This Indonesian Start-up Wants to Help Your Store Go Digital
SIRCLO helps small local brands scale
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
SIRCLO, which was recently accepted into the fourth batch of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program, began from a website footer. One of their team members wanted to expand his clothing business online.
“So, we built it, put SIRCLO footer and people started asking whether we can help them build their own. I saw how a local brand can grow from selling offline or in social media, to a brand.com,” says Brian Marshal, founder and CEO of SIRCLO.
SIRCLO differentiates itself from other online store builders through its focus on Indonesia. Marshall says that from the beginning, they felt providers from other countries lacked a localized approach to the market. They tried to make SIRCLO an online store builder that meets international standards, but with local content and features.
“For instance, our system is integrated with a local logistics service and local payment gateway. We focus on services which surround e-commerce, from template-based online stores or customized ones, integrating sales channels and maximizing your e-commerce potential,” he says.
For a market like Indonesia, they believe a human touch is necessary, and that’s why their customer support teams work more closely with users than you might expect from a typical online store builder.
The interface of SIRCLO is simple enough that even a person with a non-technical background can make a store. All they need to do is click a button to begin building a website, choose a template, and complete a short registration form. “Approximately a minute after that, the store is ready and one may immediately access the admin panel and receive a set of instructions to start [to] manage the online store. Currently, we help build about 100 online stores daily,” Marshal says.
In the case of HEYBOY Kidswear, Fardy Elvianto, its managing director, says all of the technical features required to run an e-commerce business are already provided on the site. “It feels as if I have a sales team who are ready to close the sales and I only need to focus on the marketing and bring visitors to the website,” Elvianto says.
Helping local brands scale
The company targets small local brands in Indonesia who want to sell online or plan on growing their business. Since they have been in operations for close to 4 years now, they receive many inbound leads from small business owners interested in availing of the service.
“To accelerate the acquisition, we have events and partnerships, and most importantly a team of salespeople to follow up the leads and close the deal,” Marshal says.
SIRCLO most commonly gets two objections at the sales stage. Some potential clients note that their pricing may be higher than some competitors. “We usually respond by educating them about the features and describing the privilege our clients get when subscribing to one of our plans,” he says.
With their acceptance into Google’s Launchpad Accelerator program, SIRCLO will only become more user-focused on their target market.
“Having been given the opportunity to join the 4th batch of Google Launchpad Accelerator, we expect to learn more to develop our platform technology (as a world class company) to help local businesses to penetrate online market. To do that, we aim to conduct deeper conversation with existing merchants to gain insights about their needs as a business owner and what we can do to help them more,” Marshal says.
As someone who has helped many Indonesian brands navigate the world of e-commerce, he had plenty of advice for other business owners and entrepreneurs who wanted to make the digital journey.
“Start doing now. It is always better to start even from the smallest things and make progress, than to wait for a perfect plan and barely do anything. Create your unique proposition and story. There are already countless online sellers in the market, so this is the best time to stand out. No need to hesitate to be different and compete with high profile brands as consumers typically expect nothing like the products they usually meet offline,” he says.
BY Amanda Pressner Kreuser