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MDEC launches Go-eCommerce Expo

The Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) recently launched Go-eCommerce Expo, an e-commerce virtual conference that ran from 8 to 10 December 2020. The initiative aimed to help local businesses, especially micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) address and overcome the ongoing economic uncertainties that the global pandemic caused. It aimed to achieve this by encouraging them to embrace e-commerce to diversify their income streams.

The Go-eCommerce Expo was held virtually over three days and featured webinars and workshops with top e-commerce experts and industry stalwarts. MDEC also worked closely with nine strategic partners to ensure a wider audience reach and boost uptake among local SMEs that benefit from this event.

The objective of the initiative was to promote the use of e-commerce, specifically with live streaming e-commerce as a new sales source for local Malaysian businesses. This, in turn, will promote a multichannel sales approach that will help them capture a wider audience and drive higher sales.

Live streaming e-commerce, which increases the social experience of buyers, is taking the world by storm. The format usually involves the content streamer – often the business owner or celebrity ambassador – who promotes the products through the real-time broadcast that is hosted on the e-commerce platform and takes queries on the item from the audience tuning in. It has proven highly effective in combining the elements of offline and online shopping experiences, making it a more effective strategy to optimise e-commerce conversion.

For the Director of the E-Commerce Division at MDEC, the rise in popularity of live stream e-commerce points to the growing acceptance of using this concept. This can be used to quickly boost local SMEs that have yet to make the digital transformation or just started their digital journey on an e-commerce platform. Digitalisation – in so many ways – is no longer a choice but a necessity.

He noted that SMEs are the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, contributing nearly 40% to the national GDP and employing almost half of the country’s workforce. Overlooked their welfare in the digital economy cannot be afforded. MDEC views the new normal as a golden opportunity for small businesses to embrace the digitalisation of their businesses.

The expo rode on the back of the highly successful e-Dagang Expo that MDEC organised in May 2020. Attracting over 67,000 participants, the inaugural e-commerce virtual fair was the first and largest of its kind in the country and offered participants invaluable advice and information from leading e-commerce players.

MDEC has taken cues from the success of the previous event. From the feedback received, many mom-and-pop shops were only then made aware of the benefits and process of digitalising their businesses. This is an ongoing endeavour. There are many more SMEs that can benefit from digital transformation and this second rendition represents the ongoing effort to reach out to them and enable them to embrace the need to go digital.

For Malaysia to fully realise its potential as a regional digital powerhouse, it must continue to develop and introduce initiatives that can help build sustainable digital businesses and sustain as well as expand the digital economy. The Go-eCommerce Expo is the next step towards making digital for all a reality.

According to the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM), Malaysia’s digital economy contributed 19.1% to the national economy in 2019, making it the highest among all other ASEAN member states. Other industry reports also indicate how Malaysia’s e-commerce market has tripled in size since 2015, surpassing US$3 billion in 2019. Despite the economic challenges that COVID-19 caused, Malaysia’s e-commerce sector will likely see a 20% growth contribution to the digital economy this year.

This is also reflected in the Southeast Asian regional digital economy that is expected to skyrocket and be valued at around US$102 billion by 2025. Initiatives such as Go-eCommerce Expo responds to the increasing uptake of e-commerce in the region and emphasis the opportunity for Malaysian businesses to take advantage of a burgeoning regional market.


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