Malaysian e-commerce expected to see 30% compounded annual growth
Online merchants ask for storefront property to get better visibility
E-COMMERCE in Malaysia is projected to hit RM3.4 billion (US$1.1 billion) this year with an impressive 30% year-on-year growth, says Eng Sheng Guan, chief executive officer of MOLPay Sdn Bhd.
The data comes from Goldman Sachs, he adds.
As impressive as the growth forecasts are, Chan Kee Siak, CEO and founder of web hosting provider Exabytes Sdn Bhd, tells Digital News Asia that the projections are conservative.
“I think we have the most matured e-commerce ecosystem in South-East Asia and we will see more and more consumers start transacting online,” he says.
Exabytes and MOLPay have come together to provide Malaysian merchants with what they say is a fast, easy and affordable payment gateway system to enable e-commerce, at www.easy.my.
The gateway actually went live last June, though the two companies only had their official media launch this morning (May 22).
Chan expects the partnership to boost the number of e-commerce merchants and spur the momentum of brick-and-mortar merchants dipping their toes into the online world.
It seems to already be happening – he claims that 7,000 merchants are online at easy.my versus the 6,000 merchants stated in the press release issued at this morning’s briefing. Around 120,000 items are already on sale.
Chan (pic, right, exchanging documents with Eng, left) says that Exabytes had wanted to host an e-commerce solution three years ago, but admits the company was not ready then. In late 2009 however, it found a developer in Penang who had a very good e-commerce solution but was not able to market it well.
Exabytes paid a six-figure sum to buy over his engine; Chan declines to disclose the actual figure.
“We bought over the e-commerce engine in January, 2011 and spent six months improving on it before re-launching it in June that year. Between last June to this April, we signed up 7,000 merchants.
“The weekly transaction volume from easy.my is RM30,000, but this is without capturing all the transaction done as some merchants still prefer customers to bank in payment physically before releasing their goods,” says Chan.
In fact, the preference of some merchants to still handle physical payments will be catered for by MOLPay.
According to Eng customers can opt to pay at 7-11 stores, book stores and cybercafés which run Friendster’s Cybercafe Management Systems.
Exabytes chose to go with MOLPay as its payment system because it already has had a relationship with MOL over the last six years through NetBuilder, a pioneer in the e-commerce space owned by MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd. Eng was the founder of NetBuilder.
According to Chan, the launch of easy.my was in response to merchants’ requests for a main store-front that shoppers can visit. Online merchants were struggling to raise the visibility of their stores above the din of the virtual world and finding it tough to handle the various social media channels that they were told they had to master.
With the setting up of easy.my, all the marketing is handled by Exabytes. For instance, they have five billboards up in the northern Malaysian state of Penang (Exabytes is a Penang-based company) and are looking to place five more in Kuala Lumpur.
There is an ongoing campaign on Facebook and more activities will be conducted to support and encourage merchants to get online including a Two-day E-Commerce conference in July where 30 industry leaders from Malaysia and the region have been invited to share their experience.
Click here for an exclusive with Chan Kee Siak, who talks about Exabytes’ listing plans (Premium)