The evolving trends of eCommerce

Shopee Malaysia head of marketing Kenneth Soh

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia’s eCommerce scene is well poised for a major shift as online retailers mature.

This year, three key trends would shape the industry’s trajectory, including heightened usage of digital services, increased adoption among non-urban populations and a surge in purposeful young consumers.Together, these shifts are set to fuel a vibrant community of online sellers and shoppers, transforming the way Malaysians buy and sell goods.

A recent survey by Shopee reveals that half of its buyers are eager to support local businesses in Sabah and Sarawak, with 35% considering purchasing more locally-made products.

These findings indicate a shift in consumer mindset, with belief systems playing a more significant role in purchase decisions than price.

According to Shopee Malaysia head of marketing Kenneth Soh, capturing the attention of potential buyers with compelling value propositions is essential to capitalise on this trend and drive sales is key for rural sellers, especially those living outside of big cities.

As such, local sellers must focus on delivering high-quality products that align with consumers’ values and offer unique benefits, he added.

Despite uncertainties in the current landscape, he noted that there are still untapped opportunities in online marketplaces.

Ddata from Shopee shows that 60% of Shopee buyers plan to continue pursuing their eCommerce ambitions and deriving enjoyment from online shopping in 2023.

This underscores the resilience of the eCommerce industry and the potential for sellers to tap into this demand, he said.

“As consumers increasingly seek out products that align with their personal values and beliefs, it is critical for online sellers to prioritise this aspect of their brand.

“To succeed in today’s value-driven marketplace, businesses must revisit their product offerings and storefront presentation, ensuring that they communicate their values and purpose clearly to potential buyers.

“From showcasing meaningful sustainability practices to uplifting local communities, or adhering to a strong code of ethics, businesses must leverage online store decorations, product images, and descriptions to engage with consumers on a deeper level in eCommerce,” Soh pointed out.

He also added that local sellers should seek to maximise online presence with omnichannel marketing touchpoints.

As with establishing a physical presence in a mall or marketplace, effective marketing is critical for online stores to maintain relevance. In a conventional setting, brands often leverage marketing tools like billboards, flyers, and media advertisements to entice potential buyers.Online marketing channels both within and outside of platforms are indispensable resources for achieving and sustaining visibility.

Soh said as consumers become more discerning and tech-savvy, it is essential for online sellers to adapt to these changing demands.

Businesses could build trust and loyalty with consumers and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving digital marketplace by providing authentic, high-quality products that meet consumer expectations in today’s competitive eCommerce landscape, he added.

“Businesses must stay connected with consumers at all times to build trust, drive engagement, and boost sales.

“To maximise conversion rates and increase buyer loyalty, businesses should focus on creating immersive shopping experiences that encourage buyers to stay longer in their online stores.

“Leveraging features such as Seller Shop Prize, which offer incentives for buyers to engage with the brand even when sellers are offline, can be a powerful tool for driving long-term growth,” Soh said. .

On fostering consumer loyalty in the inclusive marketplace, he said effective online selling involves guiding consumers throughout their purchasing journey.

To secure a sale, sellers must invest in the marketing funnel by raising awareness about their product, remaining visible during the consideration stage, and influencing buying decisions with strategic discounts and vouchers.

Effective post-purchase and consumer retention strategies, such as providing an exceptional experience and utilising online features like repeat purchase discount vouchers, review incentives, and chat broadcasts, could significantly increase loyalty and encourage repeat sales, he noted.

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