E-commerce: Gaps in both buyer and seller side

  • For buyers: Lack of credibility, product abundance, and user experience
  • On sellers’ side: Lack of guidance, and operations and marketing support
E-commerce: Gaps in both buyer and seller side

THERE are gaps in both the buyer and seller space in Malaysia’s burgeoning e-commerce market that need to be addressed, according to 11street Malaysia chief executive officer Hoseok Kim (pic above).
 
From the buyer’s perspective, the first unmet need is credibility, he told the Malaysian Internet Business Summit 2015, organised by Exabytes Network on Oct 8.
 
There are still many Malaysians who do not trust e-commerce. They are concerned about online fraud and counterfeits, he said.
 
Kim said sellers should work with a reliable online payment system provider to elevate the level of trust among e-shoppers.
 
The second unmet need is product abundance, he said. E-commerce websites should provide shoppers with a good mix of local and international products, he suggested.
 
The third unmet need among Malaysian e-shoppers is user experience, Kim said.
 
“An inconvenient experience will hinder buyers from visiting your website again.
 
“Sellers can enhance user experience by providing content that is attractive and well-curated in the forms of deals and promotions,” he suggested.
 
Sellers’ side
 
From the seller’s perspective, still there is a low portion of small and medium businesses (SMBs) and sole proprietors using e-commerce to grow their business, according to Kim.
 
“Only approximately 6% of SMBs in Malaysia are currently active in e-commerce,” he said, citing 11street’s own estimates.
 
Among the things that sellers lack in order to venture into e-commerce are guidance, as well as operations and marketing support.
 
In terms of guidance, “most of them [SMBs] simply do not know how to approach e-commerce,” Kim said, lamenting what he said was the lack of coaching programmes for SMBs in Malaysia.
 
When it comes to operations support, Kim said that many sellers – SMBs as well as individual sellers – are unable to cope with the operation of an online business in terms providing adequate product information, product presentation, and layout management.
 
“The third is marketing support, as in how to create awareness for your product in a little space. Learn how to market your website by SEO (search engine optimisation),” he suggested, plugging 11street Malaysia’s Seller Zone education centre.
 
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