Think online shopping today, you think about fashion, electronics...well anything under the sun that you can imagine. This includes cleaning products which have increased over the past few years as consumers start to crave convenience (thanks Amazon Prime) - more so in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic causing us to reach for the nearest antibacterial spray (in bulk for some). But there aren’t many direct dedicated platforms for cleaning products, even if there are, it’s more costly than the usual supermarket brands. What if there was a company that has convenience, affordability & quality all in one?
Our member, Scrub.sg brings just that to the table.
How do they do it? We sit down with Director of Scrub.sg, Ibrahim Abdul Khaliq to understand how and why he does it all!
Tell us what is Scrub.sg and what sets you apart?
Scrub.sg is an online only, Singaporean household cleaning products brand.
We offer high quality products, particularly in terms of the richness of formulations, that are as good as or in some cases better than those offered by the established brands and that too at competitive prices.
What goals do you have for Scrub.sg?
Our goal is to make consumers' lives easier by taking the hassle out of buying household cleaning products. We deliver our products directly to customers' doorsteps. When buying cleaning products at supermarkets consumers face so many unnecessary choices: which brand, which size, which fragrance, etc. And then add to that the process of carrying, loading and unloading the products!
At scrub.sg we simplify the process by offering everything under 1 brand and each product comes in 1 size and is available in 1 fragrance and delivering directly to our customers' doorsteps.
Moreover, by choosing one of our bundles, customers can even buy a full selection of products with just one-click and save money!
What was your motivation to set up Scrub.sg?
Singaporeans are tech savvy and e-commerce penetration is high and therefore would be open to purchasing cleaning products online rather than buying them at the supermarket. Added to that, since we do not know of many consumers that look forward to buying cleaning products, we felt that consumers would be more than willing to purchase online for the convenience of home delivery. Unlike the US where Amazon dominates, Singapore has healthy competition amongst a number of marketplaces. We felt we could test different strategies for marketing our products simultaneously without being beholden to any one platform.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business in the past few months?
Our sales have accelerated in response to the dramatic shifts in consumer behaviour due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When news of the virus initially surfaced, we were slowly (very slowly!) building up interest through online marketing and through the marketplaces. However, as consumers looked for products to disinfect their homes, places of work and household effects, we witnessed a surge in one product, our Antibacterial Spray.
As a start up, we were not prepared for this surge. During our first month of launch, we launched at the tailend of 2019, we were operating at a rate of 1-2 orders per day and slowly creeping up to 5-6 orders per day on weekends. The surge in demand for our Antibacterial Spray shot up orders to between 100 and 200 per day.
Suffice to say this was a big jump and we were not equipped to handle it entirely. Despite that, we felt that given consumers' heightened need to disinfect, we would do whatever it takes to ship our orders as quickly as possible. We started working round the clock and managed in almost all cases to ship our orders within 24 hours. Although we made more than a fair share of mistakes, consumers responded positively to the speed of delivery and our responsiveness to their queries. Within 10 days we were sold out of the Antibacterial Spray.
More important than the increase in sales was the acceleration in the recognition of our brand and the willingness of consumers to then go on and try our products. Ever since the circuit breaker was instituted in Singapore, we are witnessing a greater willingness by consumers to try our products and the vast majority of the feedback has been positive and especially supportive of a local brand.
You’ve been with us at Spaceship for the past few months, please share with us how you operate daily within the Spaceship Eunos facility.
Our entire operations are conducted at the Spaceship Eunos facility.
I sit at a fixed desk in the co-working space to answer emails, deal with customer queries and manage the administrative duties that come with running a business. External meetings are conducted in one of the meeting rooms provided at the facility. There is a choice between a smaller and larger one depending on the size of my meeting. I also have a storage unit located in the facility where I keep my stocks and most importantly, the fulfilment centre is used to pack and ship orders, which I do so daily.
There’s also a vending machine where I get my daily dose of 100 Plus and Peanut M&Ms, haha!
What are the risks you'd face if you were not supported by an all-in-one space provider?
Gosh, I don't even know where to begin. Without Spaceship we would not be where we are today.
When our first container of products arrived, Spaceship arranged the manpower for us to unload and store the products. They negotiated terms with the last mile delivery service providers that gave us access to bulk delivery rates enjoyed by much larger businesses.
On the days when we had worked all night, we could leave packages at the fulfilment centre knowing full well that Spaceship would ensure collections were taken care of and we could leave to get some much needed rest.
When we ran out of bubble wrap, Spaceship had spare. When we ran out of poly mailers, Spaceship arranged supplies on short notice so that we could continue packing.
So, thank you Spaceship!
This interview was made possible by our member, Scrub.sg. Check out their products and bundle deals here. If you’d like to see Spaceship for yourself and have a chat on how we can help support your business, drop us a line at 91148101 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.