What Lies Ahead for the E-Commerce Industry in Malaysia?

Malaysia has earned a spot as one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets in Southeast Asia. Emerging key trends like cross-border selling, which accounts for 4 out of 10 of all e-commerce transactions in the country and mobile-first audiences – make up 64% of all e-commerce transactions in the last year.

So, despite Malaysia having stringent regulations and heavy taxes for cross-border commerce, Vaibhav Dabhave, the CEO of Anchanto, said that there are several factors augmenting its growth. First, there is a vast population of young, digitally savvy generation looking to access international brands. With the rise of internet penetration and mature payment systems, Malaysia is seen as a moneymaking market for cross-border commerce by international brands.

“This is also bolstered by the rise of social media and social commerce. Data supports this trend, indicating that 78% of the population is active on social media. As social media continues to evolve further, social commerce is going to emerge as an important commerce channel in the near future,” explained Vaibhav.

According to Vaibhav, e-commerce will keep growing, offering new opportunities no matter what the situation is. So, there is room for everyone to grow and the pie will just keep getting bigger.

“If consumers are buying products being sold from abroad, there is a possibility that their demand was not met locally. Consequently, this presents a huge opportunity for local sellers who then need to follow these trends closely and make sure they understand their target customers’ needs precisely if they want to capture this potential audience,” he said.

The key here is IT infrastructure, as it is the best means to scale a business safely, in a controlled manner, and at the best cost. Businesses will need the right equipment to optimise their inventory distribution, order processing, etc., to cope with the rising demands while maintaining the quality of their service.

COVID-19 Impact on Consumer Behaviour and e-Commerce
Even before the pandemic, consumers were already leaning towards e-commerce naturally. Vaibhav believes that COVID-19 just accelerated the process of evolving the retail space. Consumers do not differentiate between online and offline anymore and have started using both channels alternatively. This has necessitated businesses to start thinking in omnichannel terms and implement strategies like Online-to-Offline (O2O).

“Businesses need to adapt and make sure that they distribute their catalogues on multiple marketplaces and even build webstores. Above all, they need to maintain the same experience and continuity on all channels,” said Vaibhav.

To succeed, the best practice would be to embrace new forms of e-commerce, such as going direct to consumers and exploring ship from store capabilities. Other learnings include having more stringent SLAs in place and richer promotional offers during festive sales periods.

Apart from that, if you are looking to build an effective multichannel strategy to expand your brand and retailer reach, Vaibhav suggests researching the right set of sales channels that work for your business.

Next is to invest in a technology that can help you implement your core strategy and facilitate seamless operations. A multichannel e-commerce management system can not only help you launch your strategy but also grow your business on each channel without having to make additional investments for every new channel you add.

He said, “With such software, you collect crucial data and insights for all your channels to understand which work the best for your business. You can then use this data to optimise the performance of each channel and customise newer channels to boost sales.”

However, with e-commerce continuing to grow across the globe, most logistics players have realised that sticking to B2B logistics operations is no longer viable.

Realising this, Vaibhav said that warehousing players will have to equip themselves with e-commerce capabilities and integrate with e-commerce players in order to avoid the risk of being obsolete. “As the growing customer expectations push these businesses to push boundaries and deliver a highly personalised shopping experience, the logistics and warehousing players will be expected to leverage advanced technology to stay at the forefront of the supply chain ecosystem. Technologies like machine learning and AI will be used extensively by these players to take their services up by a notch and step into the next orbit,” he said.

Anchanto has a prolific experience of working with e-commerce businesses for more than nine years. To simplify e-commerce for businesses and solve many of their challenges, Anchanto has developed purpose-built SaaS products solutions for digital commerce and logistics players such as Brands, Retailers, e-commerce Enablers, eDistributors, 3PLs, Service Providers, SMEs and Postal Associations.

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