Jipaban.com started out as an online marketplace for blogshops.

With Nuffnang a runaway success by 2010, I noticed that there was a wave of online fashion retailers coming on board and selling their wares on blogging platforms like Blogspot and Livejournal.

Wanting to capitalise on this trend, I built Jipaban up as an online marketplace, with inventory management, accounting and sales analytics built in to replace this rudimentary method of commerce.

For shoppers, there were Social Networking elements in play.

We also relied heavily on social media marketing to drive sales on Jipaban.com which gave me much insight into my primary business.

How We Did

The initial idea of a marketplace and online shopping mall, with tenants did not go as well as expected. Whilst we did have over 100 tenants, we found they treated Jipaban as a marketing stepping stone, allocating us products that did not sell well, or offering discounts to the clients who had bought from on our platform, to promote their blogshops.

As a result, we made a big decision to pivot the business from a marketplace model, to a fully owned and operated e-commerce model, which involved buying, stocking and fulfilling orders directly. We also incorporated a loyalty model to further enhance our proposition.

This was a costly exercise that ultimately did not yield us the rewards we had hoped for, and in 2013, I made the decision to cease operations.

Lessons Learnt

Number one, ¬†you need a whole lot of capital (dry powder) to get into e-commerce in a meaningful manner. Look at Rakuten, Lazada, Zalora, Redmart, Qoo10, Gmart …

Number two, you need a unique proposition or you need to offer the lowest price around.

media & clippings