The Star ran this story on e-commerce in Malaysia, which has gathered pace recently as more retailers start selling their products online and a larger number of people have access to the internet. It seems Malaysian customers are following the same trends recorded everywhere else: tentative at first, but becoming more comfortable as they appreciate the speed and convenience of remote shopping.

Market researcher IDC Malaysia expects the total online business-to-consumer market, which includes sales transactions for goods and services as well as bill payments, to reach RM15.3 billion (US$4.2 billion) this year. Travel items and books seem to be the most popular purchases, with IDC’s research showing 82% and 69% of Malaysian internet users having purchased something from these two categories.

The Nielsen Company produced slightly more conservative figures, saying 55% of Malaysian internet users have purchased airline tickets online, 41% tour/holiday reservations and 22% computer hardware. 21% bought books and 18% tickets to concerts and events.

Sites like eBay and S-emart.com, which allow people to sell products online without needing to set up their own site or payment system, are also bringing good returns for sellers.

Malaysian online sellers face the same challenges as those in other countries, with customers who still like to see and hold products before buying, and who have the same concerns about transaction security. The younger generation, however,  is more accustomed to life online and e-commerce figures will rise as they grow older and wealthier.

source & article: The Star