Nowadays when someone is thinking about starting a company in Malaysia, they are likely to consider starting an online business. In recent years there have been many online success stories, it is definitely not a losing game for online businesses. If you are wondering how to start an online business in Malaysia, here are some tips that will guide you to run an online business targeted for Malaysian customers.
When it comes to online businesses, offering various methods of online payments is a must. The main reason for online shopping is convenience. In the old days, buying online meant paying with a credit card. Nowadays, it is more than just credit cards. With the various demographics of customers, the younger generation may not necessarily have access to credit cards. Some may prefer Online Banking, E-wallets or Bank Installments. In many Asian countries like Malaysia, the older “aunties” still prefer the touch-feel experience before they actually pay. Therefore, Cash-on-Delivery (COD) method is very important as it would allow customers to actually see their products get delivered before they make the payment.
Malaysia is a very culturally diverse country and as such they engage in content across a very diverse range of platforms. As a whole Malaysians are very active on social media and consume a lot of content throughout the day. It is also worth bearing in mind that different demographics use different social media platforms. For example, Facebook is mostly only for older generations, while the younger demographic engage more on Instagram or Snapchat. Youtube is still a major platform for content and there are also more demographically targeted platforms such as Weibo which is popular among the Malaysian Chinese community. Therefore, it is important for online businesses to not only have a presence across all major social media platforms, but really focus on those that the target demographic use regularly.
In order to effectively target the Malaysian market, companies wanting to excel in Malaysia must localise their content. This means they need to become accustomed to the norms in Malaysia. Malaysia has a very diverse range of cultures, races and religions. Your online business should respect and reflect that diversity throughout their marketing campaigns and business operations. It is often said playfully that Malaysians celebrate every occasion on the calendar. As an online business this is not only a great opportunity to increase sales by building more marketing campaigns and promotions throughout the year, but it is also an opportunity to really connect with your customer base and promote the inclusion of all races or culture through your localisation efforts.
Sales and discounts in Malaysia goes hand in hand with localisation. Localising in Malaysia means celebrating major Malaysian holidays with sales and marketing campaigns in the run up to those dates. There are also regionally celebrated events such Singles’ Day and Black Friday that are examples of consumer driven sales that are caused by promotion craze. Sales and discounts are a big deal in Malaysia with almost all online businesses and applications using “promo codes” for key calendar events.This is also one of the ways that online businesses in Malaysia compete with rivals. This is apparent in the battle of Grab vs Uber as well as online businesses, Lazada and Shopee. Therefore, in order to attract and retain customers, sales and discounts can be used to compete effectively.
It is important to build trust with your customers regardless of where they are from. With online businesses, customers cannot see the customer service or quality of the products in the same way they can in physical brick and mortar stores. Therefore, it is vital that you give some indication for customers to build their trust upon. This can be done through testimonials of past customers, reviews from existing customers and social media influencers. Having a strong presence on social media can also help increase the trust factor as reviews and comments are user generated rather than preselected and placed directly on the website. Platforms like Facebook also allow you to see if you have friends in common that also uses the product or service, which is often enough to make your customers feel comfortable in making a purchase.
Influencers are a very big deal in the world of social media and especially in Asia, people look up to influencers for their buying decisions. It is a good idea to collaborate with influencers to endorse your products or services. This will also lead to building trust in customers if a well-known person talks about a certain business. This technique is used effectively by many online businesses such as Shopee and beauty store Hermo.
There you have it, 6 techniques to help you in starting an online business in Malaysia. We hope you found this article helpful in improving your online store. If you are wanting to start a company in Malaysia, you should check out our useful Startup Toolkit bundles with templates, guides and ideas to help you launch a successful business in Malaysia.
Our FREE Startup Resources bundle contains productivity templates, time trackers and social media analytics templates.