E-commerce in Malaysia isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, it’s been around ever since the internet has been around in the early 1990s. However, the uptake and growth of e-commerce has not been as robust as some of our neighbors, like Singapore, China and South Korea.. The growth of e-commerce platforms in Malaysia really took off in 2012, with the launch of two large online shopping platforms, Lazada and Zalora.
With the outbreak of Covid-19, e-commerce has increasingly become part and parcel of everyday life for Malaysians. You’ll hear people chatting about the latest smartphone they bought for a bargain online. You’ll hear mothers comparing the prices of strollers they found on an e-commerce platform. Even children talk about toys or snacks their parents bought online.
The pandemic has caused great change in the way everyday life is conducted. In Malaysia, the various movement control orders has meant that more people are avoiding crowded areas. This includes shopping malls and traditional brick and mortar shops. One significant trend that has emerged is the move by consumers to online shopping platforms.
In Malaysia, e-commerce has grown to such an extent that we actually ranked fourth in the world for online purchases during the 2020 11.11 sale. This growth has been driven by many factors. Chief of which is the convenience of online shopping. Customers are given the option to compare prices too, which gives them more value for money.
This in turn has led to many businesses focusing on e-commerce marketing. Many e-commerce trends in Malaysia have emerged in recent months. These include an increase of variety in the types of products and services offered. These trends can be seen in Malaysia’s 10 biggest e-commerce sites.
The 10 Most Influential E-commerce Sites in Malaysia
Each e-commerce site listed here has made a significant impact in the lives of Malaysians. Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, many of them were household names. Their growth has been spurred on by a number of factors. These include good customer service, secure payment channels, a wide selection of products and competitive prices.
Social media marketing and a commitment to creating mobile app versions of their sites has also played a key role. These are some of the biggest names in Malaysian e-commerce.
Online shopping site Lazada is a B2C marketplace that’s open to vendors selling a wide range of products.Most of the items sold here are household, food, tech and fashion related. They have provided a platform for many merchants that is accessible, despite maintaining a strict SOP in terms of quality of service.
Special features: A recommendation system powered by artificial intelligence, which tracks customers’ search terms and previous purchases.
Alexa ranking: #7
Estimated traffic ( October 2020) : 13.8 million
Online supermarket Lazada offers a wide variety of everyday items. Source: Lazada FB
Just like Lazada, Shopee is a B2C platform where vendors sell their products directly to customers. However, the one thing that makes them stand out is the availability of more niche and obscure products, especially smaller items. For example, those looking for rare Mexican spices will have an easier time on Shopee, as will someone looking for a limited edition collector’s figurine. Shopee also allows vendors to sell wholesale, rather than just reselling products. Therefore those looking to buy in bulk for more competitive prices often come here.
Special feature: Many niche and rare products
Alexa ranking: #3
Estimated traffic (October 2020) : 42.95 million
Shopee has the highest number of visitors in Malaysia. Source: Shopee Malaysia FB
Mudah was launched in 2015 and they started out as a site selling pre-loved and secondhand goods. Mudah offers a very different type of e-commerce. Their ads cover mostly vehicles, property, furniture and larger appliances. Vendors are allowed to advertise their products and services for free. However, the site offers a premium program to vendors that makes their ads more visible.
Special feature: Mudah has a section for job offers, tourism packages and services
Alexa ranking: #30
Estimated traffic (October 2020) :7.33 million
Lelong was launched in 1998, making it one of the oldest sites on this list. They started out as a bidding site, but have now moved on to being a general marketplace. Apart from the usual selection of household, electronic and fashion related products, Lelong.my also has a unique portion offering services, jobs , tourism and real estate.
Special feature: A niche category for e-vouchers
Alexa ranking: #672
Estimated traffic (October 2020): 529,000
Fashion-centric Zalora is one of the biggest and fastest growing fashion e-commerce sites in South East Asia. They feature both men and women’s fashion, from local and international designers. Zalora has a specific section for modest wear, which is highly popular with Muslim women. Apart from fashion and accessories, there’s also a section selling cosmetics from well known Asian and international brands like Sulwhasoo, Hermo and Benefit.
Special feature: A large selection of modest wear and hijab fashion
Alexa ranking: #220
Estimated traffic (October 2020): 983,710
PrestoMall used to be known as 11Street. It’s one of the e-commerce sites that is completely homegrown in Malaysia.Consumers can find a wide variety of products here, including food, fashion, tech and home appliances. PrestoMall’s page offers special sections for imported goods from Thailand, Korea, China, Hong Kong and more.
Special feature: Shopping categories for imported goods, according to country.
Alexa ranking: #2380
Estimated traffic ( October 2020) : 86,410
This site is owned and operated by Public Gold Sdn. Bhd, a regional leader in precious metals. PGMall is an online marketplace that offers all the usual household and everyday needs. They’re known for featuring many local brands in their official store section. You’ll also find PGMall selling their own jewellery and precious metal products on this site.
Special feature: Many local brands from Malaysia
Estimated traffic (October 2020): 6.63 million
Ezbuy has a significant presence in both Malaysia and Singapore, and has been around since 2010. They offer a fuss free shopping experience. Their site is really easy to navigate nad they’re popular among Malaysians looking for a bargain, as they feature many smaller items at affordable prices
Special feature: A section dedicated to products below RM9.90.
Alexa ranking: #656
Estimated traffic (October 2020): 184, 650
Ezbuy has products from local and international vendors. Source: Ezbuy FB
Hermo is an e-commerce platform dedicated to selling beauty, health and wellness products. You’ll find mostly cosmetics, skincare, toiletries and dental items on the site. Hermo has a largely female target market, and has been credited as being one of the leading sites in bringing in imported beauty brands.You’ll find many Korean and Japanese beauty flagship stores on the site, including Canmake, Etude House, Hada Labo, and Innisfree.
Special feature: Among the first to bring in the latest Asian makeup/skincare trends.
Alexa ranking: #869
Estimated traffic (October 2020): 219,000
10. Go Shop
Astro’s Go Shop is actually a very novel business model. Started by media conglomerate Astro, this online marketplace actually links up to Astro’s TV shopping channel, also called Astro Go Shop. A majority of the products on this site are kitchenware and household appliances, but there are also fashion, beauty and Islamic lifestyle products too.
Special feature: Links up to Astro’s ‘Go Shop’ shopping channels
Alexa ranking: #1434
Estimated traffic (October 2020) : 590,800
Malaysia’s E-commerce Sites Have Endless Potential
The new normal due to Covid19 has meant that Malaysian e-commerce and online marketing has increasingly taken centre stage. As such, entrepreneurs and business owners have to strategize their marketing efforts carefully.
Even businesses with a traditional brick and mortar setup have been relying heavily on e-commerce platforms to boost their chances of survival. Online marketplaces offer cross-boundary opportunities that aren’t limited by physical locations.
This is one factor that Malaysian business owners have to realize, especially when the pandemic has caused movements by consumers to be limited.
Currently, the e-commerce market in Malaysia is worth almost RM18 billion, but it has the potential to double this value in the near future.
The only thing it takes is for more vendors to tap into the platform, and to reach their target market with the right strategies by engaging it’s audience in real-time and serve customers right to the front doors.
In One Search Pro Malaysia, we strives to help retailers and brands to leverage this opportunity.
Are you ready to dive into e-commerce Malaysia? Contact us to get started!