Ninja Van Malaysia: Sellers should consider expanding beyond borders

by S BIRRUNTHA / Pic source: ninjavan.co

ONLINE sellers must consider attracting international customers as 80% of Malaysian shoppers are already buying from overseas e-commerce.

Ninja Van Group recently partnered DPDgroup to release its first-ever White Paper titled “E-commerce Beyond Borders”, highlighting South-East Asia online shoppers’ buying habits and their desired shopping experience from purchase to delivery.

The survey was conducted among 9,000 respondents across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines.

The report suggests sellers expand their scope of products — also known as a horizontal expansion — or expand vertically by specialising in one or just a few peripheral categories.

It added that sellers can also find a hybrid model that meets their business needs.

“If you have found the right product-market fit in your country, regional expansion may be just what is needed to achieve new growth.

“Consider bringing your local experience and expertise to a wider platform and amplifying your reach to shoppers beyond your borders,” the report noted, addressing sellers.

Additionally, the report highlighted that not only have the overwhelming majority of shoppers bought from foreign websites, but most continue doing so at high frequencies.

It said 74% of Vietnamese have shopped several times from foreign websites, followed by Singapore (67%), Thailand (63%), Indonesia (62%) and Malaysia (61%).

Although the Philippines saw the lowest engagement at 48%, it is still a significant size, just slightly under the halfway mark.

The survey also reported that over 90% of respondents bought from Asia — a stark difference compared to Europe and the US.

It said while a lot of their overseas purchases were sourced from China, there is a significant comfort level in buying products from their South-East Asian neighbours.

“These consumer trends present a high potential expansion opportunity for South-East Asia-based businesses in the region.

“With many shoppers accustomed to buying from overseas, there is little need to promote cross-border buying behaviour from scratch,” it noted.

Meanwhile, the report also pointed out that the survey data corroborates Ninja Van Group’s cross-border parcel volume data.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic from 2019 to 2020, Ninja Van saw a 1,100% growth in cross-border parcel volume in South-East Asia.

In the heat of the pandemic between 2020 and 2021, the logistics company still saw a 20% growth despite varying degrees of border closures to curb the viral transmission.

On that note, the survey reported that it is important for shoppers to know who the shipping company is when making an e-commerce purchase, as shipping companies are no longer just commodities in today’s day and age.

It said most interviewed shoppers, namely 89% of 9,000 respondents across the six countries, want to know who their delivery company is.

“When quizzed, more than 50% of shoppers’ replies reflect that it is important to know as they would like to choose a delivery company which guarantees a good delivery service.

“In fact, 35% of shoppers have their preferred delivery company,” it added.

The report also noted that many shoppers also shared that knowing the delivery company reassures them that their parcels are in good hands.

It said when asked about their delivery preferences, most countries voted for “real-time tracking” and “delivery where I am located”.

As such, the importance placed on these options points to the fact that a hassle-free experience is of utmost importance to the shoppers.

Ninja Van has pledged to provide a simple and seamless shopping experience for buyers, although the two main barriers, namely localisation and logistics, to cross-border e-commerce are complex.

“While Ninja Van may not be of direct help to you in the former area, Ninja Van can take the weight off you in the latter,” it said.