease the setup process, Fave has launched a self-serving application process on its FaveBiz platform, enabling local businesses to have their eCards up and running in less than five minutes.
This streamlines and accelerates their approach towards getting started on converting consumers into loyal customers while reaping the benefits of the collaboration between Facebook and Fave. For businesses looking to set up their own eCard on Fave, they can sign up at here and activate it within the merchant platform through simple steps.
"We will work with Facebook to help our local businesses obtain a much-needed boost in sales and income during this period of uncertainty."
Datuk Jake Abdullah, Managing Director of Fave Malaysia responded.
He further added that "Local businesses will need to reimagine and digitally transform their business models if they are to succeed in a post-COVID-19 world. Our partnership with Facebook will equip them with a way forward for the future."
Merchants Experience with eCards
While the majority of small businesses are still witnessing widespread COVID-19 disruption, over 500 local Malaysian businesses such as Ipoh Ais Kopi, Jom Laksa, Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul, and TBM - Your Neighbourhood Electrical Store and over 400 local businesses in Singapore, such as Crave, Jollibean, Nippon Home and Pixie Nail Spa have made the transition towards digitalization with positive results to their bottom line.
"When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived on our shores, we saw a huge decline in sales. This affected our cash flow, especially since we made the decision not to retrench any of our staff, many of whom have been with us from day one. Through Fave's eCard initiative, we were able to get cash upfront to partially support the team through this crisis. More importantly, it is reassuring to the team, that our customers are still behind us, despite the fluid situation,"
said William Ng, Director, FROZEN Ice Cream, one of Fave’s merchants in Malaysia affected by the pandemic.
In Singapore, the majority of local businesses are still reeling from disruptions as a result of COVID-19. This is reflected through the Singapore Business Federation-Experian SME Index, which saw its reading for overall national business sentiment fall to 48.3 from 50.4 in April 2020, the lowest value since 2009 when the index was first created.
With domestic and traditional brick and mortar sectors being severely affected, incorporating digital business strategies into current business models is the best way for local businesses going forward.
"We're really pleased with the new eCard feature on Fave, and it's good value for Maki-San's customer base who want a nice discount, and it's good for businesses like us too because it helps to move bigger bundle deals as well. The simplicity in technology is also seamless, so it's so easy for our customers to enjoy,"
Said Alvin Wong, Director of Maki-San, one of Fave’s merchants in Singapore.
Facebook has been a critical driver for the growth of local small in Singapore and Malaysia. According to Facebook, 87 million users from around the world are connected to a business page on Facebook in Malaysia, presenting a myriad of business opportunities for businesses.