Ian Ho: Shopee Malaysia's Budget 2020 Wishlist
Focus Malaysia 12 Sep 2019 15:58

Part 1 - Education and upskilling programmes for local entrepreneurs

  1. Since our inception in December 2015, Shopee has invested millions to encourage the adoption of e-commerce in Malaysia particularly amongst the local SMEs.
  2. This includes educational training and upskilling.
  3. In addition to ensure that operating costs for these businesses are kept minimal.
  4. We do this by providing free shipping fees for buyers and sellers; we do not charge annual fees or registration fees to businesses who wishes to use our platform to sell.
  5. Essentially what this means is that we have effectively lowered the barrier of entry for businesses to go digital.
  6. Having laid out the foundation and created a conducive ecosystem for businesses to trade online, next is to ensure that businesses and particularly SMEs are fully equipped with the know-how and skills to run a business online. Selling online is more than just uploading a product online. 
  7. We find that there is a huge knowledge gap which dampens local businesses' readiness to embark on the digital economy.
  8. Hence, we hope that Government can allocate funding to us, the players like Shopee with existing educational programmes to scale these programmes for a transferance of knowledge on e-commerce.
  9. In return, Shopee pledges to put our manpower support behind these programmes. Through these sessions, we will focus on:
    - Knowledge transfer on merchandising, packaging, marketing, shipping, security, pre-, during and post-sale services, customer services
    - Helping local corporation put in place best e-commerce practices
  10. This move is imperative to safeguard the domestic economy because if consumer adoption rate is faster than SME’s adoption of e-commerce, buyers may look to purchase similar products from foreign merchants instead.

Part 2 - Local talent

  1. E-commerce is a developing industry, albeit fast-paced. Hence, there is a surge in job opportunities
  2. BUT a key issue is that talent for e-commerce roles remain scarce. 
  3. We hope to see programmes that encourage the development of skills in this field can be established for the benefit of businesses and platforms like ours.
  4. We also urge the Government to continue looking for ways to attract local talent with e-commerce knowledge that are currently working overseas to return to Malaysia and serve the domestic economy needs; thus also addressing the national brain drain issue.

Part 3 - E-commerce Support Industries

  1. Furthermore, we look forward to the establishment of policies to encourage the development of e-commerce support industries. This includes a vibrant third-party logistics industry which will further improve the efficiency of final mile delivery, thereby cutting down consumers’ wait from around three to five days to the next two days after making the purchase. 
  2. Another pressing issue that the industry is experiencing is payment gateway issues. The outdated technology and limited bandwidth cause glitches. In order for banks to cushion these glitches, they have to initiate daily maintenance from time to time. This maintenance can go up to half an hour per session, and when this happens, transactions cannot be made. 
  3. As an online shopping platform, this impacts the business greatly especially during our big campaigns like the recently-concluded 9.9 Super Shopping Day. To put this into perspective, on 9 September, at one point in time, a total of 187,606 items were sold in a single minute. Facing this downtime is very disruptive and impacts the retailers adversely. 
  4. Additionally, this creates poor consumer purchasing experience which then hinders the adoption of e-commerce not just for consumers but also for retailers as it distorts the supply-demand flow for online trade. 
  5. We hope that the Government will invest in enhancing and upgrading the Malaysian banking infrastructure, particularly the payments systems to support online transactions. The upgrading of infrastructure should also include banks’ servers by ensuring that they are designed to take on a bigger capacity of transactions, especially when there is a surge in orders during key online shopping festivals.

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