From Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday to Christmas and Boxing Day, the final quarter of the year do not only mean school holidays. Annually, this season also introduces big opportunities for Malaysian SMEs to grow their revenue, as consumers all around the world become more ready to spend on themselves, and on gifts for loved ones.
On desktop, retail e-commerce sales jumped from US$19.6 billion in 2005 to US$63.1 billion in 2016, with consumers increasingly favouring online shopping. Whether you’re new to e-commerce or have been in the game for a while, as activity soars from the website to the warehouse, it is important that you have the right tools set in place.
Having the right partners can help ensure the sale experience is as seamless and convenient for you and your customers as can be. Here’s a checklist:
1. PAYMENT GATEWAY
First up, you will need an e-commerce software that can handle payments for you. Payment gateway services such as PayPal, ipay88, and eGHL will ensure the safe and secure processing of your customers’ payment, working to prevent fraud and breaches of personal data. An alternative to these services would be e-commerce merchant solutions offered by your bank. Consider all possibilities and look for a solution you trust most.
Funding has always been one of the biggest roadblocks in the SME journey. However, with their noticeable growth over the past years, banks are now more willing to take risks with the smaller players, supporting them in their plans for expansion. According to Bank Negara, the percentage of financing for SMEs grew from 40% to 49% from 2012 to mid-2017 while financing for large companies dropped from 60% to 51% . While the change in numbers might seem small, this represents a significant change for local SMEs.
If you’re looking to grow, especially in taking your business abroad for the year-end sales, take the time to explore your opportunities with:
- Banks (e.g. CIMB, Maybank, Bank Negara)
- The Government (e.g. MATRADE, Mida, SME Corp)
- Others (e.g. LEAP)
3. ONLINE MARKETPLACES
To avoid the troubles of designing, operating, and driving traffic to your own website, online marketplaces make a great option for you to grow your overseas customer base.
As a one-stop shopping destination, online marketplaces are websites or applications which boast a wide variety of product categories and brands. Some marketplaces that can help you reach consumers beyond the Malaysian borders include but not limited to:
Because of the competition that arises with the vast number of vendors, do note you’ll need unique products and great deals to stand out and grow sales this holiday season.
Getting customers to buy from your store is one thing, but getting your products to them is a whole other. SMEs need to remember that customers, no matter their location, will only come back for a second purchase if they’ve had an enjoyable experience the first time. This means having fast and reliable delivery, with products sent straight to their doorsteps.
SMEs who partner with logistics experts can benefit from the reduced cost, saved time, and minimised risk. With a strong global network, DHL provides logistic solutions to SMEs who would like to ship worldwide.
In summary, refer to this micrographic:
With the big opportunities that the year-end sales will bring, it is more important than ever for SMEs to choose their partners wisely. Start planning early, understand the needs of your business, and set the stage for the sales numbers to shoot up!
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