By Dave Avran
October 19, 2017
IT may not come as a surprise to you that Malaysia is one of the top countries when it comes to online shopping spending, according to the latest statistics.
Malaysians’ spending habits are rapidly transitioning from traditional brick and mortar to becoming more engaged with online spending.
This change of spending habits has triggered small, medium, and large businesses to become more accessible online, thus changing the landscape of business development in the country.
In order for small businesses to continuously adjust and adapt to the rapid change in market behaviour, here is our take on the top 5 business trends that will probably rule in 2018.
It’s pretty obvious not only in Malaysia, but in all developed countries around the globe that mobile technology will be the king of consumer spending. In 2016 alone, there were approximately 18 million active Malaysian mobile internet users, with 16 million of those active on social media.
This triggered the growth of Malaysian online mobile shopping by 20 per cent. This simply means that 2018 will be a great year for small and mid to large-sized businesses who invest in mobile technology.
The days of spending time waiting in long lines at supermarkets are rapidly fading with ecommerce shopping taking over. According to Nielsen’s 2014 consumer behaviour data, Malaysia ranks among the world’s most avid online shoppers.
This data is from 2014 so imagine how much it has grown in the past three years and how much more it will grow in upcoming years.
For small businesses, this is a good opportunity to start investing in Ecommerce websites because the number of online shoppers in Malaysia will surely grow by leaps and bounds.
Online Shopping Apps
In relation to Ecommerce and mobile technology, the emergence of online shopping apps will be more apparent in Malaysia. Lazada, 11street, Carousell and Shopee are already neck and neck in a race to the top of the shopping app market.
So what does this mean for small businesses? Admittedly developing an app for shopping is a tedious and expensive task, but for these shopping giants investing for product listing will open many new alternative channels for small businesses to make sales online.
With the growth of mobile internet users in Malaysia, the demand for businesses to go social is also growing. It is already a necessity.
The numbers of Malaysian consumers on social networking websites such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, makes it crucial for small businesses to get their brands on social media. Not only does it save time and effort, it also saves money in the long run as spending on social media ads is comparatively cheap.
Small businesses that have strict budget constraints for marketing can turn to freelance digital marketing professionals for assistance.
Local SEO will be more in demand in upcoming years than ever before. It is the small businesses gateway to engaging their target audience within the vicinity of their business.
Simply verifying their business location in Google Maps and Waze already gives them an advantage over other stores that are not verified because it will be shown more often to people within that local area.
However, take note that verifying the business and optimizing it is a different scenario. Business owners can consult a specialist on this service for maximum efficiency.