Online sellers hope for lifeline from government


Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said recent initiatives such as the “Shop Malaysia Online” programme and the Penjana e-commerce initiative for SMEs have yielded positive benefits by generating over RM500mil in sales for more than 80,000 local sellers over the past few months on Shopee alone.

PETALING JAYA: E-commerce platforms are hoping the government will continue to extend support to the industry to encourage more retailers to diversify their businesses and move online.

Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said recent initiatives such as the “Shop Malaysia Online” programme and the Penjana e-commerce initiative for SMEs have yielded positive benefits by generating over RM500mil in sales for more than 80,000 local sellers over the past few months on Shopee alone.

“These campaigns have helped to cushion the impact of the pandemic on local sellers and serve as a great aid to the Malaysian population.

“As such, we hope the government will continue to work with e-commerce platforms like us and extend this initiative through Budget 2021 as more needs to be done to take the Malaysian economy into the future.

“We hope more retailers would diversify their business and explore e-commerce as a viable channel to grow their business, ” he said.

Ho added that e-commerce has created a lot of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and enabled many to widen their source of income during the period of the movement control order.

A recent survey conducted by Shopee among 11,850 Malaysian sellers showed that more people were turning to e-commerce to supplement their income.

About 35.4% of the overall respondents revealed that they turned to e-commerce as a second, or even third, source of household income despite being fully employed. These sellers made an average of RM2,750 per month selling on Shopee alone.

Interestingly, of these new entrepreneurs, 72% were women and 13.3% were from the rurals. Additionally, 70.7% of the respondents were aged between 18 and 35, of which one in three are Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia certificate holders.

“The survey shows that e-commerce provides equal opportunity for all to make a mark online. While e-commerce helps to better livelihoods, this also goes to show that e-commerce can play a larger role in shaping the modern workforce, ” said Ho.

In anticipating a surge in sales for the upcoming “11.11”, he noted that 66.7% of respondents were doubling their inventory in preparation for the 11.11 shopping festival. Meanwhile, 70.2% of the sellers projected that sales will double from the same event in 2019.

“E-commerce has made a profound impact on Malaysians, especially so this year. As we remain at the forefront of digital transformation, we are focused on making e-commerce for everyone by creating opportunities and meaningful shared experiences for sellers and buyers.

“We want every person and business to be able to benefit from the growth of e-commerce and participate in the future digital economy, ” he said.

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