The State of E-Commerce in Malaysia

The popularity of e-commerce in Malaysia took off when AirAsia created a culture of buying air tickets online. The entry of behemoths like Rakuten, Zalora and Lazada in recent years, and with their huge marketing campaigns, further familiarized the general public with online shopping.

According to a Paypal report in 2011, 1.1 million Malaysians bought RM1.8 billion worth of products online in 2010 – this number is projected to reach RM5 billion in 2015. Based on global numbers, e-commerce in Malaysia is still in it’s infancy – estimated to be at 1% of total retail sales compared to up to 5% in developed markets like the U.S.

According to ecommercemilo, Zalora and Lazada claims to be receiving an average 21,000 and 60,000 orders a month respectively. Lazada CEO, Igor Pezzilli, mentioned that the company intends to grow it e-commerce market share from the current 2% to 5% by 2015.

Even Tesco is getting a piece of the action, with their recent Tesco eshop announcement in July 2013. According to Tesco Malaysia CEO, Georg Fischer, in a news report the hypermarket is getting 100 orders per day… despite charging RM10 for delivery.

We spoke to Tesco’s marketing manager and learned that the eshop is centrally-managed by Tesco UK, and that marketing efforts are mainly driven by advertisements in The Star and Facebook – the spend on Google AdWords is less than RM3,000 a month. The hypermarket is currently giving out RM20 coupons for purchases of RM100 or more, to get Malaysians to shop for their groceries online.

So if you’ve been thinking of starting an online business, now is a good time. Malaysians are generally habitual creatures – start now and build your brand before the market gets more crowded. And visit us more often to get online business ideas, tips and more 😉