Online sales strategies intensified by MCO

Sales had dropped 98% at the start of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period for smart home appliances company Corvan Asia, but it fought back and doubled up on its online marketing.

The result was a ‘drastic’ jump, of more than 30% in its online sales, which picked up at a steady pace.

“We are blessed to have our sales and services back to the pre-MCO level,’’ said business development manager Bevan Lee.

Prior to the sudden imposition of the MCO, Corvan had built up a strong following of customers who are credited with helping it to pull through the tough times.

It had also given good after sales support, for which operations was adversely affected during the MCO and Controlled MCO periods, due to strict adherence to standard operating procedures.

But after a few weeks of readjustment, levels are back to Corvan offering instant technical service on 90% of its home appliances.

Since 2009, the company had been involved in online sales which only made up less than 15% of total sales during peak time.

During the MCO period, team members who worked from home, focused their efforts on improving their online operations. There were no activities offline.

“Most us were working more than 12 hours a day for five weeks without any rest day,’’ said Bevan.

The team had to study what their target audience were looking for; they then had to brainstorm and come up with new marketing strategies for each product.

They also collaborated with other companies, while engaging influencers and key opinion leaders whose lifetyles and demographics matched the target audience at Corvan.

As an example, the cordless vacuum giveaway in July and August had garnered some traction on social media, with many participants sharing their stories on how the product would help improve their quality of life.

Many consumers, especially those with families, are looking for products that allow them to apply disinfectants while cleaning the floor.

 In this case, the robot vacuum, Corvan picaBot, comes with a large, electronically controlled water tank where disinfecting floor cleaning solutions including Ajax, Lysol, Dettol and others, can be added.

With its tagline of ‘making housework enjoyable,’ Corvan’s value proposition lies in its award winning after sales service, as  well as the efficiency, convenience and energy saving nature of its products.

Favourites among consumers are the Corvan cordless vacuum, picaBot ActiveMapping robotic vacuum, picaMop cordless polishing mop and Corvan cordless power scrub.

Priced between RM650 and RM2,400, the products are sold at Corvan’s own store at The Starling Mall in Petaling Jaya, and all six Homepro outlets countrywide.

Corvan works closely with foreign technological and manufacturing partners especially from the US and Germany, on product development.

The products are ‘Made in The World,’ as key components of all the products are made in various countries including Japan, the US, Germany, the UK, South Korea, Malaysia and China for their best-in-class performance.

In line with its technical inclination, Corvan which previously operated from a shared shoplot in Sunway Mas, has evolved from being an agent selling other brands of household products, to become a brand owner today.

The company intends to strengthen its foothold in Malaysia before moving out to other countries next year.

“We believe that our products are suitable for users in other parts of the world, especially Asian families,’’ said Bevan.

Having worked in Corvan for the past five years, Bevan finds that it is the steady hands of the management that has guided the team through all its up and downs.

With this major sales challenge thrown up by Covid-19,  responsiveness from all angles, at all times, has become a top priority.

“We are lucky to have a very supportive senior management team who are accessible 16 hours a day for in-depth queries.

“At times, we have to call customers in person to explain to them in detail regarding their queries,’’ said Bevan.

Such is the hard work and dedication required in this fast-moving, competitive pace within the current retail sales environment.

Such is the hard work and dedication required in this fast-moving, competitive pace within the current retail sales environment.

By Yap Leng Kuen, Chief Story Teller, The Artisans Haven