TrustedCompany tracks Malaysian retail, e-commerce in real-time
By Gabey Goh November 4, 2014
- First-time users fuelling e-commerce growth
- Online spend still only 1.2% of total, but growing
EVER wondered how much Malaysians spend online and offline, and on what?
TrustedCompany did, and the results of research by the review platform for e-commerce sites is a real-time infographic that calculates spend by the second.
Did you know that Malaysians consume 44,351,712 cigarettes (approximately 1.5 per capita) overall every day?
In an email interview with Digital News Asia (DNA), TrustedCompany cofounder and managing director Frederik Kraß (pic) said e-commerce in Malaysia has shown strong growth rates over the last few years, and has become significantly important.
“With the infographic, we want to raise attention to the fact that an increasing number of first-time users of e-commerce are fuelling this growth, and are spending their money online – every second.
“Data is based on a certain source which is placed as reference in the infographic. During our evaluation process, we only used verified numbers from high quality sources,” he added.
The team was also inspired by articles in TIME magazine and Buzzfeed in the United States, where a similar infographic received good response.
Asked about key takeaways or discoveries about Malaysia’s retail sector when TrustedCompany created the infographic, Kraß said that online spending in Malaysia is still only 1.2% of total spending (online and offline).
“But the daily total online spending is already higher than AEON sales. Malaysians spend a lot of money on buying smartphones and tablets every day, which significantly facilitates more people having access to the Internet and e-commerce platforms.
“Part of the online shopping market value is already being spent via mobile devices, with a strong potential to increase even further,” he added.
In addition, Kraß highlighted the worrying state of online fraud in Malaysia, with losses through cyber-fraud accounting for 2.2% of online spending.
He also reported interest from some online retailers in this data to see and track the development of the online share of the market over time.
“It’s important for online retailers to see that a higher share of the population is spending their money on online shopping.
“Additionally, they focus on where people spend their money in terms of the types of products and services bought online,” he added.
Boosting trust in online shopping
Since TrustedCompany’s launch in Malaysia in 2013, the team has grown to 20 people and counts as customers well-known brands such as TuneTalk.com and myiMart in Malaysia, Lenskart in India, and PriceArea in Indonesia.
In September, the startup secured US$1 million for its Series A financing round, led by German-based Tengelmann Ventures and co-invested by 500 Startups and Asia Venture Group (AVG). The funding came 10 months after the initial seed investment from AVG.
The funds will be used for continued growth in South-East Asia and India, and to expand into Africa and Brazil, TrustedCompany said.
Kraß said that as the e-commerce market in Malaysia and South-East As is accelerating, education on consumers and on the merchant side is crucial.
“Most of the online businesses understand the concept and value of online reviews, as delivering good service and taking care of complaints become essential to standing out and satisfying customers, who become increasingly demanding,” he added.
Kraß claimed that the platform currently has created just under 100,000 site profiles that can be found and reviewed by anyone on TrustedCompany, and the number is increasing.
“The number of users depends on the market we operate in – in some markets we entered earlier than others, and you would naturally already have a bigger and more active customer base.
“It also depends on how many online shops are already registered, and how distributed TrustedCompany in those markets already is. The overall growth of usage is more than 40% month on month,” he added.
Kraß described his team as “a group of transparency ambassadors,” with a mission to bring more trust to e-commerce for both sides of a transaction.
“We see it as our responsibility to not blindly pick sides, but rather bridge the trust and transparency gap between consumers and companies that exists today, with a goal of educating both parties in positive ways of facilitating good e-commerce practice.
“We aim to be the most transparent go-to-place for company reviews, a place that is stronger than a community, deeper than a forum, and more than a set of features for businesses,” he added.
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