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eCommerce Tracker: Malaysia's online 'book fest' feeds a growing love for reading

AvantiKumar | May 23, 2017
Malaysian Publishers Association signs eCommerce deal to offer books and stationery at up to 70% in line with MDEC's eCommerce drive.

11street MABOPA bookfest

Photo -(From left) Ishak Hamzah, President of MABOPA; Abdul Wahab Ibrahim, Director, Permanent Secretariat of National Book Council, Malaysia; and Lyle Yoo, General Manager of Merchandising, 11street posing for photograph after the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between MABOPA and 11street.


  After the Malaysian Publishers Association (MABOPA) signed an eCommerce deal, books and stationery were offered at discounts of up to 70 percent earlier this month through an online book fest.  

The memorandum of agreement (MoU) with online mall 11street hoped to further cultivate Malaysians' love for reading though the online fest called 'Pesta Buku Online.'

Major local bookstores such as MPH, BookXcess and Borders participated in the book fest (up to 19 May 2017), which offered more than 500,000 books and media, said the partners.

Abdul Wahab Ibrahim, director, Permanent Secretariat of National Book Council, Malaysia, witnessed the signing between MABOPA president, Ishak Hamzah, and 11street's general manager of Merchandising, Lyle Yoo, who later commented that the 'Pesta Buku Online' campaign followed 11street's recent finding that Malaysians have shown an increasing interest in purchasing books and media online.

"Our recent campaign gave us a very surprising insight about Malaysian consumers, whereby product categories such as health and beauty; fashion; and electronics have always been the three most purchased by consumers," said Woo.

"But now, consumers have also started looking into buying more books and media online," added Yoo.

According to the last National Literacy Survey carried out in 2014, it was reported that Malaysians read an average of fifteen books a year.

MDEC's eCommerce roadmap

Some 1.3 million students in public and private universities in Malaysia were eligible to enjoy discounts with their KAD Siswa 1Malaysia (KADS1M) for low prices up until 19 May through the online festival.

MANOPA's Ishak said the partnership was in line with MABOPA's aspiration to contribute to the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap outlined by Malaysia's national ICT agency Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), which wants to double the country's eCommerce growth to 20.8 percent by 2020. [See - What's really in store for Malaysia's IT industry in 2017?]

"The book industry is no stranger to the technological change," added Ishak.  "In fact, the industry has evolved over the years to cater to the ever-shifting atmosphere, and now it has come to the booming era of social media marketing for books."

"As an association, we wanted to take on the government's challenge so that Malaysian SMEs can transform themselves in accordance with the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap," he said. "Through the partnership with 11street, we believe that the book category will take its place in the limelight, and encourage more publishers and book sellers to sell online. This in turn will encourage more consumers to purchase books at competitive prices."

The latest edition of this article lives at Computerworld Malaysia.


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