Disrupt#21: Bricks-and-clicks the way to go?

  • E-commerce expected to explode this year
  • Can the tech guys sell their solutions to the ‘bricks’?

Disrupt#21: Bricks-and-clicks the way to go?WHILE there are various numbers being bandied about over the size of the e-commerce market in Malaysia, the latest of these has the market currently at RM1.8 billion but jumping to RM4 billion by the end of this year.
[RM1 = US$0.31]
This prediction came out of a recent research commissioned by Malaysia’s national ICT custodian Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and conducted by Ipsos Business Consulting, titled Internet and E-Business Adoption in Small and Medium Enterprises.
According to government statistics, 99.2% of all businesses in Malaysia are small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
While e-commerce growth is expected to explode, it does not seem like many SMEs are ready to capture this growth. Consider the fact that even today, only 30% of SMEs in Malaysia have a website.
Even more amazing is this: About 72% say they are not considering having a website in the next six months. Among the reasons they cite are cost, lack of expertise in managing a website, and the company being too small to need a website.
This is where retail-focused startups come into the picture, aiming to help brick-and-mortar retailers to seize some of the opportunities that are becoming available today.
Technology allows a shopper’s actual location to be matched with his known shopping preferences to deliver a deal that will meet his needs. And with mobile being all the rage today, this deal heaven is always, literally, just an arm’s reach away.
Over the years, the SME market has lured many a wide-eyed technology entrepreneur into the fray, and many have crashed, waiting for the tide to change.
That change is upon us, but will entrepreneurs today be able to convince their SME customers? Big data, analytics, mobile and social technologies have changed the equation. Will this ‘nexus of forces’ make a difference?
This is the topic of discussion for this month’s DNA-TeAM Disrupt discussion, Bricks to Clicks, which would hopefully provide some answers.
Sharing their thoughts and experiences will be Rohit Maheswaran, founder of retail-focused startup Ebizu; and Hisham Isa, the chief marketing officer of mobile advertising network BuzzCity.
We hope to add one more executive in a few day’s time to ensure the panel has a retailer with relevant experience.
The monthly DNA-TeAM Disrupt panel discussion and networking session is jointly organised by Digital News Asia (DNA) and the Technopreneurs Association of Malaysia (TeAM), with the Malaysian Business Angels Network as the supporting presenter.
This month’s session will be held at the new headquarters of SME Corp, KL Sentral, from 5pm to 7pm on Aug 20.
To RSVP, click here or on the link below.

Related Stories:
The retail future is bricks + clicks
Competing in today’s dynamic retail market place
Ebizu on regional mission to digitalise retail sector
Mobile shopping beginning to mature: BuzzCity
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