The strong double-digit sales growth that was seen in e-commerce in Malaysia throughout the review. Remains in effect in 2021, although sales growth was somewhat slower than what was seen during 2020.
As in most Southeast Asian countries, much of the value generated by e-commerce in Malaysia can be accounted for by third party online marketplaces, with the international e-commerce giants Shopee and Lazada continuing to battle it out for supremacy in the category during 2021. While each of these retailers remains highly competitive and while both of them operate very profitably in Malaysia, during 2021 the situation became more challenging for Lazada as it gradually began to lose customers to its arch-rival Shopee.
One of the factors that initially held back the development of e-commerce in Malaysia was the low level of trust that many consumers previously had in on my payment systems and digital payments generally. However, as digital payments have slowly come to the fore and with the use of cash declining over the course of the review period, these barriers to the wider adoption of e-commerce have become less salient.
E-commerce is slated for positive growth over the forecast period, although growth rates are expected to be more modest than the very high double-digit growth rates registered consistently throughout the review period. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the official control measures taken in response expected to recede substantially over the course of 2022 as the spread of the COVID-19 virus is brought under control, it is likely that consumers will want to shop in stores once again.
One factor that is expected to spur the growth and development of e-commerce in Malaysia during the forecast period is the increasing numbers of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country that are turning to e-commerce as a way to diversify their businesses and capture increasing demand for a wide range of goods and services online. In addition, many of Malaysia’s independent retail businesses are still struggling to overcome the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business activities in the physical realm, with online trading seen as an ideal way to improve revenues whilst keeping risk to a minimum.
As mentioned above, recent years have seen the rivalry between the two leading names in e-commerce Shopee and Lazada took an interesting turn towards the end of the review period as Shopee began to pull clear of its international arch-rival. With Lazada expected to continue underperforming Shopee, the forecast period is expected to see the gap between the two international third party online marketplaces continue to grow.
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Sales of consumer goods to the general public via the Internet. Please note that this includes sales through mobile phones and tablets (i.e. m-commerce). E-commerce includes sales generated through pure e-commerce websites and through sites operated by store-based retailers. Sales data is attributed to the country where the consumer is based, rather than where the retailer is based. The definition of e-commerce is agnostic as to where actual payment takes place; if an order is initiated online, it is considered to be an e-commerce transaction, even if the order is ultimately paid for in-store (or elsewhere). As a result, all ‘click-and-collect’ and ‘collect-at-store’ transactions are counted as e-commerce sales. E-commerce excludes sales of: (a) Consumer-to-consumer (C2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales, although please note that sales between businesses and consumers (i.e. B2C sales) on sites such as eBay are included; (b) Sales of motor vehicles, motorcycles and vehicle parts; (c) Tickets for events (sports, music concerts, etc.) and travel; (d) Sales of travel and holiday packages; (e) Revenue generated by online gambling sites; (f) Returned products/unpaid invoices; and (h) Internet sales from direct selling companies, as these are tracked in Direct Selling market size/shares. Example e-commerce brands include Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Apple.com, iTunes, Rakuten, Tesco.com, Dell.com, Coles Online, etc. 3rd Party Merchant sales through online marketplaces, such as Amazon.com, eBay.com and Walmart.com, are included and split out in shares. 3rd party merchants are the summation of sales that come from businesses that are present on an online marketplace (e.g. Amazon, Alibaba). Marketplaces are websites that allow multiple merchants to sell on the marketplace website, with the marketplace operator processing the transactions, but many marketplaces provide offer other services as to help with shipping, handling, payment, and product storage. The marketplace is not the merchant of record legally, but for the sake of shares, sales from 3rd part merchants are attributed to the marketplace brand operator.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our E-Commerce (Goods) research and analysis database.
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