The Digital Transformative Journey of Saudi Arabia’s Leading QSR Brand

The Digital Transformative Journey of Saudi Arabia’s Leading QSR Brand

With advancing competition, evolving technology, and digitization, attaining customer satisfaction while maintaining the time frame of deliveries is no easy feat. Ordering food online is an on-the-go task both for Gen Z and millennials. In Saudi Arabia, serving customers across all the accessible channels was tricky, even for established brands. When GenZ contributes to more than 30% of the global population, it’s no mystery why the popularity of Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) brands is growing.

Leader in Saudi Arabia’s fast food chain, with more than 300 stores across the Kingdom, bakery & gourmet manufacturer for nearly four decades now! Besides that, it also stands out as Kingdom’s first fully-integrated food service company with its bakery chains & meat processing plants. Though this fast food brand has been serving customers flawlessly with its wide range of delicious food items in-store for years, it faced tough times delivering the same online experience. This blog will take you on the phygital transformation journey of Saudi’s renowned fast food chain to meet customer preferences in this digital era. 

Building an Omnipresent Fast Food Chain 

Saudi Arabia is the leading GCC QSR market with a 43.8% market share. When the scorching heat of Saudi keeps consumers indoors, their strong urge for gourmet food pushes them to visit fast food serving restaurants. Even a decade ago, people in Saudi adored the online food ordering system. In fact, 2022’s Middle East PRIME Report unfolds various reasons for low footfall in the Post-COVID era & highlights an urgent need for QSRs to go online when adapting to the ‘new normal.’ The Full-Service Restaurants (FSRs) were the largest channel in Saudi Arabia’s food service sector, with a 45% revenue share of total sector revenue in 2020. With 28.5% of revenue share, QSR was the second most prominent channel. 

With an enthralling journey of over 37 years, the brand has been a world-class food brand people adored in Saudi Arabia. They had a significant offline presence throughout their journey. They knew digitalization would help them serve more customers & the brand eventually went digital with an e-commerce website. But, ensuring smooth ordering experiences, timely deliveries & management of in-store & online orders were proving to be challenging. Moreover, they were struggling with their food delivery app experience, running the risk of losing a large chunk of mobile users. When restaurants were forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was ironic that they witnessed a significant increase in the number of orders across digital platforms. And that made the brand think of undertaking a digital transformation exercise that would: 

  • Strengthen their digital infrastructure
  • Enable an omnichannel approach 
  • Provide a seamless customer experience 

Reimagining Digital Experiences

Implementing omnichannel approach for leading QSR brand

At a time like this, deploying Capillary’s Anywhere Commerce+ to revamp their digital commerce infrastructure, drive performance & conversions, and ultimately reimagine their consumers’ digital experience was the need of the hour. The brand’s requirements included providing a super fast app experience to consumers, seamless experience across offline & online customer journeys, tight integration with loyalty and e-commerce platforms enabling a 360-degree view of the customer, and a superlative pre and post-sales experience.

That’s precisely where Capillary’s Anywhere Commerce+, CRM & loyalty platforms, leveraging Web storefront, Mobile PWA, and iOS App powered the brand’s iconic digital transformation. Seamless Menu and POS integration, roll-out of promotions, coupons and loyalty points across offline stores and e-commerce, and flexible ordering & delivery options helped the brand serve and engage more customers while delivering a true omnichannel experience. Deploying Anywhere Commerce+ simplified this complicated implementation of multiple tech solutions for the brand. Some of them include:

  1. Omnichannel order system: They had an e-commerce website and mobile app for both Android & iOS users for seamless ordering. Consumers can select the stores in their vicinity & choose from the entire menu available online in just a few seconds. 
  2. Flexibility to choose the delivery option: Deliveries for the brands’ consumers are solely at their discretion. They can order online & get it quickly delivered at their location or drive through and pick it up from the nearest stores. 
  3. Boosting in-store experience: Implementation of QR scan ordering simplified customers’ in-store experiences. Instant digital pay options simplified billing & minimized the hassles of ordering, especially during the peak season of Ramadan or weekends. 
  4. Rewarding customer behaviors: The system was installed not only to collect customer orders but to increase customer engagement as well. This was enhanced by creating personalized promotions to convert first-time shoppers to the brand’s regular customers. The promo engine manages promotion configurations across all outlets and e-commerce stores seamlessly. It adds to customer engagement & improves customer loyalty.  

Further, Deepen Customer Engagement with Festive Campaigns 

One of the most popular initiatives in the Middle East region is the Ramadan campaign. When people globally long for festive discounts & shop more on holidays, the Middle East is no exception. A recent survey by a leading global payment solutions provider says nearly 30% of Saudi & UAE consumers purchase either daily or weekly online. In Ramadan 2022, 55% of respondents from the MENA (the Middle East & North Africa) region planned to shop/order food for gathering in the month. 

Customer preferences do change within seconds when they shop online. In such situations, static cart-level discounts may not serve the purpose well. In contrast, dynamic offers can bring better ROI by focusing on up-selling, cross-selling, and instant discounts for abandoned carts to increase the conversion rate. People get enticed with personalized vouchers more than mere discount coupons. Deploying a Dynamic Voucher System (DVS) powers marketers to send personalized vouchers to their customers in real-time. With personalized, targeted offers, we’ve helped leading brands in the QSR sector to assure instant customer gratification for repeat visits & optimize their marketing budget. The brand has seen 5 – 10% higher conversion rates with DVS in sync with Capillary’s AI-powered promo engine. Moreover, Order Management System (OMS) and console helped the brand in both order & promotion management, especially during festivities. 

Arun Naikar - VP - Anywhere Commerce + Quote

And, an Appetizing Growth Story Continues… 

Creating a seamless experience across offline stores & online channels, the brand witnessed an 1150% increase in average sales since the partnership in October 2021. Brands’ fans can check menus across channels, order online or opt to dine in, get deliveries per their preferences, opt for the best promo offers, & earn loyalty as well. Moreover, order cancellation, instant refund automation, and OMS let everything be managed centrally. The omnipresent leading QSR brand is now serving 25,000 orders daily on average, an approximately 25X increase in daily orders. On the weekends & festive occasions, the brand happily serves over 40,000 customers in a day with zero technical challenges. The food brand is now gearing up to serve more than 100,00 customers in a day, leveraging the in-built ‘auto scalability’ of Anywhere Commerce+. 

Want to emulate the success story of this four-decade-old food service business? Book a free demo with our experts to understand how Anywhere Commerce+ can grow your e-commerce business at least 10X. 

A Comprehensive Guide to Indonesia’s Fast-Evolving E-commerce Landscape

A Comprehensive Guide to Indonesia’s Fast-Evolving E-commerce Landscape

With Southeast Asian online marketplaces booming since lockdowns, Indonesian e-commerce is expected to grow by 23.8% in 2022 to reach $30 Bn as forecasted by GlobalData. This optimistic trend can be attributed to the rising middle-class population contributing to increased internet usage (170 Mn users) – from 64% in 2020 to 73% in 2022 – alongside high smartphone penetration, cheap mobile data, and rapid digital payment adoption. The evolution of new buying preferences and habits also contributed to omnichannel commerce replacing traditional in-store purchases for leading retail outfits in Indonesia. Almost 30% of total expenditure is now online, with 1.6 billion shipments recorded in 2022. 2-3% of the GDP was thereby supported by e-commerce, which is a huge transition from 2017 when it was negligible. Moreover, the sector increased employment significantly with 26 million new jobs, primarily created by small and medium industries transitioning to commerce enablement. 

E-commerce heralds Digital Transformation

ecommerce in indonesia

Apart from building a reliable logistics infrastructure to support the influx of online orders, digital transformation was the need of the hour. Many businesses turned to in-house tech solutions by implementing partner-based applications that could merge easy payment setup and optimization seamlessly with existing operations. Global tech companies played a huge role in deploying excellent data management systems during the lockdowns. Toys, fashion, food and media purchases made up the largest share of the online revenue pie, followed closely by beauty, furniture, household and personal care. Owing to the pandemic spike in online consumption across key categories, Amazon also made heavy investments in Indonesia’s e-commerce startup market of up to $87 Bn in Ula alone. Meanwhile, Shopee, Lazada, Bukalapak and Tokopedia are all independent online marketplaces thriving in the here and now. It is, thus, safe to say that the nation’s e-commerce landscape is developing rapidly, and brands need to innovate now to retain the customers they have newly acquired, through personalization and curated brand experiences, the cornerstone of successful CRM initiatives.  

Traditional E-commerce meets Social Commerce 

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McKinsey reported that almost 30 Mn Indonesians transact online frequently to open up possibilities for an already strong market that could go up to upwards of $40 Bn in the next 5 years. The demographic trend is towards tech-savvy, mobile-first young consumers who spend the most time connecting with peers and influencers online. It comes as no surprise, then, that social media companies such as Meta, Line, YouTube and Twitter are all investing heavily in social commerce. This subset is expected to be valued at anywhere between $15 Bn to $20 Bn in 2022. Leveraging new formats of interaction with high engagement through influencers, this mode of online purchase through social platforms is clearly then redefining the way forward for many industries.

 While the goods are listed for sale online, the informal approach of social commerce, however, requires a very solid backend SKU management and delivery system. ​​ Due to fewer SKUs getting listed on social media platforms – compared to traditional web or mobile e-commerce applications – many companies are taking the ‘hybrid’ approach where they sell across all their owned platforms. This works best for the customer experience to improve progressively as the awareness of products grows through social media marketing. The strategic advantage of an integrated model, thus, far exceeds operating through individual platforms in silos. 

Order tracking and last mile fulfillment depend on the same online and offline operations that are utilized by larger e-commerce players through the web or mobile applications. Hence, an omnichannel customer experience strategy is essential for the smooth functioning of e-commerce platforms – social or not – overall, as it ensures that the customer journey & data is tracked across multiple touchpoints, enabling a superior customer experience. This aspect of digital transformation was the most crucial for those Indonesian companies, in particular, who came online for the very first time during the pandemic. The need to deliver goods and services, previously available only in stores, led to varied innovations including BOPIS/ROPIS that combines online selection and order placement with offline trials or collection. Provinces outside of Jakarta are now finding better access to all that they need to be delivered at home, and are spending 10% more on delivery instead of traveling to the capital for any major purchase.

Superior Tech Implementation Proves Crucial

Whether a social media account or an online marketplace, acquiring and activating the customer and unifying customer data into a singular repository is very important for omnichannel hyper-personalization. Thus, while companies choose their e-commerce solution, they are also investing into CDP, and marketing automation software to deliver true omnichannel engagement. Companies are increasingly adopting a full-stack e-commerce stack that offers native integration with CDP, CRM/Loyalty layer and Engagement Platform. This integration enables omnichannel hyper-personalization, across storefront, mobile, social media, email marketing, loyalty campaigns, etc. 

Capillary Technologies has been partnering with Indonesia’s leading brands such as Levis to enable the end-to-end omnichannel customer experience for their customers. The native integration of digital commerce and CDP+,  Loyalty+ engagement capabilities enable us to offer AI-based algorithm-driven insights (nearly 70 behavioral and propensity filters) and deliver compelling campaigns at scale. Engage+, Capillary’s AI-powered engagement and automation platform, helps in precision-targeted engagement across social, in-store, email, mobile push, etc.

Across locations in Indonesia, such implementations ensure that customers remain engaged at all times, whether through messaging around new product launches or rewards and recognition based on their most-loved existing products. As a result, our Indonesian clients are seeing higher customer loyalty through online transactions than ever before. Get in touch with our experts at Capillary Technologies to know more about making a full-stack transition within e-commerce. 

How D2C E-commerce Is A Profitable Venture For Your Brand

How D2C E-commerce Is A Profitable Venture For Your Brand

Some changes make an everlasting impact.

We all know how COVID-19 pandemic made online selling a priority for businesses of all sizes.  In Europe, overall digital adoption rose from 81% to 95% during the pandemic. Instagram, social media and marketplace focussed sellers were looking at short-term opportunities and never looked at the scalability of their business models.  But was it sufficient to stick to the short-term gains derived from selling on marketplaces? While large enterprises were well-versed with the granular details of the e-commerce world, small and medium-sized businesses faced numerous challenges, from building a brand to personalizing the platform, to setting up a team with the right skill sets to managing customer experience. The accelerated digitized shift clearly led to one thing – Everywhere, everyone bought everything online. Let’s take a look at the global statistics to understand how the E-commerce world fared in the last two years:

  • U.S. e-commerce sales in Q3 2021 were up 45.6% compared to Q3 2019
  • E-commerce sales made up nearly 20% of all retail sales in 2021

D2C E-commerce: A Profitable Future 

While selling on marketplaces and through social media might be a good starting point, D2C E-commerce empowers brands to ‘own their customers’. By launching own-brand D2C E-commerce, companies can design signature customer experiences and buyer journeys, collate invaluable first-party data, establish direct connections with customers, and ultimately control profits. 

Indian market share of D2C is expected to reach $100 billion by 2025 with over 800 brands expected to foray into the D2C world. 

The challenging e-commerce world for D2C brands

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E-commerce has struck the right chord with enterprises, signaling their digital transformation intent. The closure of physical stores due to COVID regulations, low-cost shipping rates, and relatively easier customer acquisition through cheap Facebook ads had enabled many retailers to drive online sales. However, what businesses didn’t factor in during that time was their ability to look at the scalability of the existing e-com model, 8 to 12 months later. Following is a list of the recent turn of events that have created a stir for businesses:

  1. The era of cheap Facebook ads drawing to an end: In the past, cheaper Facebook ads led enterprises to sell more by driving product discovery even when the organic traffic was low. Browsers were often turning into purchasers. What was once a boon for retailers to advertise their goods and services, has now become a bane for the community. With the price of Facebook ads having almost tripled in the last two years, brands’ endeavor to build brand recognition and product discovery has become that much more difficult. Customer acquisition cost has increased immensely. Shopify too experienced this jolt as brands who launched their E-commerce storefronts on Shopify relied significantly on Facebook ads to acquire customers. The immediate fallout was Shopify’s growth began to slow and eventually led to its stock price being reduced by 50% over the last 12 months.
  2. Restricted tracking activity imposed by global tech giants: Apple’s key privacy update a year back in April 2021 clearly established that advertisers need to seek permission to track users’ activity. This further made it harder for D2C brands to measure Facebook ad performance, optimize the digital marketing campaigns and track important metrics of ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
  3. Last-mile supply chain management woes: Managing the overall fulfillment infrastructure can be an arduous task. While not all retailers will be gifted with multiple warehouse storage spaces, shrinking delivery times offered by Amazon and the likes have further heightened customer expectations with respect to delivery. Globally, the import costs have been largely impacted by a steep increase in the price to ship a container from China to the US (from $2k to $15k).
  4. Investors’ focus on profitable ventures: Did you know that only 24% of new businesses launched in the last decade have turned out to be large-scale enterprises? That implies a major chunk of businesses are still waiting to turn a profit for their investors. Investors are showing more inclination towards profitable ventures which implies that medium-size direct-to-consumer entities clearly need to improve their e-commerce game.
  5. Erratic technology infrastructure: Setting up an e-commerce platform from scratch can be taxing with the plethora of platforms and features available currently, making technology selection a complex and time-consuming task. One wrong choice of tech partner/platform might create an almost irrecoverable dependency later on, forcing brands to invest more time and resources to salvage the situation. With so many technology partners serenading the SaaS market, brands must be clear with their objective first and then choose the technology platform accordingly.

How D2C brands are braving all odds in today’s e-commerce world 

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D2C businesses must strive to keep themselves future-proof, in order to prevent unforeseen challenges. Here are 5 ways how D2C brands can make the most of their e-commerce sales: 

  1. Leading with word-of-mouth recommendations: 92% people trust recommendations through word-of-mouth and other direct sources. Influencer marketing is also gaining prominence as being a credible resource. Brands can focus more on building the experience organically than focusing solely on paid promotions.
  2. Focus on customer engagement: Unless there is a comprehensive customer retention and engagement strategy, D2C businesses are bound to stagnate. Customers must thus be engaged beyond their regular purchase transactions with personalization or loyalty programs thereby helping the brand to create an emotional connect with the customers.
  3. Choosing the Right E-commerce Partner: D2C brands would do well to partner with e-commerce solutions providers who are as invested as they are in building the business. Increasingly D2C brands are turning to full-stack e-commerce solutions providers who manage the entire e-commerce infrastructure, from platform to growth marketing, from order management to customer retention and loyalty. Challenges that might arise at a later date such as scalability are addressed by the full-stack partner, leaving the D2C brand to focus on Growth and Revenues. D2C brands would be well advised to select a full-stack partner with their own proprietary e-commerce platform combining digital commerce, experience management and growth marketing, as customizations and integrations would be quick and seamless.
  4. Choosing the Right Operating Model: Successful D2C brands are increasingly adopting a revenue-share model with their full-stack e-commerce solutions partners, ensuring minimal upfront or switching costs.
  5. Investing in brand-building: While most successful D2C brands start off with a great product, it is critical in today’s competitive e-commerce scenario to build a ‘brand’. The significant costs incurred in acquiring a customer is only recovered if the customer stays with the brand for a long-time. Also, investors are increasingly favoring D2C businesses that have demonstrated an ability to differentiate from competitors through intensive brand-building.   

India is on the verge of a take-off in the D2C e-commerce space. The success of brands such as Nykaa, Bombay Shaving Company, Sugar Cosmetics, etc. has inspired a whole generation of entrepreneurs and mavericks to start their own D2C businesses. The e-commerce partner ecosystem in India is also maturing; newer engagement and operating models such as full-stack e-commerce are empowering entrepreneurs to dream big and focus on the idea or the product while leaving the heavy-lifting to experts.

Ecommerce in Malaysia : Growth, Trends & Opportunities

Ecommerce in Malaysia : Growth, Trends & Opportunities

Malaysia’s ecommerce market is quickly becoming one of the largest in Southeast Asia. Its growth is outpacing that of traditional established markets in the region. This was apparent even before the impacts of the pandemic— Malaysia’s business-to-consumer e-commerce value increased 39 percent in 2019 alone. This growth in ecommerce has been coupled with the growing consumer preference for online shopping, and availability of customized payment options in recent years. 

Malaysia’s tryst with Ecommerce started in 2004 with the launch of eBay Malaysia. This was followed by Lelong.com.my in 2007 – a C2C platform –  that attracts more than 9.56 million visitors per month. The current state of Malaysian ecommerce market started taking shape In 2012 when two major players Lazada and Zalora launched their Malaysian operations, followed by Shopee in 2015. Fast forward to 2020, Malaysia’s eCommerce market is worth US$ 4.3 billion, and is expected to double to $8.1 billion by the year 2024;  at 14% CAGR. Malaysia is now catching up to bring its e-commerce infrastructure, including product availability, payments, delivery and regulatory requirements, in line with more established online shopping markets.

ecommerce-growth-in-malaysia

Factors Spurring E Commerce Growth in Malaysia

At 82.3%, Malaysia has one of the highest internet penetration rates in south-east Asia. Ecommerce growth in Malaysia is primarily driven by a growing number of digitally-savvy, middle-class people who are looking for great deals and access to international brands. Here are the other major factors driving ecommerce growth in the region.

  • Social Distancing and COVID-19 Restrictions: According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), during the current pandemic internet traffic has increased by 30-70%. However, what is most encouraging is the Malaysian government recognizing this rise in ecommerce as a tool of inclusiveness, and has announced support for empowering local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This is predicted to further drive ecommerce in Malaysia. The Malaysian government has been proactive with these concerns through digital campaigns like “Buy Malaysia” and #SayaDigital to encourage local demand and empower Malaysians to surge the country towards a digital transition.  
  • Seamless Delivery Logistics: Traditionally ecommerce players in Southeast Asia faced logistical challenges due to the fragmented topology of the region dominated by multiple islands and dense jungles. However, Malaysia is segregated into only two major parts – Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia; which makes ecommerce logistics a whole lot more straightforward and cost-effective.
  • Surge in Online Grocery Shopping: Similar to other countries in Southeast Asia, grocery & FMCG ecommerce is rapidly growing in Malaysia. In fact, Malaysia ranked 2nd in Statista’s world’s fastest growing grocery market list in 2018, with only Singapore registering a higher YoY increase. IGD Asia predicts that online sales value of grocery in Malaysia will increase at a CAGR of more than 60 percent between 2017 and 2022 (https://asia.igd.com/Portals/4/Asia-online-forecasts-free-download.pdf).
  • Digitally-savvy consumers: Malaysia boasts of an incredible 140% mobile penetration and 85% internet penetration. More than 26 million Malaysians access the internet and 80% of users between the ages of 16 and 64 are already shopping online. Malaysia’s mobile commerce growth is outpacing overall e-commerce, projected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 19.7 percent to 2023, to become a US$8.9 billion market.
  • The Rise in Social Media: The lines between social media and ecommerce are increasingly blurring, thanks to several native shopping initiatives by Facebook & Instagram. Besides, social media serves as a  great discovery and post-purchase platform for ecommerce businesses.  As of 2019, Malaysia had 25 million active social media users which accounts for 78% of the total population. This digitally-savvy, upwardly mobile segment presents a massive potential customer base for ecommerce businesses.
  • Preference for Digital Payments: Bank transfers dominate as the primary e-commerce payment method in Malaysia, accounting for 44 percent of all transactions. Consumers in emerging ecommerce markets typically steer clear of digital payments and tend to rely heavily on Cash on Delivery. This has been a roadblock to ecommerce growth in several regions like India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia etc, since COD imposes scalability challenges on ecommerce businesses. Malaysia is an outlier here with bank transfer and digital payments accounting for a whopping 93% ecommerce transactions and there are currently 39 businesses with an e-money license in the country, including major players PayPal, Alipay, WeChat and Google Pay.
  • Government Assistance: The positive growth of the ecommerce industry in Malaysia will also be driven by the government’s National E-commerce Strategic Roadmap initiatives that strive to increase internet accessibility to rural areas and improve e-wallets technologies.

Key Ecommerce and Consumer Trends in Malaysia

The Malaysian ecommerce space shares a lot of similarities with other emerging markets in SEA like Singapore, Indonesia & Thailand. However, there are some interesting cultural and region-specific nuances to watch out for. 

ecommerce-trending-in-malaysia

  • Transactions Across Borders: Cross-border spending is high in Malaysia and accounts for 4 out of 10 of all e-commerce transactions in the country. The major motivators for Malaysians to choose international sellers brands are:  better prices (72%), and access to items not available in the country (49%). The top three countries for cross-border sales are China (first), Singapore (second) and Japan (third). However, it should be noted that the Malaysian government has plans to announce a digital tax for cross-border e-commerce from 2020, which could impact international sellers of digital products.
  • Mobile-First Audience: Consumers in Malaysia have been quick to adapt to mobile commerce and 80% of smartphone users now use their devices to shop online. Mobile ecommerce transactions in the region are expected to reach $5.6 billion by 2021.  Within the mobile category, apps are the most preferred ecommerce channel and used for 64 percent of transactions.
  • Affinity towards discounts: A report by Paypal found that Malaysians prefer online shopping primarily to save time and 90% of Malaysians expect their purchase to be delivered within a week. The second biggest factor that attracts consumers to shop online are cheaper prices. This could likely be driven by a rising middle class who faces comparatively high taxes and stagnating wages. This also explains why ecommerce events in Malaysia like 11.11 and 12.12 that offer higher discounts (as high as 90%) drive the highest sales in the Home & Living, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Accessories, and Mother & Baby categories.
  • Ease of Digital Payments: Across Malaysia, bank transfer and digital wallets are the most preferred payment method. Interestingly, credit cards are the most preferred payment method in  Penang (28%), Perlis (40%), Selangor (25%) and WP Kuala Lumpur (34%). Digital wallets, known as dompet digital in Malaysia, are the fourth most-used payment option. However, their usage is expected to grow at a CAGR of 53% by 2021, at which point it will take a 16% share of the Malaysian payments market. On the other hand, it is still advisable to offer cash on delivery (COD) as a payment method since the 45-54-year-old age group still prefers COD when shopping online.
  • Social Commerce: The rise in usage of smartphones has also led to a spike in social media commerce, especially through WhatsApp and Facebook. The country is said to be the world’s fourth-largest market for social commerce adopters and a recent survey found that 87 percent of survey respondents had bought something through apps like Facebook, Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp.
  • Competition Between Regional & International Retailers: The Malaysian branches of two online shopping platforms based in Singapore – Lazada and Shoppee are the leading websites in shopping traffic and both have close to 20 million visitors per month. Even as these two leaders expand their product offerings and services, other regional players, such as Indonesia’s Bukalapak and Chinese players such as Taobao and Ali Express are increasing their presence on the peninsula.
  • Annual Shopping Events: Malaysians shop online in preparation for major holidays, especially Chinese New Year and Ramadan. They visit multiple ecommerce platforms weeks ahead of these celebrations to compare products and prices. Shoppers look for gifts to give to their family and friends on Chinese New Year, as well as beauty and fashion products for self-care. Besides this, Malaysia has three major annual national shopping events—Malaysia Super Sale (March 1–31), Malaysia Mega Sale Carnival (June 15–August 31) and Malaysia Year-End Sale (November 1–December 31). International discount shopping events Singles’ Day and Black Friday in November are also rising in popularity.

Malaysia’s Ecommerce Space

Malaysia’s top-three e-commerce sites by traffic are marketplaces Shopee, Lazada and PG Mall. The ecommerce space in Malaysia is dominated by self-owned, branded e-commerce websites and big online marketplaces. Here are the top ones :

ecommerce-brands-in-malaysia

How to Strategize Your Brand For Malaysian Ecommerce 

Given its population size and increasingly affluent middle class, Malaysia is easily one of the most attractive markets for ecommerce in Southeast Asia. Here are some strategies that retailers and brands can use to leverage this opportunity.

  • Offer a diverse product range –  Concerns around product diversity have been a constant challenge for Malaysian consumers, and online sellers have the opportunity to satisfy this unmet need. The key to getting the right mix of products is to use AI-powered ecommerce platforms to understand the top products and accessories for each customer segment and dynamically personalize product pages for specific segments.
  • Provide a wide range of payment options – While bank transfers are the most preferred payment option, retailers should also include e-wallets, credit cards, and COD to serve the wider audience. Merchants should reassure customers that they have all the resources to avoid problems like outdated payment methods, unreliable delivery and incidences of fraud.
  • Offer superior fulfilment experience –   90% of Malaysians expect their online purchases to be delivered within a week. Allow customers to track deliveries in real-time, so they don’t have to guess the delivery dates. The key to offering a great shipping experience is to have a centralized inventory across your stores, warehouses and other fulfilment centres.
  • Understand local nuances – There are certain cultural nuances that are specific to Malaysia. It’s important to know what Malaysians like to buy, and when. Understand the customs, traditions, and holidays that influence their shopping behaviour, and increase conversions by personalizing marketing engagement and conversions with customers using the power of customer segmentation.

While the ecommerce market in Malaysia is nascent compared to mature markets like China and Japan, it still represents one of the largest ecommerce markets in SEA. Malaysia stands out due to its relative size in the cross-border share of the ecommerce market. Malaysia’s youth population highlights the economy’s future potential as an e-commerce market. Malaysian consumers are often looking for great deals and access to international brands, but these trends may shift away if more local brands prioritize delivering superior customer experiences, products and prices than rival international brands.