PETALING JAYA: The convenience of online services — from shopping to paying bills — has caught on significantly among those in under-served communities.
At its core, online services help to improve access to products and services, making it convenient for individuals to sell and generate income.
Malaysian start-up Products2U offers its users a one-stop shop service that transcends borders, catering to individuals and businesses alike. The goal is to foster entrepreneurship through a user-friendly application that simplifies the process.
Just a year after the concept was first introduced, there has been a 50-fold increase in the number of downloads for the Products2U (P2U) app, an indicator of its increasing popularity in the marketplace.
There are now about 10,000 new users every month, up from just 200 a month last year, with a notable number coming from Sabah and Sarawak.
More remarkably, the app has recorded a 90% retention rate, a testament to its high customer loyalty and satisfaction.
In a nutshell, Products2U is a platform that bridges rural areas with the cities. This enables and encourages those who have limited access to the internet to make online purchases, pay bills and enjoy other conveniences that city folks have taken for granted.
Lee Ping Yuan, the store director of Fifty Mobile in Sri Aman, said with the Products2U app, they are able to help the community to settle their bills and top up their prepaid cards.
“We have been providing these services to the community here for about half a year now by using the Products2U app,” Lee said.
“We have seen how it has greatly benefited many people in our area. We are able to use the app easily to help them manage their bill payments. It’s an incredibly useful app,” he added.
The concept of this app is also quite straightforward. The agent only has to download the app onto his mobile device through which he can be a point of sale for his own community.
He can then buy clothes, beauty products, groceries and more from businesses located elsewhere on behalf of his customers.
The app can also serve as his own virtual outlet. All he has to do is compile a catalogue of products and services that he can help his customers gain access to.
Agents can also take advantage of the platform’s benefits, including high commissions, no stock-keeping requirements, and no membership fees.
Nurul Nabilah Syahirah, a 26-year-old factory worker, has found a reliable source of side income by utilising the P2U app. Through the app, she is now able to earn a regular income.
“Being a part of P2U has been an incredible journey. The app has allowed me to explore and sell products in my own unique way,” she said.
Comprehensive agent training is provided to ensure optimal sales activities. The app offers a wide range of in-demand products, such as cosmetics as well as beauty and skincare items, allowing agents to tap into a lucrative market.
With all products available on a single platform, agents can streamline their sales process and maximise their earnings potential.
As it marks its second anniversary, co-founder and CEO Farhan Khairol Anuar says P2U is the app that users have been looking for all these years, especially for those in the under-served communities in Sabah and Sarawak, a reflection of the strides the company has made thus far.
There has been a five-fold increase in sales from May 2022 to May this year, he told FMT Business.
“This outstanding performance is testament to our remarkable growth and the positive market response we have received,” he said.
Farhan said the overwhelmingly positive feedback from users has fuelled the company’s commitment to be more innovative and to enhance its product offerings.
“Products2U remains dedicated to empowering the under-served communities by providing them with greater access to goods and services,” he added.
Farhan also revealed that Products2u has now partnered with several established brands such as SugarBomb, Poney, Adabi, The Skinny Bakers and many more.
In addition to these collaborations, he added, they have bigger brands lined up and are venturing into more products such as insurance, all with the goal of empowering communities and expanding their reach.
“With these partnerships, we can provide our partners with additional sales channels via our agent network, facilitating deeper market penetration, including areas where the under-served communities are located,” said Farhan.
Going forward, there will be initiatives to expand the product mix while training will be provided to help agents improve their product knowledge.