return Return to Prestige 40 Under 40 Previous
Titan: Lai Shanru

Lai Shanru


Lai Shanru constantly challenges herself to drive change because “‘can’t’ is not an option”. It is this tenacity, together with her love for e‐commerce, that led her to say yes when approached by her ShopBack co‐founders, Henry Chan and Joel Leong, to join forces back in 2014.

Today, ShopBack – a platform that incentivises its members to shop at partner merchants by giving them cash rebates – is a thriving success with more than eight million (and growing) users and over 2,000 merchant partners, including Net‐A‐Porter, Taobao and Singapore Airlines. ShopBack’s reach extends to South-East Asia countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand, as well as Taiwan and Australia. Users spent an average of over S$96 million a month via ShopBack, and received over S$41 million in cash rebates till earlier this year. Lai started out in banking before pivoting to her true calling in e‐commerce, with Zalora. Now, she heads ShopBack GO’s Client Success Management team, which is in charge of keeping its partners engaged and helping them further grow their businesses with the tools it provides, and is behind the amazing deals and cashback offers on the ShopBack GO app. Lai was also responsible for ShopBack’s expansion into the Philippines and scaling the business in Malaysia. She was one of the key drivers that took ShopBack from online-only to offline as well with ShopBack go, its latest initiative that lets users earn rebates offline at over 600 brick-and-mortar F&B outlets across Singapore.

“ShopBack is a cost-effective marketing channel,” explains Lai. “While merchants pay for impressions and clicks via other marketing channels, they only pay ShopBack a commission when we deliver a successful sale to them. ShopBack connects consumers and merchants, with direct benefits to both parties – giving cashback to consumers and saving marketing dollars for merchants.”

Lai says that while her end goal is to make ShopBack a unicorn in the e‐commerce industry, she ultimately wants to be remembered as someone “who keeps it real”.

Lai is the recipient of Prestige’s Vanguard Award 2019