STRICTLY BIZ MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER 2020

TOP TEN E-COMMERCE TRENDS IN MALAYSIA

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce in Malaysia and all over the world. Most companies have unsurprisingly turned to e-commerce to sustain and stay relevant in the challenging business environment. In Malaysia, there is a 100 percent growth of B2C e-commerce spending as of January 2020. The value of the e-commerce market is reported at USD4 billion

This article will highlight the top ten e-commerce trends in Malaysia:

1. Mobile shopping

With about 25 million mobile Internet users in Malaysia, the potential of e-commerce in Malaysia is huge. Statistics show that there is a sharp increase in mobile shopping. As of January 2020, 64 percent of e-commerce users buy online via their mobile phones. Malaysian e-commerce users spent more on traveling (USD5.38bil), electronic products or physical media (USD1.01bil.), and fashion and beauty (USD874mil.)

2. Big data and business analytics

One of the success factors of an e-commerce company is its efficient CRM. CRM plays a significant role in determining customer experience and promote customer loyalty. To manage a good relationship with customers, companies need to employ data analytics by using big data technology. The technology also allows companies to study product demand patterns, product ratings, sales trends and so on. Most e-commerce platforms, such as Lazada and Shoppee, provide sellers with analytic data features to monitor and manage progress and make better sales.

3. On-site Personalisation

Most companies are now fully utilizing their customers’ data to enhance their shopping experience via on-site personalization. Using customers’ history data and user logs, companies can customize their web site content based on users’ searching and browsing patterns. This means that the website only shows and presents content relevant to a specific user based on their previous browsing data and preferences.

4. The use of voice data

The advent of technology has enhanced customers’ shopping experience. Now, users do not have to use their fingers to type and search for products. Instead, they can use their voice at their convenience. Most e-commerce sites have embraced voice technology as an option for the search function. This feature is expected to be adopted widely by e-commerce companies soon.

5. Payment options

Previously, e-commerce users were relying on credit cards and bank transfers. But now, there is an emergence of several payment options, which include mobile payment or e-wallet. Although bank transfers and a credit card are still the preferred methods for most payment transactions in Malaysia, mobile wallets such as Boost, GrabPay, LAZADA wallet, and Samsung Pay have gained momentum. As of Jan 2020, 6 percent of payment transactions were completed via eWallet.

6. Application of Augmented Reality

One of the issues online customers face is their inability to “feel and touch” the products they wish to buy. Sometimes, static images or video clips cannot explain the features and characteristics of a particular product. Augmented Reality (AR) is a technology that can enhance information delivery much better than static images and videos. Some e-commerce companies and online sellers have started using AR to describe their products to potential customers.
LAZADA, for example, has introduced its new AR-based technology provided by Alibaba in WECOMMERCE2019 to enhance customers’ shopping experience. The technology, named “We heart Tech,” is Lazada’s new Fashion Mirror that allows consumers to try new outfits, accessories, and general fashion items with ease.

“We heart Tech"

7. Integration of ChatBox

Once we enter a store in traditional shopping, we will be greeted by a salesperson who will help us with inquiries about the products that we want to buy. However, we do not have similar experience in an e-commerce environment. However, most e-commerce companies have deployed the chat function to replace a salesperson. The chat is displayed as one of the website features allowing users to communicate with a sales representative. Etiqa Takaful, for example, has been using this function effectively to answer customers’ inquiries about their Takaful products.

8. Social media advertising

Social media has been proven to be an effective platform for product promotion purposes. It was reported that social media is the primary source of new product discovery by users in Malaysia (i.e., 41 percent in 2020). Online sellers and e-commerce companies will have to fully utilize popular social media applications in Malaysia, such as Facebook and Instagram, to enhance their branding and promote their products.

9. Social commerce evolution

In line with the exponential growth of social media usage, there is an emergence of social commerce in Malaysia. Many e-commerce companies and online sellers have recognized the importance of social media for business. Based on our survey on 100 entrepreneurs in Malaysia in April 2020, it was found that social media has had a positive impact on small businesses.3 There are two major findings in this study that are worth mentioning as follows:

  1. Social media use has a positive impact on social commerce performance among online sellers
  2. Three major social media applications are being used widely by the respondents: Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

10. Battle of e-commerce platforms

The evolution of e-commerce has witnessed the emergence of many e-commerce platforms. There is stiff competition among e-commerce platforms to attract online sellers. In the context of Malaysia e-commerce, there is a fierce battle between LAZADA and Shopee to gain the e-commerce market. As of the second quarter of 2020, Shopee and LAZADA have gained the most monthly e-commerce traffic.

The trends of e-commerce in Malaysia reflect the awareness by both consumers and online sellers on the potential benefits of technology. E-commerce allows consumers to enjoy a better shopping experience at their fingertips. Whereas online sellers can reach more potential customers and consequently enjoy lower operation and advertisement costs.


References:

1. Kemp, S. (8 Feb 2020). Digital Malaysia. Retrieved from https://datareportal.com/reports/digital-2020-malaysia
2. Ker, N. (8 Oct 2019). Lazada shows off new AR tech at WECOMMERCE 2019. Retrieved from https://www.soyacincau.com/2019/10/08/lazada-wecommerce-2019-e-commerce-augmented-mixed-reality-virtual/
3. Shahizan Hassan & Arfan Shahzad (2020), The impact of social media on small and micro enterprises in Malaysia, UUM funded research. SO Code 14325
4. Statista (2020). Top 10 e-commerce sites in Malaysia. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/869640/malaysia-top-10-e-commerce-sites/?
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