Improved Internet access, high mobile penetration and enhanced security augur well for e-commerce growth in Malaysia in 2016, says CEO of online marketplace, 11street.
THE e-commerce market in Malaysia is poised to flourish next year and beyond with better mobility, improved Internet and enhanced security, says an industry player.
Online marketplace 11street chief executive officer Hoseok Kim notes that Malaysia’s e-commerce market size has seen a 31% increase in compound annual growth rate from 2010 to 2014, and expects a similar growth rate in the coming years with the local e-commerce hitting US$3.1bil by 2018.
“There are a total of 252.4 million Internet users around South-East Asia, with Malaysia emerging as the third country that recorded the highest percentage of Internet users at 67% after Singapore and Brunei.
“The promising Internet penetration indicates Malaysia’s enormous potential for e-commerce market growth,” he says.
While 2015 has been a fruitful year for all online businesses and e-commerce, Malaysia’s share of the total retail e-commerce market is still very low at 2%.
In comparison, advanced e-commerce markets such as Korea accounts for approximately 15% of the total retail market.
“For 2016, we foresee mobility, better Internet and logistics, and security will be the three key drivers to push for the local e-commerce development,” says Kim.
Mobile penetration in Malaysia has reached 136% this year, and the growth of connected devices has paved the way for a positive increase in the e-commerce sector with 47% of Malaysians using their smartphones to shop online.
According to a Mobile Shopping Survey, Malaysia ranks third in the rate of growth of mobile shopping in Asia at over 20% (from 25.4% in 2012 to 45.6% in 2014).
The Government’s ongoing efforts to increase Internet penetration and improve logistics are also crucial elements to boost the development of e-commerce in Malaysia. Kim notes that the Government has allocated RM1.2bil for Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to offer High-Speed Broadband to rural areas starting next year, which would extend the reach of e-commerce.
Additionally, the courier segment has seen exponential growth over the past one year driven by the progressive e-commerce landscape here, proof that the e-commerce industry is on a strong growth trajectory.
However, security issues have been a big deterrent for online shopping.
The Malaysia Computer Emergency Response Team (MyCERT), a department within CyberSecurity Malaysia, reported that the number of online scams in the country is on the rise. A total of 743 fraud cases were received in 1Q2015, which makes up 25.54% of total incidents reported to the agency.
“Shoppers are always urged to make transactions with only trusted platform that offers product return policies, customer reviews on products, seller’s rate or scoreboard, as well as a trustworthy payment system. Online sellers and marketplaces have to bear this in mind and update their security measures from time to time in order to establish shoppers’ confidence,” says Kim.
It’s also worth noting that cross-border trading is on the rise, based on the increasing searches for popular international products on the Internet in Malaysia, adds Kim.
However, with the higher exchange rates and international shipping fees today, local shoppers might find it challenging to get their favorite overseas brands or items.
Undeniably, the overall e-commerce market in Malaysia is poised to flourish positively. The next step for the industry, says Kim, would be to sustain the market potential.
“All industry players need to work together to ensure this. As a market expert, 11street is delighted to work with close partners such as Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Google. We look forward to collaborating with even more industry leaders in the coming year.
“We also want to urge sellers to stay alert on the evolving mobile and purchasing trends in the market to give shoppers a satisfactory experience, as this will build upon Malaysia’s vibrancy as a profitable market for e-commerce,” he says.