ACCORDING to analytics website eCommercedb, the Malaysian e-commerce market in 2020 achieved a revenue of US$4bil, making it the 38th largest in the world.
Even before the Covid-19 pandemic and various lockdowns, the Malaysian e-commerce sector was one of the fastest growing in the region.
This is reflected in a report by Capillary that the Malaysian ecommerce market grew by 39% in 2019 alone, and is expected to be worth more than US$8.1bil by 2024.
However, as more people make online purchases, the number of complaints have also gone up – indicating serious issues when it comes to trust and credibility of online retailers.
According to the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry, complaints about online transactions went up by a whopping 112.5% in 2020, up from the 5,416 complaints recorded in 2019. Among the more common complaints were related to non-delivery of goods or of products received not being as advertised.
One of the biggest drawbacks of online shopping has long been the inability of consumers to verify that the goods they ordered are as advertised. Similarly, online retailers have also struggled to demonstrate their legitimacy and the quality of their products.
Because of these limitations, many consumers rely on online reviews by other customers to gauge whether an online retailer is trustworthy. However, there are also concerns about the legitimacy of those reviews.
The SIRIM Trusted Mark Scheme
Malaysia’s national conformity assessment body SIRIM QAS International has developed the SIRIM Trusted Mark Scheme (STMS) to verify that certified e-commerce retailers meet quality standards and best practices. This is based on ISO/IEC 17065 and encompasses the pre-sales, sales and post-sales experience.
SIRIM QAS has teamed up with Lazada Malaysia to jointly promote the SIRIM Trusted Mark Scheme for certified communication, electrical and hybrid products. The campaign aims to raise consumer awareness on the importance of buying from certified e-commerce outlets. The collaboration is expected to be inked in November 2021.
For consumers and retailers
According to SIRIM QAS’s Product Certification Department senior general manager Fauziah Fadzil, online retailers who wish to attain STMS certification need to ensure that the products they sell are 100% compliant with all regulatory requirements. Only then can they receive Trusted Online Seller status.
Not only does STMS certification help online retailers enhance the credibility and marketability of their products, it also enhances consumer awareness of the dangers of buying uncertified products online.
“Those who have Trusted Online Seller status may display the mark on their e-commerce page or product listing on online platforms. Consumers can be assured that those who carry the STMS mark have been evaluated as being trustworthy and reliable, and that the products they sell are authentic and safe to use,” Fauziah affirms.
With this, online consumers can have peace of mind knowing that the retailer they are buying from is legitimate and can be assured of getting quality products as per the items advertised.
This will take the local e-commerce industry a step further towards achieving quality standards that will keep the industry on track towards the future in the new normal.