Kuala Lumpur, Aug 17: A new study of over 3,300 buyers and 2,100 sellers across Malaysia by the online marketplace platform Shopee on its users, examines the impact Malaysians are making on the economy through their continued online shopping behaviours.
Celebrating the Heart of Malaysia on E-Commerce marketplace survey found that for four in ten local sellers, Shopee is their only business channel in this economy.
The timely study highlights the importance of income generated online.
Forty-five per cent of Shopee’s community of sellers surveyed concede that it enables them to support their family (providing for living essentials, education, lifestyle), about 26 per cent save and invest this income for rainy days ahead, and the remainder uses it to sustain a better quality of life, keep staff employed, and enhance their personal development.
More than eight in ten participating sellers attribute the long-term success of their store not to discounts offered, but to locally tailored shopping experiences.
‘Very straightforward buying and fulfilment process’ on Shopee (34 per cent), the recognition of Made in Malaysia products as affordable and of high quality (23 per cent), great customer service (19 per cent) and optimised storefront with Shopee’s marketing tools (nine per cent).
“Celebrating the Heart of Malaysia on E-Commerce survey underscores how Malaysian sellers continue to succeed and build financial security by selling on online marketplaces like Shopee. It’s important for business owners to understand that Malaysian shoppers do have motivations beyond price for shopping online.
“They can create more loyalty and engagement simply by matching their offerings and content with buyer values,” Kenneth Soh, Head of Marketing Campaigns at Shopee Malaysia said.
One of the clearest findings of this study is that despite the reopening of the economy, nine in ten Malaysian shoppers still prefer online shopping.
In fact, more than half of shoppers on the platform have adopted online shopping more permanently.
Twenty-one per cent feel it is now a habit, 17 per cent say they can easily find readily available stocks online, and 14 per cent want to access choices that are not available offline in their specific location.
Forty-three per cent of shoppers value shopping around online to compare prices in this inflationary environment.
Getting items delivered faster is the strongest reason for Malaysian buyers to shop from local sellers (42 per cent of buyers).
Twenty per cent feel strongly about supporting Made in Malaysia goods to keep the economy running in Malaysia, 19 per cent have preferences for locally tailored products and 11 per cent believe in the quality of locally sourced and made goods.
Not all shoppers prioritise discounts and vouchers exclusively.
In fact, seven in ten Malaysian buyers equate peace of mind with online shopping with Shopee. Forty per cent express this as ‘the convenience and flexibility of having parcels delivered to my doorstep’.
While 17 per cent feel safer as ‘Shopee Guarantee ensures my transaction is safe and secure because money is not released to the seller until I confirm receipt’ and 10 per cent study reviews and pictures left by other customers.
In a similar development, a recent survey by CPA Australia found that most Malaysian businesses are planning to accelerate their use of technology over the next year, to drive efficiency and tap into bigger profit opportunities.
The vast majority of the 108 Malaysian respondents (94 per cent) expect their business to increase technology use over the next 12 months, as the findings show a positive link between technology use and higher profit margins.
CPA Australia’s Malaysian Digital Transformation Committee Chairman Bryan Chung FCPA said it is apparent that most Malaysian businesses are taking action to improve technology adoption.
“Over the next 12 months, a higher percentage of Malaysian businesses compared to the survey average is planning to improve technology adoption by increasing technology training for employees, increasing investment or upgrading technology and implementing a digital transformation strategy.
“One key finding from this year’s survey is that big data has become a focal point when making business decisions. Not only are businesses hiring staff with this expertise, but they are also investing in software that will help them in the area of data analytics for the future,” he said.
Operational efficiency is a leading reason for the take-up of new technology among respondents (62 per cent), Bryan said. This corresponds with findings of an expected increase in the use of data analytics and visualisation software, robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence.
“The uptake of RPA in Malaysia is particularly exciting.
Thirty-nine per cent of Malaysian respondents said their business plans to increase the use of this technology to drive operational efficiency in the next 12 months. This is 15 percentage points higher than the survey average,” he said.
The findings from this survey also coincide with the findings of the CPA Australia’s Asia-Pacific Small Business Survey 2021-2022, which found business owners are motivated to pursue technological innovations for long-term growth as opposed to short-term survival.
Bryan said it is important that businesses develop and implement a long-term digital transformation strategy to ensure business longevity.
“There are quite a few national initiatives that empower businesses with an injection of capital to increase technology adoption and digitalisation. This aligns with the national aspiration of achieving a ‘high technology nation’ status by 2030.
“Professionals can also look at upskilling themselves to be more data proficient to meet the changing focus of the business sector. There are many incentives or programs available to facilitate this change. Respondents also are investing in human capital, which is promising,” he said.
The Business Technology Survey 2022 was conducted from May 28 to July 12.
The findings came from 820 accounting and finance professionals working in Australia, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam.
In Malaysia, the 108 respondents came from a wide variety of industries, with consulting (15 per cent), education and training (13 per cent) and public practice/CPA firms (11 per cent) having the largest representation.
Forty-seven per cent of the Malaysian respondents (51 people) worked in a company with 500 or more employees and 53 per cent (57 people) worked in a company with fewer than 500 employees.
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