[This is a sponsored article with Amazon Global Selling.]
Malaysia’s digital transformation is underway and one of the sectors that has seen immense growth in the past few years is e-commerce.
From January to September 2021 alone, e-commerce revenue totalled RM801.2 billion, a 23.1% increase year-on-year, according to the Department Of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM).
A whole new generation of entrepreneurs rose from the recent challenges, starting their own businesses. At the same time, consumers who were stuck at home began doing more online purchases (perhaps even to the extent of revenge spending) to make up for the lack of physical shopping.
But domestic e-commerce is just one area of opportunity. Though some sellers who are new to the scene may think cross-border e-commerce is too far-fetched of a dream, there are solutions to make it a reality.
This is what our partner for this article, Amazon Global Selling aims to do. The programme wants to help more Malaysian sellers make the leap into the US market, in particular, where e-commerce sales surged by over 30% in 2020 alone.
With that objective in mind, here are the 5 benefits offered by Amazon Global Selling to its sellers.
1. Reach a global customer base easily with Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA)
Amazon has a physical presence in 21 countries and over 185 fulfilment centres worldwide, which means you don’t need your own physical store to reach its base of over 300 million active customer accounts, including more than 200 Prime members worldwide. Prime members are loyal customers who shop online with Amazon regularly.
Sellers might still worry about navigating local customs and providing customer service in the local language though, so this is where Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) comes in.
Essentially, it provides sellers access to Amazon’s widespread logistics network. With FBA, businesses send products to the store’s fulfilment centres, which fully handle the receiving, packing, shipping, customer service, and returns when a customer makes a purchase.
This helps sellers achieve consistency and reliability in customer service no matter the distance or time zone differences.
Plus, with a global presence, sellers can take advantage of peak seasons elsewhere when facing a downtime of seasonal sales in their own countries.
2. Kickstart your global e-commerce journey with a RM5,000 grant
MATRADE launched the eTRADE Programme 2.0 to assist Malaysian SMEs in accelerating exports, especially cross-border e-commerce.
The grant from the scheme covers traders onboarding onto Amazon and includes listing or subscription fees, photography services, and shipping costs to warehouse facilities overseas such as FBA.
To qualify for the scheme you must be a first-time subscriber to eTRADE and your business must be in operation for a minimum of six months.
3. Choose a plan based on your business growth stage
Starting any new venture has inherent risks and Amazon Global Selling has flexible plans to fit your business at whichever phase it’s currently at:
The Individual plan is recommended to sellers who are trying out their product’s traction on Amazon for the first time.
Meanwhile, the Professional plan has been tailor-made to enhance a business’ traction, particularly since sellers can get one-on-one account management support from account managers.
To add, they can access more inventory tools that can help them upload batch files and manage orders through feeds and reports.
Professional plan users can also customise shipping rates and durations for their products. Last but not least, the plan is one criteria of eligibility for the Featured Offer, which amplifies a brand’s visibility on the platform.
4. Find support in a community of other Malaysian sellers
Selling from your bedroom starts off as a romantic idea, but it can end up being a lonely journey if you’re unsure of where to look for support.
That’s why there are various local initiatives conducted by Amazon that are available for Malaysian sellers, like the Facebook group Amazon Seller Community Southeast Asia.
Sellers are encouraged to ask questions and share tips in the group for them to grow and learn from each other. In line with that, there’s also the Amazon Seller Ambassadors Program that conducts meetups, workshops, conferences, and more.
You can watch the testimony of Malaysian ambassador Wong Kia Chik (KC) in a webinar here. KC began his Amazon selling journey in 2013 from his home in Penang and has a wealth of experience to share.
With a thriving community, sellers on Amazon don’t have to walk the entrepreneurial journey alone.
5. Upskill in global e-commerce with a wealth of free resources
They’ve got training events for days at Amazon with many of them focusing on Malaysian sellers.
For example, there was a joint webinar with MATRADE, Axis Group, Aramex, and WorldFirst covering the eTRADE Programme 2.0 and its efforts to increase cross-border eCommerce opportunities.
The 2-hour webinar contains insights from the likes of Axis Group who shared what it takes for products to go global and how they onboard businesses to global e-commerce markets with case studies from Mak Nyonya and Bmama Maternity.
Then there was another summit that covered more ground and educated users on topics like achieving success with Amazon, how to improve discoverability, or delivering on e-commerce fulfilment.
These resources are free for anyone to consume and are probably required reading for SMEs thinking about going global with their product. Sellers who wish to stay updated with upcoming webinars can check out this page for timely sign-ups.