While Facebook stores haven’t worked out so well for major retailers, so-called f-commerce is still a force to be reckoned with for smaller merchants, businesses, and fashion labels. It’s also a great niche for Asian startups to serve as Facebook shop creation platforms. One such offering is Malaysia-based Square.my which has been in private beta for a year and is now running in public beta since March this year.
Quite a few Malaysian celebrities are using this startup’s f-commerce platform for their indie fashion collections, such as Mizz Nina’s Mizz Demeanor label.
The startup wants to centralize all the actions in a blogshop or Facebook store – from inventory management, to payment processes and social marketing. Square.my promises that it’s a lot more efficient, and its service is free to use.
Square.my’s goal is not only to help entrepreneurs setup their web stores at an affordable price, but also to solve the notorious e-payment issues that come with doing e-commerce in Southeast Asia. To that end, Square.my lets shoppers on its merchant partner stores use either Paypal or MOLPay. But there’s also the choice of cash transfers. That’s because, explains Square.my co-founder Luqman Adris, Malaysian online shoppers still prefer manual payments over web-based credit card purchases, so the cash transfer option enables them to pay manually through a bank/ATM deposit and upload the payment receipt to the store. So the e-payment issues are far from solved, but the choices are in place.
The bootstrapping team of five at Square.my is about to expand its social commerce business to India with the aid of a local Indian partner. That will be likely wrapped up and revealed soon.
In terms of other features for merchants, Square.my offers automatic product image uploads to Facebook albums, Blogspot, and the merchant’s own website – that’s so “sellers can have multiple sales channels in addition to their Facebook shop,” explains Luqman.