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The Rise of E-Commerce

By Diana Seow Thursday, 28 March, 2019

A row of busy shops in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Most if not all bricks-and-mortar retailers are integrating digital platforms to their businesses or at least dipped their toes in the e-commerce landscape.A row of busy shops in Kota Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Most if not all bricks-and-mortar retailers are integrating digital platforms to their businesses or at least dipped their toes in the e-commerce landscape.

Over the years, the e-commerce industry in Malaysia is thriving and expanding rapidly. According to Fitch Solutions in November 2018, the sales of e-commerce in Asia are forecast to have a 14.2% increase this year with Malaysia posting the strongest growth at 20%, estimated to be approximately US$12.9 billion in 2022. Consumers play a major role in the digital economy especially with improved access to the Internet and higher adoption of smartphones. The advancement of e-commerce has changed consumer behaviour, purchasing patterns, demands and more. In this case, industry players are grabbing these golden opportunities and are set to bring the Malaysian's economy to a higher stance.

Home to some of the largest online shopping platforms, Malaysia definitely has what is needed to flourish in the e-commerce industry. When it comes to service businesses, the one with the best quality of customer service is always the preferred one. Thanks to the data gathered using advanced technology combined with global resources, consumer experience is better than ever before due to the constant enhancement by competing organisations. Technology is also utilised for promotional means, breaking geographical and physical barriers to reach, engage and sell to consumers. The potential and doors to be opened in the e-commerce industry are boundless.

This is a common sight in the warehouse of an e-commerce business. It is a hectic industry hence it is crucial to be advanced in technology in order to compete and be efficient to ensure smooth business processes and happy customers.This is a common sight in the warehouse of an e-commerce business. It is a hectic industry hence it is crucial to be advanced in technology in order to compete and be efficient to ensure smooth business processes and happy customers.

In such a battlefield where it is saturated with distinct players, everyone will be looking for new ways to be noticed including celebrity-packed events and live shows. Data analytics generated by software would help organisations determine the best type of contents to reach and speak to certain targeted audience. As much as the growth of e-commerce industry has affected the bricks-and-mortar retailers, many of them took the jump and succeeded in digital platform integration, redefining their businesses in the process. With Malaysia's Internet and social media penetration rate surpassing 71%, it is bound that a lion's share of businesses realised the importance of online presence and e-commerce.

Considering the swift speed that the e-commerce industry is growing at, this puts an increasing pressure on all businesses to work efficiently, providing the best service they can to meet the demand of consumers and the public. It is undoubtedly a need for businesses to adopt technology in their operations process and those who are one step behind may risk losing the opportunities to other competitors who are more up-to-date on the trends and technology. The booming demand from consumers helps to nurture the growth of e-commerce which at the same time, will push businesses to strive for better quality in multiple aspects notably the quality of customer service.

Photo of Jack Ma giving a speech at the launching ceremony of Digital Free Trade Zone in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Investment from China thrusts Malaysian businesses into high competition which will push the local e-commerce industry to a higher standard and scale.Photo of Jack Ma giving a speech at the launching ceremony of Digital Free Trade Zone in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Investment from China thrusts Malaysian businesses into high competition which will push the local e-commerce industry to a higher standard and scale.

Despite the local e-commerce industry is still developing, some organisations are already moving aggressively as the deploy necessary digital transformation strategy left, right and centre in order to fulfil the demands of consumers. This can help the Malaysian economy to pick up its pace and improve gradually over time. A strong, dedicated team, aided by a systematic, organised software in the operations process are needed to establish and grow an e-commerce business. Local retail brands that did not move fast enough may face losses or possibly close down if they fail to retain their customers and sustain the business.

The future of Malaysian e-commerce scene is fruitful and packed with endless opportunities. We have seen both big and small players tapping the extensive business opportunity especially during recent years as the number of online users skyrockets. Albeit there is still much room for improvement, we are slowly but surely closing up the gap that is needed to bring local e-commerce to the next level. In a way, it is also a good incentive to stabilise our economy and stop it from diving down the chart.

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