, pub-5475981771945671, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

eCommerce is now key in brand building for Malaysian brands

eCommerce is now key in brand building for Malaysian brands

Consumer shopping habits in Malaysia have led in a surge in eCommerce in recent years. The rising frequency of internet purchases, particularly during MCOs, demonstrates this.

And eCommerce has unquestionably become a critical instrument for local businesses in their move from old business practises to current technology adoption.

We spoke with Ms Ipek Akinci, the Country Manager for Philips Domestic Appliances in Singapore, Malaysia, and Emerging Markets, to learn more about how eCommerce has altered the way people do business and shop online in Malaysia.

She is in charge of Philips Domestic Appliances’ entire strategy, direction, and management in Singapore, Malaysia, and Emerging Markets.

While the endemic stage of COVID-19 is now the new normal, she believes the trend to go online and change the way items are displayed and sold will continue.

“ECommerce has indefinitely shaped up to be a key brand building tool which has allowed brands to further understand our consumers’ shopping behaviour, which in return enables us to meet their growing expectations through tailored solutions that positively influence their purchasing decisions. 

“Even today, as Malaysia is stepping into the endemic stage, this trend continues and is here to stay. In terms of shopping behaviour, nearly half of the Southeast Asian consumers are saying they prefer shopping online and 80% of new online shoppers are saying they will even continue to do so post-pandemic,” she says.

Speaking of Philips Domestic Appliances and its strategy in the wake of this massive change, she says, the company is focusing on continuing to strengthen its eCommerce channels for a more seamless and connected shopping experience for its consumers.

eCommerce in the past two years

Since marketing is also facing challenges, we asked Ms Ipek Akinci how has the consumer journey changed and affected the marketing strategies?

“As consumers’ needs and wants evolve over the years due to digital enhancements, changes in the economy, and the tight restrictions during the pandemic, these factors have inevitably led to the emergence of new consumer trends. A prominent result is a surge in online shopping – an activity we are all guilty of indulging in,” she says. 

She adds that while turning to online platforms to purchase has been a common practice long before the pandemic, the extent to which it is relied on these past two years have caused brands to shift their focus and strategy in order to meet consumers’ demands.

Just having an online presence is not enough in these recent times as buyers are not just simply using these platforms to make purchases, they are also searching and evaluating, she told WorldFuture.

Consumers also appreciate engagement on a personal level with brands. Efforts such as timely rewards and promotions during seasonal moments, active meaningful and personalised interactions, all can affect the consumers’ purchase journey, leading to higher brand conversion and eventually brand loyalty. 

Another interesting fact to point out is that the rating and reviews function is another tool that impacts the customer journey. While it is considered a non-sales metric, it helps brands like us to determine our success on an eCommerce platform.

Customers seek for honest reviews by other consumers like themselves, rather than hard sell advertising. Being able to monitor what our customers are saying in our product reviews are important. It also ensures that we know how to improve on our offerings which in turn would be able to receive higher ratings for future products, she says.

The e-commerce strategy

Thanks to the data and reach eCommerce platforms such as Lazada and Shopee provide, Philips Domestic Appliances is able to offer more than just products.

We are able to provide added value to our consumers’ daily lives as we are able to gauge and understand what they are looking for – hence delivering exactly just that.

Ms Ipek Akinci, the Country Manager for Philips Domestic Appliances in Singapore, Malaysia, 
and Emerging Markets

“Consumer-centricity is at the heart of what we do and our partnerships with these digital platforms align with our vision of transforming houses into homes, ultimately improving people’s quality of life. Our eCommerce strategy will primarily focus on building the best-in-class D2C capabilities within the region through a variety of brand engagement activities with our consumers.

“We’ve successfully partnered with these two platforms  and others to meet consumers’ demands through 2021 and are continuing this strategy into 2022. In fact, it is projected that 70% of our revenue in APAC will come from eCommerce.

“We are reorganising ourselves internally to build a future-ready and best-in-class organization to capture the opportunities of the growth of eCommerce to ensure we continue our success and adapt accordingly to the changing market.”

Success story

She told WorldFuture the company’s strategy is to deliver satisfactory results. This includes wins during promotion seasons such as mega campaign days. During the Lazada and Shopee 12.12 mega sales campaigns, Philips Domestic Appliances products took the top spot as best-selling brand in Southeast Asia in the Small Kitchen Appliances category. 

“We also have seen increased sales across all our categories during the pandemic from 2019 to 2021 in Malaysia: air fryer (over 85%), air purifiers (over 110%), coffee machines (close to 80%) and stick vacuums (over 450%).

“These are proof of how consumers are seeking healthy and convenient alternatives to improve their quality of life as they spend more time at home, as they put more thought and effort into making their homes to be a safe, comfortable and connected space,” she says.

She adds that the company is confident that eCommerce platforms will continue to be a winning platform for the company to reach consumers as the Asia Pacific (APAC) region has the fastest growing and biggest share of retail for e-commerce.

“In fact, by 2025, the eCommerce channel is projected to account for more than 60% of total retail in APAC. We are proud to mention that in almost all of the APAC countries where we have a presence in, they have seen a higher on-line shopping penetration than the global average and it is growing rapidly.”

Check on us again next Monday for the part two of the interview in which Ms Akinci speaks on the Singapore market and on the impact of IoT in the region.