I remember vividly, that was the time when Chevron first collaborated with Shopee to launch the RM4 Cashback promotion. As usual, that was a compulsory marketing program for all Caltex retailers to join. Stations were required to first sign up the eWallet program before they are able to execute any eWallet promotion, such as the Caltex-Shopee Cashback program.
The first thought that came to my mind was this: “How to make the rural areas sites participate in this together? Can they accept that eWallet is now the trend, and will become popular even outside the urban? Are they willing to learn and pick up this new trend?” I know that was going to be my real challenge.
I visited a few rural sites. As predicted, they were reluctant to embrace digitalization. They said, ‘kami stesen kampung saja, jarang-jarang orang pakai eWallet’ (We are in a rural area, no one is keen to use the eWallet). These stations did not realize the importance of eWallet towards all business these day, especially the fact that during the pandemic, customers prefer cashless transactions to avoid direct contact.
I urged them to comply, no excuse. I started with getting them to unbox, charge and turn on the payment terminal (yes, they even left the paid payment terminal in the store untouched!). I tried a few low amount transactions to test if the terminal was working with no error. Then I demonstrated how to perform a ShopeePay transaction. I made them look, follow, repeat & repeat. After a few rounds of on-site sessions with them, they started using eWallet in a proactive manner. By learning the benefits of eWallet transactions, they started to develop the motivation to drive the ShopeePay campaign. They also enjoyed educating their customer from the rural trading areas. Customers learned this new trend from them and returned to their station to refuel.
Later, to my surprise, these Retailers become even more aggressive than the city area sites Retailers in the eWallet transactions! Now, they would come asking me, “Hey, Ong, when will be the next eWallet campaign?”
A Malay proverb goes, ‘Tak Kenal, Maka Tak Cinta’. It means literally as ‘not knowing, hence not loving’. I think this applies to what I’ve witnessed. Once the Retailers learned about it, they will embrace it. Thus, we as the RBC play a vital role to guide the Retailers, to arouse their interest and to celebrate the success and fun together. Turning around rural station Retailer’s mindset towards the modernization is never easy, but it is not impossible. I was very pleased to see the Retailers’ progress.
— This is a best practice article shared by our internal Retail Team member, Ong Pheh Ling (“Ong”). Ong is the Retail Business Consultant covering the Perak and Penang areas.