How Cococart Helps 20,000 Businesses Earn S$15 Million Through Its Online Platform

Online shopping has become the way to get things done. This is because people are staying within the confines of their homes these days as part of safe distancing measures and the default working arrangement was to work from home.

For many businesses, owning an e-commerce website is a necessity to maintain sales and stay afloat.

Such was the case for 31-year-old Derek Low when the pandemic caused him to close his hotel business in Bali in 2020. He found himself selling homemade cheesecakes online in Singapore to make ends meet.

While the UC Berkeley computer science graduate had the skills to create his own e-commerce platform to take orders, he realized that other similar home-based businesses were struggling to make same.

Surprised that there isn’t an existing e-commerce platform to help users quickly accept online orders without a mobile app or not charge “heavy” fees and commissions, Derek and his co- founder Lim Zhicong came together to create a one-stop shop. platform called Cococart in August 2020.

Today, Cococart supports over 200,000 businesses in 80 countries, helping merchants accept over 500,000 orders worth S$15 million.

The company is just getting started as it competes with global players, but the growth seen so far has been encouraging. For comparison, WooCommerce, the e-commerce plugin for WordPress, had around 3.8 million merchants in 2021, while its competitor Shopify had 1.7 million merchants globally in 175 countries in the same year.

“We built this platform to help other businesses accept online orders…With Cococart, they can build a website with no learning curve,” said Derek, Co-Founder and CEO of Cococart .

Supporting small businesses during Covid-19

Derek said the selling point of Cococart is that merchants can build a website to collect orders for their products online without needing any coding experience.

The integration process is also not very complicated. Merchants just need to visit the Cococart website and create a unique link for their business. After uploading their products, shipping and payment methods, they can share their link and start accepting orders.

Image Credit: Cococart

Every aspect of the online ordering process – from order management to mobile payment solutions – is handled by Cococart. For merchants, it avoids what Derek described as a “logistical headache”.

We let businesses focus on growing their sales and satisfying their customers. We know starting a new business is hard enough and we want to help other business owners succeed by taking the tedious work out of running their business.

– Derek Lim, co-founder and CEO of Cococart

He added that consumers these days expect to be able to order quickly and easily from their phones, which is why Cococart has grown in popularity over the past year.

In fact, the startup saw “30x the growth of merchants and 46x the growth of customers” in 2021. Derek also attributed the growth of merchants on their platform to the increase in people starting their own stampede. online amid the pandemic.

“Like me, many people who lost their jobs turned to online side businesses, which then became their main source of income… The pandemic has created a new generation of independent business owners, and these businesses are the fastest growing segment of e-commerce,” Derek said.

He cited INDOCIN – one of Cococart’s leading merchants – as an example.

cococart indocine sg
Image credit: INDOCIN

The Indonesian restaurant was a one-man show operating from its own kitchen when it first joined the platform in 2020. Today it has grown into a team of 24 employees operating from a commercial kitchen and a point of sale.

Harnessing the e-commerce boom

cococart
Image Credit: Cococart

As the Covid-19 situation evolves into an endemic, Derek believes this will have no impact on Cococart’s continued growth. “People are much more used to ordering online because of the pandemic. Even if we go into an endemic, this habit will not go away,” he said.

“In fact, with the opening of retail businesses, we have seen many of them using Cococart as well. We are now used by all types of businesses due to the flexibility of our product,” Derek said.

Cococart plans to further expand its fully remote team, which is spread across 10 countries. He was also accepted into the Y Combinator’s Summer 21 Batch – a startup accelerator that produced Airbnb, Stripe and Dropbox.

The co-founder added that the company’s goal is to serve the 200 million small businesses worldwide. who depend on phone calls or WhatsApp messages to collect orders, which he says takes “so many hours of time that could be better spent growing the business”.

“There are still so many challenges in starting and running a business that we want to solve, from deliveries to supply chain to financing,” he said.

“Our goal is to define the next generation of commerce.”


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Feature Image Credit: Cococart

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