SWAP, the Dhaka-based re-commerce startup, has made its foray into brick-and-mortar retail with its inaugural store being launched last week in the city’s Bashundhara city shopping mall. The move comes as the company prepares to pursue an ambitious strategy to build an omnichannel recommence business.
The outlet will provide all the services SWAP now offers on its online platform. Customers will have the opportunity to exchange their old device with any new or pre-owned smartphone, laptop and receive other related SWAP services.
The idea, apparently, is to connect SWAP’s online operation with an equally important offline one thus building an omnichannel business. The move is expected to provide SWAP with new growth opportunities, greater trust, improved brand image with customers, and strong competitive moats.
Increasingly, digital commerce and offline retail are crossing boundaries. We have seen companies like Amazon in the US and Alibaba in China invest heavily in physical retail as part of their aggressive expansion plans.
In Bangladesh, several online retailers are exploring opportunities at the intersection of online and offline. Pickaboo, the mobile, and gadget-focused commerce startup, has built a quite successful omnichannel operation with a growing retail chain. The safe food startup Khaas Food has built a franchisee-led retail distribution model with digital commerce. Companies like Neofarmers and Stygen have also been investing in omnichannel operations.
Founded in 2020, SWAP has so far raised $1.5 million investment from local and global investors and is looking to expand its re-commerce platform. After its excellent growth in mobile phones, the company has recently entered into several other new verticals including furniture, vehicles, etc.