SMEs to capitalise on e-commerce platforms to sustain its lifeline

THE e-commerce industry is continuously growing globally despite the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions imposed in countries around the world.

On the local front, with a population of over 30 million people and its advancement in digital technology infrastructure, Malaysia is an attractive market for e-commerce in the Southeast Asia region.

In 2020, Malaysia’s e-commerce market was worth US$4.3 bil (RM17.4 bil) and is projected to double to US$8.1 bil (RM32.7 bil) by 2024.

According to GlobalData’s E-Commerce Analytics, Malaysia’s e-commerce market is estimated to register 24.7% growth in 2020. Meanwhile, the market is expected to reach RM51.6 bil by 2024, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3% between 2020 and 2024.

Thus, e-commerce is seen as the future for the business world and the lifeline for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

In 2019, a total of 42,620 SMEs has participated in e-commerce platforms and this number increased more than three-fold as of September 2020 with 140,883 SMEs jumping on board the e-commerce platform.

Furthermore, the National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) has stated that e-commerce is “the future of the retail industry”—globally and locally.

In addition, PIKOM opined that it is imperative that the SMEs in Malaysia to build a strong brand presence through online channels and the Government can help local SMEs increase their online presence.

In order to assist Malaysian SMEs to accelerate exports and sustain their global presence, Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) launched its enhanced eTRADE export facilitation initiative; eTRADE Programme 2.0, yesterday during their virtual eTRADE Consultation Day session.

“With the ever-increasing size of global e-commerce market, there is no better time for Malaysian SMEs to capitalise on e-commerce platforms to sustain and further accelerate their exports,” said MATRADE CEO Mohd Mustafa Abdul Aziz in his welcoming remarks.

The added features are digital marketing activities and e-commerce related trainings.

According to Mohd Mustafa, under eTRADE Programme 2.0, Malaysian SMEs will be offered two schemes of export facilitation initiatives, ie the Onboarding Scheme which is worth RM5,000 and Digital Marketing & Training (DMT) Scheme worth RM20,000 for each company respectively.

Through the Onboarding Scheme, qualified Malaysian SMEs will be eligible to utilise up to RM5,000 per company in the form of reimbursement for their expenses incurred in onboarding cross-border e-commerce platforms of their choice.

Additionally, under these SMEs are also allowed to join multiple platforms under this scheme, allowing them to have more options in choosing the e-commerce platforms that best suit their needs and target markets. – Feb 26, 2021

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