Insights and trends of e-commerce in Malaysia [market analysis]

e-commerce in Malaysia

One of the most dynamic countries online in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a very attractive market for e-commerce. A middle-income country with a digital population of more than 20 million people, Malaysia attracts appetites both from local and global companies interested in grabbing a share of its e-commerce market.

E-commerce is growing quickly in Southeast Asia, now representing about 2% of all sales in Malaysia but expected to grow to double digits in the coming years. And the Malaysian market is one of the most attractive of the region, as e-commerce in Malaysia is more mature than in the other ASEAN countries, except Singapore.

Digital in Malaysia 2018
Numbers of Internet, social media and mobile users in Malaysia in 2018

With data on users’ profiles and behaviors, hot products and categories, pricing and product delivery, the information detailed hereafter provides extensive background for the people interested in e-commerce in Malaysia. Through infographics on the market and videos with tips for companies involved in the industry, many aspects of the online Malaysian shopping market are covered.

Highlights of the Malaysian e-commerce market

Overview of the Malaysian e-commerce actors

This first graphic shows the different actors in each category of e-commerce in Malaysia. Though the landscape is dominated by just a few players, as detailed in the top e-commerce sites of Malaysia, here is a detailed list of most platforms as well as services providers in the Malaysian e-commerce market, created by ecommerceiq.

E-commerce landscape in Malaysia
Click to enlarge the landscape of e-commerce in Malaysia

To provide further information on consumer behaviors in e-commerce in Malaysia, the online shopping website 11street has compiled a series of useful numbers, insights, and trends in a series of beautiful infographics. Here are some highlights from these infographics.

Malaysian online shoppers’ profiles

  • Men tend to shop online more than women
  • East Malaysians are 2.6 times more likely to shop online than Peninsular Malaysians
  • The majority of non-online shoppers are willing to give it a try in 2017
  • 59% of online shoppers shop at least once a month
  • 80% shop on their smartphones
  • 48% of fashionistas are young and single women
  • For 1 purchase of electronics in East Malaysia, there are 5 in Peninsular Malaysia
  • The main factor that Malaysians consider when shopping online is the price

Products purchased online in Malaysia

Most purchased categories of products

  • Fashion and beauty
  • Electronics
  • Sports and hobbies

Categories of products likely to expand in 2017

  • Home décor and furniture
  • Household and groceries
  • Health and supplements

Payment and delivery in Malaysia

  • More than 95% of Malaysians are satisfied with their online shopping experience
  • Online money transfers are the preferred payment method
  • 90% of Malaysians expect their purchase to be delivered within one week, 46% within 3 days.
  • A majority of online shoppers are willing to pay more for quick delivery, 63% of women are willing to wait up to 4 weeks.

5 trends of the Malaysian e-commerce market in 2017

  • Online shopping is poised to keep on growing
  • Payment methods will become more digital
  • Customers are willing to shop in new products categories
  • Express delivery will become the norm
  • Customers will look beyond price.

Online shopping in Malaysia 1

Online shopping in Malaysia 2

Online shopping in Malaysia 3

Online shopping in Malaysia 4

Online shopping in Malaysia 5

Online shopping in Malaysia 6

Online shopping in Malaysia 7

Online shopping in Malaysia 8

Online shopping in Malaysia 9

Insights from Lazada, leader of e-commerce in Malaysia

Controlled by Alibaba since 2016, the first general e-commerce website in Malaysia, Lazada is also trailblazing e-commerce in Southeast Asia. With products ranging across many categories, Lazada is both pulling the market and benefiting from its expansion.

Lazada Malaysia‘s CEO, Hans-Pieter Ressel shares some insights on the Malaysian market and the approach of his company. For him, Malaysia is an easier place to do e-commerce in ASEAN thanks to its only two major parts, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia, compared to the many islands of the Philippines or Indonesia, where delivery is more difficult and logistics costs are therefore higher.

He confirms the shifting trends in products and shoppers profile, as the maturing Malaysian e-commerce market evolves from younger men buying electronics to 30-35 years old men and women buying lifestyle, baby care, and home products.

Lazada’s tips for success in e-commerce in Malaysia

  • Having the right assortment and right products online
  • Great fulfillment operation to complete the delivery of goods properly and timely
  • Winning on mobile devices as people use m-commerce more and more

In its quest for rapid growth, Lazada is primarily trying to expand across product categories to develop its assortment and become the online shopping mall for everything.

Tips for people and startups involved in e-commerce in Malaysia

For the people engaged in growing their e-commerce activities in Malaysia, Hans-Pieter Ressel shares more details on Lazada’s growth and how to develop an online shopping startup in the country. He stresses the shifts in demand and the necessary agility required to seize these changes, as well as the passion and hard work needed to stay in the game.

Ressel underlines that Lazada is the fastest-growing company in the fastest growing industry, in the fastest-growing region in the world. E-commerce nevertheless remains a business, and like any business, it is based upon the strong relationships in the team.

Videos by The Edge TV from November 2016 and Entrepreneurs Insights from September 2016

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