A mobile-first approach makes it easier for businesses to enhance customer engagement, boost user experience, and increase the overall buyer experience. Morgan Stanley revealed that since 2014, mobile devices have witnessed more active internet users than desktops. Google’s Consumer Barometer 2015 revealed that 52% of Malaysians access internet using smartphones. Another report by statista.com pointed out there will be 13.7 million smartphone users in Malaysia by 2019 and that by the end of 2016 the country will boast of having more than 11 million smartphone users.
Should Your Business Build a Website?
by Randi Chiah | Digital Lead, eBusiness at Maxis
Here’s an astounding fact: A full 50 percent of Malaysian businesses didn’t have a digital presence in 2015, according to Bank Negara. No website, no social presence, nothing.
The question is: How are these companies marketing their products and services?
They aren’t. Well, not in any meaningful way.
However, there are already over 19 million Malaysians who are internet users and according to Google’s Consumer Barometer for Malaysia, 80 percent of these connected Malaysians research online before they make a purchase.
Malaysians do a lot more online research compared to buyers from other Asian countries. In Singapore, 60 percent of consumers go online to research before making a purchase. In the Philippines, it’s 65 percent, and in Hong Kong, it’s 65 percent.
The imperative is clear – your business needs an online presence to stay relevant to the hyper-connected consumers. And it’s really not difficult at all. There are plenty of resources and tools online available to help you get started and depending on the nature of business you are in, you may choose to either create a social media presence or build a website for your business.
Here are benefits of creating a website for your business :
- It gives you visibility. A full 48 percent of Malaysians, say they first came across a product or offer online, as they researched during pre-purchase. In other words, they wouldn’t have discovered an offering if it didn’t have a digital presence.
- It opens another storefront for you. Did you know that 38 percent of Malaysian shoppers hunting for a product or service said they visited a business website? Now, what if you didn’t have one?
- It’s the first step to e-commerce. Over 30 percent of Malaysians buy online and that number is growing. At some point you will want to tap into that market. Having a website is the first step in that direction.
- It expands your geographical dragnet. An ad in a newspaper, or a hoarding, can only target a local market. A website gives your business a wider reach—even an international one.
- It ensures that your business is open all the time. No need to turn customers away because you are closed for the day.
- It allows you to generate leads. Putting your contact number and email up on your website allows you to gather potential clients. It’s even better if you have a contact form.
- It allows you to showcase your products. Having an online store allows you to display a greater amount of your products and services compared to a brochure or an email.
- It lowers the cost of creating market-ware. Brochures and pamphlets are expensive to create and distribute. A website helps you lower this cost.
- It creates a lifetime customer value chain. Once a customer has made a purchase from your business, you are able to re-engage them to upsell and cross-sell. A website ensures they have access to updated product or service news, promotions, and other types of information.
- It shrinks buyer friction. Most often, a product or service requires a little explaining. With a website, you can increase consumer confidence by adding product testimonials, user guides or video tutorials to ensure customers are more informed - and one step closer to making a purchase.
So if you are one of the thousands of Malaysian businesses without a website, or an online presence in general, you are missing out in selling to a commerce-ready audience. It’s time to fix that.
What’s a pack without a leader? Headless. What’s a ship without a captain? Sinking. What’s a company without a succession plan? Direction-less. No exaggeration this. Packs need leaders to establish supremacy, ships need captains to reach shores, and your company needs a succession plan to stay relevant.
It’s exciting times for online business owners in Malaysia, especially considering the rapid internet and mobile penetration in the country. According to We Are Social, 71% of Malaysian adults own a mobile device and 81 million Malaysians are active mobile users and 47% of them use mobiles to shop online. All these numbers actually translate to huge business opportunities for e-commerce and digital native businesses. But, there are a few key areas that business owners need to keep in mind to ensure a successful online endeavour. Here are four: