STAKEHOLDERS in e-commerce need to work closely with each other to explore issues, build discourse and find solutions to advance the industry, said Selangor Information Technology and E-Commerce Council (Sitec) chief executive Yong Kai Ping.
“We lack discussion in the e-commerce fraternity.
“We have a growing community, but we should be at the stage where anyone who joins is able to immediately grasp the current affairs of the e-commerce sphere,” said Yong.
To this end, the council brought together industry players at the recently concluded Sitec E-Commerce Hackathon on Improving Consumer Confidence to discuss issues that would help Sitec set up proper guidelines for the industry moving forward.
The event saw representatives from e-marketplaces, logistics, payment gateways, government agencies and the public to engage in discourse and knowledge sharing of best practices that would lead to a plan to put forward preliminary schematics seeking the improvement of the e-commerce industry as a whole.
Among the issues highlighted at the event were the effect of high courier demand on logistics providers, payment risks and customer service.
Present at the event were Datuk Teng Chang Khim, senior exco member for investment, industry and trade, SMEs and transport; Wee Huay Neo, director of e-Commerce Enablement at the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation and Tribunal of Consumer Claims chairman Wan Rufaidah Datuk Wan Omar.
“We have all the stakeholders here, whereby we can talk to each other and find workable solutions to address issues faced in e-commerce, and go from strength to strength as we move forward,” said Teng, who also noted that Malaysia has yet to realise its full potential as an e-commerce trading centre.
“MDEC is a great supporter of e-commerce, and Selangor represents the microcosm for the e-commerce industry.
“We understand e-commerce is very important, not to mention recession-proof. If you are not online, you are out of business. You are in the right field,” added Wee.
The event also marked the unveiling of a preliminary survey conducted by SITEC on the complaints of consumers regarding e-commerce.
The survey, presented by Yong, found that logistics services saw the biggest area of complaint with 59% of respondents noting that they were not satisfied with the current services available.
On the other hand, 90% of respondents felt that payment gateways were currently sufficient in serving the needs of consumers.
However, respondents also noted that there was definitely room for improvement with regard to payment gateways.
Meanwhile, 87% of respondents preferred marketplaces to indie stores, 53% of those stated that they were unsatisfied with marketplace services, compared with the 47% who were satisfied with marketplaces as they are now.
“I can safely say that we have gone a long way from face-to-face business to doing business online, with the only walking being done by our fingers as we do our shopping online.
“The tribunal has heard 97,000 cases regarding e-commerce since 2000, and the number has increased over the past four years.
“We are also concerned by the lack of consumer awareness of their rights, and the lack of safeguards in transactions.
“We urge industry players to up their game, as they play a very important role in increasing consumer confidence in Malaysia,” said Wan Rufaidah.
While the hackathon may not be able to find the silver bullet to all the issues faced, Yong said it represented the first step towards it.
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