Hoseok Kim (pic above), Chief Executive Officer of 11street, said: "Based on the findings of our survey, we can conclude that the online shopping sphere in Malaysia is thriving, fuelled by a strong potentials for it to mature further and grow."
Through its recent nationwide survey from 15 to 21 November 2016, in which 3,507 respondents participated, online marketplace 11street said it has overall confidence in the country's online retail sector for 2017.According to a new survey of shoppers from all 14 Malaysian states, there are five leading trends for the coming year.
"The survey revealed the psyche of Malaysian consumers who shop online, and provided us with the information to form our predictions for Malaysian eCommerce in 2017," he said. "More than 80 percent of the respondents said they shop online and 59 percent said they shop online at least once a month or more frequently," said Kim.
"Smartphones continue to lead as the device of choice for Malaysians consumers to shop online, according to 80 percent of the respondents," he said, adding that Malaysia is now equipped with an apt IT infrastructure to pave the way for the e-commerce ecosystem to grow in the country.
In addition, 95 percent of the respondents rated a '5' and above when asked about their satisfaction level with online shopping, and said they "are more than happy with their online shopping experience."
Shoppers also said savings often realised through online shopping allowed them to offset the rising costs of living. Cost savings when shopping online remains a strong driver for eCommerce's continuing growth.
(Read the article for details of the '2017: Five keys for Malaysian eCommerce.) Looking ahead, Kim said: "In 2017, we expect to see a substantial shift in the marketing plans of many businesses, whereby they will transcend from being device-focussed to more people-focussed. After all, consumers these days are not only on the look-out for the best deals, but also other factors that meet their needs and cater to their demands. On top of online deals, good customer service and excellent logistics will set the path for online businesses moving forward."
In the race to develop the talent required to drive ICT's role as catalyst, Daniel Ng (pic above), Senior Director, APAC, Cloudera, said, "With the rise of big data technology increasingly being leveraged for deeper insights and smarter decision making, there remains a growing need for skilled data professionals in extracting, managing, and deriving value from data for business advantage. This is a pressing need that will only continue to grow.
Speaking of the company's BASE training initiative with MDEC, Ng, said: "[It] is designed to strategically fill the skilled data professionals gap that the industry is currently facing, BASE pulls industry players and academic institutions together to equip more people with necessary skills in the areas of big data and analytics. The initiative also encompasses elements whereby trained data professionals will be matched to opportunities across sectors where their skills are required. The Cloudera BASE initiative is currently an ongoing effort in Singapore, Malaysia, China, and Korea. It is also set to be launched in Indonesia, India, and ANZ in the near future. The BASE initiative is well aligned with the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation's (MDEC) vision to develop Malaysia into a Big Data Analytics (BDA) hub for the ASEAN region."
"The overall ICT industry in Malaysia isn't just expanding, it's exploding, and simply because technology is the future for this country and our region," he said. "As an emerging Asian economy aspiring towards a technology-driven hub, Malaysia is actively pursuing the development of strategic resources such as human capital, research and development, and skills transfer to make this aspiration a reality."
"In line with this, some of the advances gaining new ground in Malaysia are technologies like Cloud, BDA, and the Internet of Things (IoT)," said Ng. "As a result, the ICT industry is experiencing huge growth and an increase in demand for specific technology skills, and we see a high uptake of trends particularly within data-rich industries like healthcare, finance, and telecommunications. In the near future, we are also going to see the shift beyond big data analytics towards areas like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)."
"Beyond the private sector leveraging big data for smarter decision making, the public sector has also been actively engaged in smart government efforts which demand a shift in focus on how technology is used. These ongoing efforts are aimed to represent the next level of government-to-citizen interaction," he said.
"Finally, in 2016, we have also seen cybersecurity take centre stage as business and government leaders are realising the need to reinforce cybersecurity infrastructure in order to protect their data assets," said Ng. "With the reliance on technology and big data, more and more organisations are realising that big data analytics is crucial in detecting advanced cyber threats, and that this is not fully possible with traditional technologies. Beyond that, it is clear that cybersecurity is a national imperative. The National Cyber Security Policy, recently introduced by the Malaysian government, has been designed to facilitate Malaysia's move towards a knowledge-based economy (K-economy) based on a National Cyber Security Framework."
"With the private and public sector collaborating to drive technological developments, this has resulted in tremendous impact on the economic development in Malaysia. Case in point - the 2016 edition of the World Bank's 'Ease of doing business' report ranks Malaysia at 18th in the world, and the second in Southeast Asia, after Singapore," he said. "The rapidly advancing technology landscape in this nation will continue to play an important role in Malaysia's development as an economic hub."
"The exciting pace in which Malaysia's ICT industry is growing may not be matched by the relevant available human capital, creating a skills gap which needs urgent attention," warned Ng. "The vision 2020 developed nation status can be achieved successfully only when the necessary resources are available to make it a reality. The digital skills gap in the workforce cannot be denied, but what Malaysia can be proud of is the aggressive efforts put in place to reduce it, with the aim of eventually closing this skills gap."
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