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Singapore startup Techsembly breaks barriers to launching online marketplaces

September 17, 2020 Luxury Hotels No Comments Email Email

Fast-growing Singapore technology startup Techsembly is securing clients from all over the world with a Software as a Service platform allowing businesses to replicate a curated and customised in-store shopping experience online, including luxury accommodation provider The Peninsula Hotel Group.Founded by three entrepreneurs with a background in e-commerce and online retailing, Techsembly enables businesses who know they have to pivot online but are daunted by the cost
and logistics of building their own marketplace. Techsembly also integrates with their other digital
offerings, providing an omnichannel approach.

One of Techsembly clients, The Peninsula Hotels signed on during the pandemic when their
traditional business model was significantly impacted. The firm launched a marketplace solution
that allows for global sales of gift cards and experiences. As a result, they were able to generate
supplementary revenue for those customers wishing to give and purchase ‘experiences’ they
could look forward to.

Techsembly co-founder and CEO Amy Read says “The retail industry is at an inflection point and
we are increasingly seeing the emergence of new players who are changing the rules of the
game.”

“Businesses, whether they are retailers, media or hotels, are all impacted by the Covid-19 crisis,
and marketplaces have become the new normal – already accounting for more than 56 per cent
of all online sales. Some industry experts are predicting that will increase to 80 per cent in the
future.”

“Marketplaces allow businesses to innovate and grow without the risk of holding stock, to support
their local suppliers and replicate the mall experience online. This omnichannel approach is the
future of modern retailing,” explains Read.

Other Techsembly clients include Boutique Fairs Singapore (BFS) and Anglo-American fashion
platform Not Just a Label.

BFS is regarded as one of the leading calendar events in Singapore, taking place bi-annually at
the F1 Pit Building, attracting more than 300 local designers and artisans and 37,000 visitors per
event. With social-distancing requirements due to Covid-19 forcing the cancellation of the latest
edition of the fair, the company recognised the need to pivot online quickly to serve both vendors
and visitors.

In a matter of weeks, BFS was able to launch an online marketplace featuring 200 local brands
and 4000 products by partnering with Techsembly. Charlotte Cain, Founder of Boutique Fairs
Singapore, said the company needed a solution that combined offline experiences with online
shopping through the launch of an e-commerce marketplace immediately.

“Finding a technology partner to work with that could help us to build the right dropship platform,
mobilise us quickly and provide us with the guidance and support to ensure the marketplace was
a success from the onset was our biggest challenge, until we met with the amazing team behind
Techsembly.

“Not only did Techsembly provide the platform and help customise it beautifully, they also
provided us with all the support and training we needed to onboard sellers within an extremely
tight timeline.”

Not Just A Label (NJAL), another client of Techsembly, is a designer platform based in California
and a UK-based designer showcasing and nurturing today’s pioneers in contemporary fashion.
NJAL needed to pivot its business from a B2B to B2C model at the height of the pandemic. Not
Just A Label operates the largest global network of contemporary fashion designers, having
access to 4 million styles designed by more than 40,000 independent and emerging creative
designers.

NJAL, like BFS, reacted quickly to the global crisis by adopting a new strategy to provide a capitallight and highly profitable sales channel, thus saving a generation of emerging designers and
brands that were impacted by the downfall of the brick-and-mortar retail sector during the
pandemic. Many designers on the NJAL platform are also now moving to ‘Made to Order’ to
increase sustainability, with more than 60 per cent of items on the marketplace now carrying a
made to order label.

NJAL founder Stefan Siegel said the company was looking for a partner who could not only help
build an online marketplace but also bring in industry insights that would help recreate an
experience to delight its customers, and ensure the platform was commercially viable from the
outset.

“The uniqueness of their platform is the ability to own multiple localised storefronts through one
centralised platform, ensuring each regional storefront can be tailored to the needs of the local
audience. It was a delightful journey working with Techsembly, since their team was constantly
engaged and helped us mobilise our marketplace very quickly, making it live in under eight
weeks.”

Amy Read says the experiences of these companies underline the importance of moving quickly
to embrace online trends and implement solutions to stay competitive.

“This shift is not just limited to the fashion and retail industry, but many other businesses, including
hotels and media outlets, are also looking to pivot and find new innovative ways to support their
customers and generate additional revenue streams and value, without investing in inventory or
new builds.”

A SaaS platform, Techsembly charges a simple monthly subscription fee and businesses can get
online within a matter of weeks.

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