Photo - (From left) Wee Huay Neo, Director of eCommerce and Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC); Zul Mustafa, Investor Development, Bursa Malaysia; Ms. Lee Jim Leng, Group MD / CEO, Hong Leong Investment Bank Berhad; and Marc Woo, Google, Finance and Business.
The contribution to Malaysia's gross domestic product (GDP) from eCommerce and the digital economy will now grow significantly, agreed Bursa Malaysia (Malaysia Exchange) and Hong Leong Investment Bank.
Lee Jim Leng, group managing director and chief executive officer of Hong Leong Investment Bank (HLIB), acknowledged the impact of the rapidly growing eCommerce sector on Malaysia's retail industry and the economy during the industry discussion recently in Kuala Lumpur.
"Disruption to traditional business, and the world as we know it is already a norm," said Lee. "The question always is, how do we as businesses, respond and strategise?"
"E-retailing is expected to grow significantly to contribute to the country's GDP growth and this is not surprising as consumers today expect access to almost all goods and services via the internet," he said. "It is no longer a differentiator but a basic requirement of any relevant business."
"Today, 360 degree customer and consumer insights and understanding, especially in areas of their journeys both online and offline is a critical starting point for businesses," said Lee. "Having the tools and knowledge to harness the information and devise the right strategy will take you to the next step."
Representatives from Bursa Malaysia, Google, Lelong, Pos Malaysia, ManagePay systems, eCommerceMILO and Silver Mouse also touched on how technology and the speed of change was affecting consumer behaviour.
He said it was important for retailers to recognise that eCommerce is not just about accessibility but about achieving business outcomes through greater understanding of shifting customer behaviours.
Lee added that HLIB remained positive about the long-term potential of companies expanding and investing in the eCommerce space, including those that are part of the ecosystem such as the logistics sector and payment gateways.(See Internet Alliance's recent advice to the government on DFTZ )
In her presentation, Wee Huay Neo, director of eCommerce and Digital Free Trade Zone (DFTZ), at national ICT agency Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) showed how digital has been recently transforming the retail market.
She also noted that Malaysia's eCommerce growth was expected to double from 10.8 percent in 2016 to 20.8 percent in 2020.
The latest edition of this article can be found at Computerworld Malaysia.
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