Businesses must take advantage of m-commerce

Local businesses, big or small, should embrace mobile-commerce by adopting mobile strategies in conducting their daily operations, says Facebook Malaysia country director, Nicole Tan.

She noted that smartphones were increasingly becoming essential with over 62% of people checking their phones more than 30 times a day.

During this period, they would also check their Facebook feed over 14 times.

“About 94% of Malaysians on Facebook discover products and brands on the platform, leading to three in five purchasing products after discovery. With one in two Malaysian Internet users shopping on mobile, m-commerce has seen a 300% faster growth than e-commerce this year,” she said during the “Mobile Moves Commerce” event last week.

The half-day event, hosted by Facebook, gathered businesses, industry experts and marketers to help them reach today’s mobile-first consumers in Malaysia.

Tan said there were huge untapped opportunities in this space with a US$937mil gap between Malaysia’s digital audience and business investments.

“With the rapid pace at which mobile culture is growing in Malaysia, businesses have to be faster in adopting mobile strategies that reach people at every step of the fragmented commerce journey.

“We are committed to helping businesses grow and reach the more than 19 million people on Facebook in Malaysia, whether it is brand building, generating demand, driving leads or sales, through integrated campaigns on TV, Facebook and Instagram,” she added.

Tan said mobile strategies would also have a major impact on offline sales with 49% of store purchases being influenced by digital interactions.

SME spending on security to hit RM340mil

Spending on security products by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) this year is expected to hit RM340mil and grow to RM500mil by 2017, according to F-Secure Corporation.

This is expected to yield greater productivity and operational efficiencies, said chief executive officer, Samu Konttinen.

He said the European-based company’s business model in Malaysia was one that could be efficiently applied by SMEs, the country’s economic backbone.

“We work closely with local resellers and distributors in selling our products here. Government departments in Malaysia are also familiar with F-Secure products,” he said.

Konttinen said last year F-Secure launched its protection service for businesses, whereby the cloud-based platform offered companies the edge they required to be more productive, while being cost-efficient. He said the Malaysian market was ripe for the company’s full portfolio of on-premise solutions for banks and insurance companies.

Meanwhile, being established in Malaysia for almost 10 years, F-Secure has made Malaysia its cybersecurity hub in the Asia region.

“Aside from obvious advantages such as an investment friendly-government, we have found Malaysia ideal for the holistic approach.

“In addition to the pool of existing local talent, F-Secure partners Malaysian institutions of higher learning, as well as various government agencies such as the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation to ensure the ongoing development of a viable local talent pool,” Konttinen said.

Consumers increasingly shop cross-border

The third annual Pitney Bowes Global Online Shopping Survey, by Pitney Bowes, a solutions provider for anywhere-to-everywhere commerce, found that cross-border e-commerce has become prevalent among consumers around the world.

While consumers frequently make domestic online purchases (94%), more than two-thirds (66%) who have ever made a domestic online purchase have also made an online purchase from another country in the past year.

Singapore (89%), Australia (86%) and Hong Kong (85%) have the highest number of cross-border shoppers, while the trend is growing in countries like Japan (34%) and the US (45%).

The survey findings suggest that online shopping has become a way of life for many. Nearly one-third say they make domestic online purchases on a daily or weekly basis, with over two-thirds in China reporting this regularity.

Cross-border shopping occurs less frequently with the majority (58%) shopping monthly or annually.

Survey findings uncovered that 63% of consumers that have shopped cross-border are now participating in what Pitney Bowes describes as “In-store Global. Online Local”. This is when they make in-store purchases during international travels, and follow up with online purchases from the same cross-border retailer.

Preference aside, very few shop exclusively through one online channel. Approximately half say that all or most of their online shopping, whether domestic or cross-border, is through an online marketplace.

The top countries where shoppers choose all or most of their cross-border marketplace purchases are Japan (70%), China (61%), Germany (59%) and India (55%).

About a quarter of shoppers choose a retailer’s direct site for all or most of their cross-border shopping, with Canada at 35%, South Korea at 34% and Australia at 33%.

The remaining shoppers have no leading preference.

This suggests that retailers should consider a broad presence and multiple channels to reach global shoppers.

“Consumers across the world have spoken. We have moved beyond the days of marketplace or retailer; in-store or online; or even in-country or cross-border,” says Lila Snyder, president of global ecommerce for Pitney Bowes.

Mobile devices are also playing a greater role. Even though mobile is not the first choice for completing a purchase (at 33%), shoppers often use their mobile device for part of the shopping journey.

Meanwhile online shipping and returns continue to be a major pain point, with shipping the wrong item; accuracy in address and tracking; a transparent returns policy; and proper duty and tax were all cited as challenges.

The study surveyed approximately 13,000 adults across 13 countries and was conducted in August 2016.

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Business , Central Region , briefs , Oct 17


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