Back in 2003, during the outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) in Hong Kong and China, the e-commerce industry, which was at that time taking baby steps, suddenly needed to grow up and be counted due to growing consumer demand for online purchases.
The arrival of another pandemic – Covid-19 in early 2020 – really saw e-commerce take off in a big way. This paradigm shift in consumer behaviour has happened overnight, benefitting early adopters of e-commerce platforms, while those late to the game have suffered and are racing to getonline.
Take the case of Malaysia: The e-commerce industry last year (2020) easily more than doubled, as compared to 2019, when it grew by 30% - 50%.
Commerce.Asia forecasts that, this year, the e-commerce industry would grow north of 50%, because people are more familiar online, and there’s more trust about buying online, coupled with logistics and payments infrastructure getting more mature, and new digital sales channels developing.
Indeed, e-commerce has revolutionised consumer buying patterns with many households now turningto the convenience of shopping online.
As a result, businesses now need to start paying more attention to their online presence.They will need to invest inmarketing to ensure that they can capture online customers to buy from them because, whether they like it or not, the future is going to be online.
That said, since the world and trade are progressivelybecoming more ‘borderless’ than ever, it’s becoming an even more crowded market online with strong global competition.
Competition is a good thing for consumers as it would drive down prices, especially for pandemic hit economies.
The flip side of the coin is that it has also caused many of our local SMEs struggling to survive.
This goes to demonstrate the importance of actually having multi-channels and building brand and awareness online.
One of the tools that we have developed at Commerce.Asia was the enablement of Live Commerce on Facebook Live commerce. Essentially is about the fusion of e-commerce and live-streaming which centres around influencers showcasing and promoting products and services to viewers, and bringing the concept of ‘entertain-merce’ to life.
We expect this industry to soar in the years ahead, which is why Commerce.Asiahas successfully teamed up with Netccentric Ltd – renowned as being ‘Asia’s prioneering growth ecosystem’ – to establish Nuffnang Live Commerce in 2H 2020 with an aim of serving as a live commerce enabler for companies looking to expand their e-commerce business.
The name Nuffnang stems from Netccentric’s wholly-owned subsidiary NuffnangSdnBhd, an established ‘influencer’ and content marketing company in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.
Today, Nuffnang has one of the largest influencer community reach in Malaysia (by revenue) and has one of the most comprehensive networks of some 13,000 celebrities, personalities and content creators across all levels of society and diversity with a collective reach to more than 20 million consumers in Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
Integrating our influencer, content and e-commerce expertise, we now provide end-to-end live video commerce solutions from live video production to payment and product fulfilment and delivery with Nuffnang Live Commerce.
This platform solution is API integrated with Facebook to provide a seamless user interface for merchants, from automated order management to online payment.
We also recently integrated Nuffnang Live Commerce with Shopify, thereby empowering Shopify’s merchants to promote and sell directly on Facebook Live.
And almost any product can be sold online today! For example, seafood – previously, you couldn’t sell seafood online, because the cold chain was not available at that time. Today, however, with cold chain infrastructure improvements, anybody can buy seafood online.
As a result, and as per this example, people today are buying seafood from live commerce sessions. So the number of products that cannot be sold online is already reducing over time as logistics improves.
Today, Commerce.Asia has a database of 8 million small medium enterprises spread across 7 countries, coupled with 102,000 active sellers who sold more than RM3.4 billion (or more than USD850 million) worth of goods in 2020.