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In the last ten years, e-commerce has rapidly gained popularity as a preferred way of engaging in business across numerous products and services. To date, it is recorded that more than 29.5 million Malaysians, or more than 89% of the nation's population, use the Internet. The market for mobile commerce in Malaysia is expected to reach US$8.9 billion by 2023, exceeding the rise of total e-commerce.
In its simplest form, e-commerce refers to the practice of doing business transactions online. Some claim that using the Internet for it is as simple as using it for other online activities like social media or blogging, but where do you begin? We've created a guide that'll help you launch your e-commerce business (or, perhaps, how to operate it better) in support of all aspiring and current business owners.
Do you need an E-Commerce license for your online business?
Traditional brick-and-mortar businesses in Malaysia had no choice but to go online due to the pandemic and periodic lockdowns. Similarly to this, individuals turned to online selling during the pandemic to bolster their income. Many people, meanwhile, were uninformed that they needed to register their online business. The Malaysian Consumer Protection (Electronic Trade Transactions) Regulations 2012 must be followed by all online businesses. This comprises companies that conduct commerce on social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and Instagram.
Maximum penalty: RM50,000, jail, or both
Failure to comply is a crime subject to punishment under the Registration of Business Act. The highest penalty is RM50,000 ($13,00 USD), which can be paid in fines, jail time, or both. This is not a minor infraction, and it is not worth the risk for those looking to supplement their current income. Registration simply costs RM30 and is a straightforward process. Other advantages for businesses include having access to microloans and insurance protection.
Where to register your online business in Malaysia?
Go to the Government of Malaysia’s website for a more in-depth guide: Business Registration Information
How to start an e-commerce business
People generally assume that "I just need to build a website and sell things" when outlining online business. This is not incorrect, although there are a few different kinds of "online business". The first step in setting up your business online is to decide what you want to "sell" and the nature of your business.
Select your product and develop your brand identity.
Knowing what products you want to sell directly to consumers is the first step toward establishing an online business. The hardest element of launching a new online business is frequently this. Knowing there are many different types of Internet businesses now, you need at least to have an idea of the kind of business you want to run and the kind of product you want to offer.
- Physical products include clothing, cosmetics, and phone accessories.
- Electronic books, apps, and software
- Services include website development, photography, and portfolio websites.
- Selling a product from another company as an affiliate or reseller
The aforementioned examples should have at least given you some insight into what you can anticipate selling in your online business. But before you do anything, it is advised that you take into account the disruptive question, "Why do I want to start an online business in Malaysia?" Everything should serve a purpose. Check to see if yours is strong.
Register your e-commerce through Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM)
Well, you can't just start a business without following the proper legal steps. Therefore, in order to establish a legitimate online business in Malaysia, you must first register your company with Suruhanjaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM). Here is a comprehensive tutorial on how to register your business with SuruhanJaya Syarikat Malaysia (SSM).
But first, make sure you are aware of the types of Malaysian businesses you intend to represent: Enterprise (sole proprietor or partnership) or Sdn Bhd.
The fun part now is naming your business after you've decided what kind of business you'll be running. Although we've mentioned it would be fun, it does not suggest you should slack; in fact, this will serve as a permanent reminder of your company's overall brand. Also, choose your business category wisely because it is crucial. Be specific in how you conduct business. If you don't want future problems with your payment gateway application, don't include anything irrelevant beneath the description. For example, if you offer Vans shoes, you can categorize them as Fashion & Apparel.
Configure domain name, hosting, and email address
It's time to get down to business now that your company registration is complete. To get your e-commerce company off the ground, you can first register your own company domain name and generate a suitable email address. As an online business owner, you should have a domain name that serves as both an authoritative custom web address and a means of identity. It provides you with a distinctive, reliable web address, or your own ".com.my" based on the registered name of your business.
After that comes hosting setup. It is, in fact, a rental online disc space where you may keep all of your digital assets, including text for web design, images, and videos for your websites. You can safely store and show your files in this area.
We have dived into hosting in a blog about mobile app maintenance. Let me direct you to our blog here if you want a longer read on this.
After that is finished, you should create your own specific company email address. Unbelievable as it may seem, using company-branded email is always the best way for building customer loyalty to your brand. Everyone can create a free email account, but not everyone has a reliable @yourdomain.com email address at the rear of the address.
Improve website design and content creation.
In order to increase website traffic, it is essential to create a user-friendly website. And that comes to an effective interplay of User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) for an effective Software Design, which we have again dived deep into in our previous blog post. To market your homepage, make sure you're utilizing the most recent updated version of the commercial layout. Your placement in the SERP will be impacted by the caliber of your website design.
Always be sure to feed your audience useful information when creating content. Do not flood your page with unrelated content or copy text from other websites. The best strategy is to give them brand-new information that is only available from your website. Your bespoke content must be distinct and highly readable for your readers (by being straightforward and easy to understand). Additionally, you may want to maximize the use of popular search terms in your content. This will later improve your search engine optimization (SEO).
Promote your business
It's typical for a start-up business to receive little or no attention in the initial months of operation. You will need to put in more effort if you want to appear in the search results because it will take time for search engines like Google to index your website. Here comes the role of promotion and advertising in promoting your online store.
The most popular method is to use Facebook advertising. Due to Malaysia having one of the highest Facebook penetration rates worldwide, your company's ranking will benefit from increased visitors and backlinks. Instagram advertising is another effective strategy. Make the most of this platform to promote your goods and services in the most inventive way possible, especially since many younger generations have switched from Facebook to Instagram. Utilize clever and modern catchphrases to capture their interest and occasionally tempt them with realistic deals and promotions.
Are Facebook and Instagram still useful in the modern economy, given the rise of TikTok? Our e-commerce growth insights in Malaysia for 2023 have the answer.
Other online strategies for you to work on include Google AdWords advertising, email marketing, pay-per-click campaigns, and various kinds of SEO efforts. In addition, you can use offline options like newspapers and publications. You might also pay a specific radio or television station to advertise your online store.
With digitalization, you can start and grow the future! Finding an accredited mobile app developer is tricky. We step in at this point. Lizard Global is more than just another software and app development company; we also develop custom websites and mobile applications specific to your business needs. Our experienced group of professionals works with startups and businesses to realize ideas from discovery to launch.
We approach each web design and development project with thought, passion, and purpose. We are able to develop the best digital representation of your brand and an optimal user experience for your audience thanks to our MVP Agile development process. By prioritizing the needs of the consumer, we create products that can develop together with your company. Speak to our e-commerce specialists to know more!