Why Traditional Businesses in Malaysia Should Embrace Digital in 2018
Malaysia, one of the fastest growing nations in South East Asia has a population close to 32 million as of January 2018, with over 76% of the nation urbanized. Having a high urbanization rate allows its population access to the latest technologies, as such almost 79% of Malaysians have access to the Internet and close to 75% are active social media users.
In recent years, mobile has been the preferred platform for Malaysians to access the Internet with a 68% penetration rate. Mobile users have been growing rapidly, having a growth rate of 2% since January 2017, in ten years’ time there will be close to 80% of the population accessing the Internet via mobile devices.
It is reported that Malaysians spend an average of 8 and a half hours accessing the Internet, of which 3 hours are spent on social media. The number of Internet users mean little if the mentality of the users are conservative, however Malaysians possess a positive attitude towards technology with 60% of users believing In the opportunities offered by technologies as well as preferring to complete tasks digitally whenever possible. This is a positive outlook for e-commerce, online booking systems or even prospecting online. What does this mean for businesses who are still not online? Well it simply means that you are missing out on a huge potential of having your business found by millions of potential customers across the nation. There’s no better time to embrace digital than now! You may not see instant returns on your initial investment into digital, but the returns will come eventually if you are online.
If you are still not convinced of the importance of digital for your business then perhaps you should consider the potential of a digitally connected business being found online. Reports from Hootsuite say that out of the 25 million Malaysian Internet users, 53% use search engines while 18% look for product information online on a weekly basis. Users can’t find what’s not there, and a business that’s not digitally connected will not show up on these users search results. The top 5 websites ranked by Alexa in January 2018 are Google, Youtube, Google Malaysia, Lazada and Yahoo, with Facebook coming in at number six. Four out of the top five websites visited by Malaysians are search engines, Youtube being the second largest search engine globally for the uninitiated.
Don’t take my word for it, believe in the stats and numbers presented. Don’t be left behind while competitors speed ahead on the digital highway, leaving the laggards in the dust. Don’t continue to waste precious advertising dollars on traditional media, 31% of users who bought a new product or service were first introduced to it via online advertising! Don’t put off your business’ digital strategy any further, if not now then when? Time is not slowing down, and the digital landscape sure isn’t waiting for anyone, the longer you wait the more you lose out, it’s that simple.
With that I’d like to bring this piece to an end, do leave your views on the importance of digital for businesses whether you are a business owner or not below. I’d love to hear your different opinions. Till next time.
All reported stats and figures are based of the Hootsuite Digital in 2018: Asia Pacific Report.