Twins Vincent & Henry Tong founded Printcious, an online custom gift printing platform, to help consumers find unique, affordable gift options. By utilizing an array of digital tools and strategies, the Malaysia-based company connects gift seekers, designers and business owners, providing a platform for collaboration.

The impact of digital marketing

Established in 2015, after nine months of finding success domestically began exploring new markets. Early on the founders recognized the importance of global expansion for the growth of the company. The first step in their internationalization was beginning to leverage Google Ads. 

Today, the printing company ships products to customers in nearly 100 countries, with the largest markets in Malaysia, Singapore, the United States and Australia.

To support the domestic and international growth of the enterprise, the Tong brothers have prioritized educating the market about DIY gifts. “[W]e have been educating the market via Facebook, Google and YouTube to show how easy and affordable it is to create their own customised gifts with advanced digital printing technology,” they shared. 

A Global Vision

Vincent and Henry have the vision to grow Printcious into the largest online DIY gift printing platform in the ASEAN region. Their commitment to engaging a global network of customers is exemplified through their localized web content— showing local currencies and rates. 

The company website also displays the logos of the global digital tools that they leverage including Visa, MasterCard and Stripe to easily accept payments from different countries and cloud-based messaging tools like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate with customers around the world

Supporting Partners & Employees Amid the Crisis

In a January 2021 press release announcing a new partnership between Printcious and Shutterstock, Vincent said “Covid-19 lockdowns and precautions have kept families apart, therefore, we’ve seen a spike in personalized gifting as people go out of their way to show loved ones they care. As we approach this holiday season, social distancing and safety precautions make shopping for gifts an onerous task.”

Throughout 2020, the e-commerce site printed over 100,000 products monthly, maintaining a source of income for many designers. “Customers can now choose designs from Shutterstock’s database of 1 million designers, photographers, and artists, at the same time helping these designers monetize their creations to get through these difficult times,” he said.

From the beginning, one of the biggest challenges for the brothers has been finding the right employees. As a small business, they have limited resources. As a result, their strategy is to hire talent based on their work ethic and positive attitude, and then they provide the business and digital skills trainings to prepare them for their jobs.