, Singapore

How IUIGA Technologies makes ecommerce worth every cent and second

The omnichannel retailer displays real pricing of a product, taking away other costs.

Once a certain product has been released, it typically goes through a very long process where it needs to reach 10 to 20 stages from the manufacturers and distributors before reaching a consumer. With all of this going on, the consumer still has to shoulder the distribution and rental costs incurred, which is said to make up two-thirds of the prices shown in stores.

Disrupting the traditional retail model, Singapore-based retail startup IUIGA Technologies offers products with price tags displaying the real price of a product based on quality by breaking down the ratios of production costs and markup, even as they directly deal with manufacturers.

“Many believe in the notion of What you pay, is what you get. However, as we at IUIGA researched deeper and connected the dots of the original design manufacturer (ODM) business model, we'd noticed a massive gap. More specifically, access to quality products and fairer prices remains limited. It is about nurturing consumers to be more informed buyers," Jaslyn Chan, chief growth officer at IUIGA, told Retail Asia.

They also have a 30-day return policy and assure that there are additional return costs or shipping fees included.

Currently, the startup has nine physical stores in Singapore alongside its online platform. It began with a purely online model but was burdened with pain points such as exchanges and return policies, which was costly for consumers in returning bulky items.

From this, they established a physical store, claiming that customers can still engage exchange products conveniently as with its online counterpart.

“Though it might seem counter-intuitive for a digital-business to open physical retail stores as its next step, it made much sense in reality,” Chan added. “Consumers now get to experience the best of both worlds—the convenience of online shopping and the ability to sample and examine products before coming to a purchasing decision. In my view, the future of retail might be more of a convergence of the online and brick-and-mortar experience, rather than an outright battle between them.”

Last May, IUIGA bagged $7.07m (S$10m) in a series A funding led by Konimex Technologies, the technology investment arm of Indonesian conglomerate Konimex Group. IUIGA intends to double down its business operations in Southeast Asian markets, with Indonesia as the key focus for 2020.

Edward Setiawan Joesoef, director at Konimex Technologies, says that the startup has a robust business model with its hybrid online-offline integration. “We are very optimistic about the company because we can easily scale the company internationally with a relatively low apple-to-apple competition because of the high entry barrier to replicate the model,” he added. 

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