SHOPLAZZA, a cloud-based commerce platform, helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expand their business to reach out to customers almost anywhere today as most of them hope to be able to sell beyond geographical borders and scale.
Despite the numerous platforms supporting this available in the market today, the process is not always as clear-cut and simple. For one, managing payments and financial transactions can be challenging due to reasons like regulation and cost.
To help SMEs solve the challenge, SHOPLAZZA aims to make the process a lot simpler. In fact, over 360,000 merchants are using SHOPLAZZA’s one-stop, zero-code website building platform. Partnering with tech providers like Stripe, SHOPLAZZA uses the tech company’s payment solutions to keep any additional costs in check and didn’t have to add cost burdens to their merchants.
Tech Wire Asia speaks to Jeff Li, CEO of Shoplazza on the company’s plans for the year and how it hopes to reach out to more SMEs in the region and enable them to boost their reach.
As with any business or platform, SHOPLAZZA hopes to grow its reach and create an open e-commerce ecosystem. Li wants to enable more partners to provide SHOPLAZZA’s 360,000 merchants with diversified services through their platform and synergistically increase profits. At the same time, Li said greater AI technologies are added to empower merchants and partners to make stronger decision-making capabilities at the data level.
“We are also paying more attention to the strategy of opening up and bringing about greater scale effects, and adapting to the scenarios and changes in overseas markets. We hope to cover more merchants and countries, and assist in accelerating the speed of global expansion for our merchants,” explained Li.
As SHOPLAZZA is currently focused on the North America and APAC markets, Li added that they have set up headquarters in Toronto, Canada, and implemented the internal structure of Shenzhen-Toronto dual operation centers. The teams actively collaborate to ensure we address the markets from a global perspective.
“We will continue to invest in the Asian market. We are optimistic about the overall development of the Southeast Asian e-commerce market, and we will actively improve our ecosystem and product services in this regard,” commented Li.
In the Asian e-commerce market, Li believes that it has great potential and room to grow. He pointed out that Asia has the most complete and developed manufacturing industry and supply chain system in the world, and at the same time, has a population of more than 4.5 billion, which will undoubtedly release huge market potential in the field of e-commerce.
Li also highlighted that with the signing and implementation of China’s RECP and other trade agreements, the Asian market will be further integrated in the future, which will provide great convenience and support for the development of e-commerce.
“SHOPLAZZA’s overall strategy is to continue relying on the advantages of the North American operation center, focus on the development in the fast-changing global e-commerce environment, take PLG (Product-led Growth) as the growth orientation, and think about how to do it from the perspective of products to better attract and satisfy merchants. We are committed to helping global merchants achieve business success with excellent technology,” he said.
Globalizing regulations with SHOPLAZZA
Being an international e-commerce platform, one of the challenges for SHOPLAZZA is navigating the financial regulations of the countries in which it helps SMEs expand. Li explained that as a shopping cart SaaS provider, SHOPLAZZA is acting more like a ’website engineer’ role for merchants, who offer online store building technology, without actual involvement in the settlement flow. Hence, the merchants are responsible for fulfilling orders and making sure their business activity and capital funds flow to meet the requirements of the target countries.
“However, SHOPLAZZA has to make sure of its compliance with the technique perspective. For doing so, we work closely with payment channels as well as card schemes (VISA/Mastercard), by holding periodical online and offline meetings and booking updates through emails,” he added.
Citing a recent case, for example, Li said according to Brazil’s central bank requirements, e-commerce websites need to adhere to terms and conditions before submitting the payment request. This information must be read and fully understood prior to final consent to make the purchase. This is where SHOPLAZZA needs to support the terms and conditions check box function before the mandatory date.
Li also pointed out that Stripe Connect plays a crucial role because it enables SHOPLAZZA to draft their agreements with their merchants in compliance with local payments law, without SHOPLAZZA having to pursue their own payments licenses and becoming regulated businesses.
“The regulatory burden is handled by us and it allows Shoplazza to focus their time and resources on running their businesses. Furthermore, this approach does not limit the types of services that can sell on Shoplazza as our robust network and service offerings are able to support various types of businesses,” stated a Stripe spokesperson.
In the second part of the interview, Tech Wire Asia speaks to Bing Xia, CTO of SHOPLAZZA on how it protects its customer data as well as the cybersecurity steps taken to secure the platform.