Malaysian-based regional leading e-commerce ‘all in one’ ecosystem player Commerce.Asia foresees stronger growth ahead due to the booming domestic and regional e-commerce market.
The Commerce.Asia group recorded Group Gross Merchandise Volumes (GMV) of RM3.5 billion (USD 850 million) in 2020, and its chief operating officer Sam Shin Gern (pic) forecasts that gross profit is set to almost double for 2021 due to the industry’s continued strong growth.
“Our GMV in the first half of this year alone was RM2.96 Billion which was almost equivalent to the whole of last year,” said Sam. “We are confident that our GMV this year will more than double compared to last year. This is not surprising as online shopping is now a substantial part of the ‘new norm’ with more Malaysians shifting their spending habits towards online platforms, with this trend accelerating due to restrictions imposed as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
A study conducted by Google and Temasek revealed that Malaysia’s e-commerce industry amounted to USD3 billion in 2019, USD6 billion in 2020 before leaping to USD13 billion in 2025. At the regional level, the Southeast Asia e-commerce was valued at USD38 billion in 2019, USD62 billion in 2020 and set to soar to USD172 billion in 2025.
Meanwhile, IDC Malaysia senior research manager Dharmaraj Sivalingam told SME.Asia that the pandemic has accelerated the need for Southeast Asian countries to onboard digital approaches to engage with customers.
“Organisations are focussing technology investments into developing unified omni-channel commerce platforms and leveraging critical technology partnerships to capitalise on the growing e-commerce industry. Based on a recent survey, IDC sees that 52% percent of Asia Pacific retailers expect a 6 to 10% growth in omni-channel profitability, whereas 27% expect more than 10% profitability growth in the next 12 to 24 months,” said Dharmara.
“Digital resiliency is no longer viewed as a luxury, rather it is a staple to ensure organizations can rapidly adapt to both incremental and extreme change in the current climate,” he added.
How Commerce.Asia ensures businesses succeed online: A one-stop ecosystem for merchants
Sam explained that the e-commerce landscape as a whole is growing by leaps and bounds, and cautioned businesses which do not have an e-commerce presence that they would lose out. “Brands and retailers who have yet to embrace e-commerce are disadvantaged as consumer buying patterns have shifted dramatically to online purchases,” said Sam, adding that the pandemic has accelerated this trend. “e-commerce is a major avenue for companies to future-proof their business models.”
“By embracing e-commerce, businesses expand their geographical limitations, gain new customers while also while also lowering operational costs,” he added. “What’s more, e-commerce means being opened for business 24/7 while also enabling deals and group buying for customers looking to buy in bulk.”
On the Commerce.Asia front, the group is a one-stop ecosystem with technologies and services that allow merchants to sell online more effectively. This covers warehousing, delivery, product listing on various marketplaces, order management, customer service and marketing of products. The group today comprises ten Malaysian enablers, including Sitegiant, an omnichannel platform for urban e-commerce and regarded by industry as the “Shopify of Malaysia and Southeast Asia.”
The holistic approach centralises all the business operations for their clients, rather than requiring companies to hire multiple people in order to oversee different business processes. “While other competitors rely on third party components, we are ‘all in one’ which makes us more cost-effective with superior operational efficiencies,” explained Sam.
“When starting out, some brands may be intimidated by the complexities of processes involved. They no longer have to worry with if they partner with us due to our ‘omni-channel strategy’, and managed services; they just put the products in our warehouse and we handle everything for them.”
Sam emphasised that the group’s philosophy is to constantly seek ‘win-win’ partnerships with clients while helping them generate sustainable revenue and increase profits consistently. “Our group comprise specialist e-commerce companies with complementary businesses to support each other, create synergies and thus to help our client’s online businesses grow.”
Currently, Commerce.Asia is known to have the region’s most comprehensive ecosystem with a database of over 8 million SMEs across 7 countries and 102,000 active sellers that sell over USD850 million worth of good annually. This is done through Commerce.Asia’s various omnichannel, delivery fulfilment, dropship and merchandising platforms.
Sam explained that the group’s end-to-end one-stop solution manages all aspects of clients’ online businesses: From developing their own online stores to managing product sales across multiple e-marketplaces.
“We cover aspects of e-commerce that businesses often have to struggle to learn, including warehousing, payment, delivery, marketing and order management. It’s a commitment to truly removing the stress of working with technology for businesses that may not be so tech savvy,” he added.
Growing a local client’s GMV by more than 1,000% in a year
One of Commerce.Asia’s many success stories is one Malaysia’s largest bedding accessories companies. After taking over the client’s official store, Commerce.Asia grew the client’s GMV by more than 1,000% from RM98,174 as at December 2019 to RM1.14 million a year later.
“We also took the lead in helping this client with their marketing efforts and, as a result, their ROAS (incremental revenue divided by marketing investment) shot up to 7 times the investment,” said Sam, adding that Commerce.Asia also assisted in opening new markets for the client in neighbouring countries (Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam and Singapore).
“Through e-commerce, we empowered this business to access across untapped potential within their customer demographic, and reach out to various consumers through some of the most popular e-commerce marketplaces in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.”
At the fast pace that it is growing, Commerce.Asia is certainly a Malaysian group to watch with it growing from strength to strength.
Some industry observers also remarked that it is currently well positioned to become one of Malaysia’s ‘unicorns’ in the years ahead. (a start-up company valued at over USD1 billion).
Last year, the group was recognised by the United States’ APAC CIO Outlook magazine as the Best E-commerce Consulting/Services Company among the selected Top 10 companies in the Asia-Pacific.