A bountiful year for e-commerce

Online retailers are capitalising on the consumer shift towards online shopping, which is loved for its convenience and value for money


THE e-commerce industry has grown into one of Malaysia’s most significant and competitive industries in the past 12 months.

The level of competition in the sector is increasing by the minute, with e-commerce players fighting tooth and nail to keep up with trends so as not to risk falling behind.

Online retailers are capitalising on the consumer shift towards online shopping, which is loved for its convenience and value for money, while traditional players are increasingly jumping on the bandwagon in an effort to mitigate the declines in brick-and-mortar revenue.

Income from e-commerce transactions between 2015 and 2017 grew by 6% annually with an almost RM50 billion increase in revenue, according to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DoSM).

Data from German online statistics portal Statista shows the Malaysian e-commerce market for 2019 generated a revenue of US$3.68 billion (RM15.2 billion), with a prediction for annual market growth to reach 11.8% by 2023.

In Malaysia, e-commerce platforms, Shopee and Lazada, are striving to become the leader of the domestic online shopping space.

Shopee leads the industry with the highest consumer downloads of its mobile app

According to iPrice Group Sdn Bhd’s Map of E-commerce report for the third quarter of 2019 (3Q19) and ratings on Google LLC’s Play Store, Shopee led the industry with the highest consumer downloads of its mobile application.

Shopee also had the most visits to its website, iPrice’s report said.

As for Lazada, the e-commerce platform had the highest number of monthly active users of mobile application in 3Q19.

Both Shopee and Lazada kept the same spots in 2Q19, but Shopee’s market share increased by seven points, marking the biggest improvement in the South-East Asian market.

Breaking into the top five list of most visited websites is PG Mall, a local online shopping mall.

PG Mall said it aimed to achieve RM19.8 million in sales by end-2019 to match the growth of Malaysia’s digital sector.

11Street Malaysia was rebranded as Prestomall in June 2019. Since then, the e-commerce entity has moved up from its place as the 14th most-visited e-commerce website in 2Q19 to the eighth position in 3Q19.

Apart from local players, Chinese e-commerce platforms Taobao and AliExpress remain highly prominent in Malaysia.

The mobile apps ranked in third and fifth positions respectively on the list of most-visited shopping websites.

2019 also saw the South-East Asian e-commerce market entering the age of “shoppertainment” to attract more users.

In 3Q19, Shopee, Lazada and other major players focused on offering initiatives such as livestreaming events and in-app games to increase user engagement.

As more Malaysians turn towards online platforms to shop, cashback reward programme Shopback reported that the recent one-day 12.12 sale saw more than 800% traffic growth on e-commerce platforms.

The increase was compared against the same hour on an average day in December this year, indicating there were more Malaysians buying items near the end of 2019.

Moving forward, with the advancement of technology and the growth of the Internet economy, the e-commerce industry looks set for an exciting ride in the next few years.

The local online shopping sector is expected to grow up to 30% next year, E-commerce Malaysia Chapter chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said recently.

Positive growth across the industry will be supported by the advancement of technology, wider access to virtual buying platforms, and an expansion of broadband into rural areas.


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