Amazon Global Selling held inaugural 2021 Amazon Expo-Seller Boot Camp

Amazon Global Selling held its inaugural 2021 Amazon Expo – Seller Boot Camp to further introduce cross-border e-commerce to MSMEs and inform how Amazon global infrastructure and resources can empower them to develop a global business. The Boot Camp featured a wide range of service providers who can support MSMEs in different stages of going global. Amazon Global Selling also shared insights on the e-commerce landscape and prospects in Malaysia. According to the survey released by Amazon Global Selling, Malaysia has more manufacturers and sellers developing cross-border e-commerce with 14.09% of those joining the survey starting their journey of going global. This is the 2nd highest percentage among SEA countries like Singapore, Philippines and Thailand.

“Malaysia e-commerce is still a relatively new but rapidly developing sector,” said Bernard Tay, Head of Amazon Global Selling, Southeast Asia. “The surge of demand for online shopping under the lockdown begets the digital model of doing business as part of the new normal, alongside business innovation and technological adoption. Based on our latest report, Malaysia MSMEs want to develop more robust capabilities for cross-border e-commerce – from understanding business models and international logistics to cross-border operation, regulation and foreign competition. Our first-ever Seller Boot Camp thus comes as a timely opportunity for small enterprises to identify the current gaps in their operations and arm themselves with the knowledge, resources, and connections to sustainably expand their business globally, and maximize their potential with Amazon.”

Over 1000 MSMEs registered for the Seller Boot Camp — a virtual event hosted to equip sellers with the resources needed to overcome cross-border e-commerce barriers. Over the course of three days, MSMEs attended a series of lectures from industry experts on key topics ranging from cross-border payments, shipping and tax implications to conversion funnels and marketing. The launch of the Boot Camp was a result of the insights released in the Cross-Border E-commerce Awareness & Perception Report which surveyed 1,600 MSMEs (400 per country) across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines and based on this survey was designed to resolve the sellers’ pain point of lack of knowledge required for cross border ecommerce.

The opportunities and challenges to tackle

Customers shopping behavior is shifting to online quickly. Cross-border e-commerce, which optimizes the process of trade can help sellers reach global customers directly and represents a global opportunity. Research shows that overall cross-border B2C E-Commerce market value was forecasted to surge by 30% from 2019 to 2026[1]. Amazon Global Selling encourages sellers to explore the opportunity to build a global business. Amazon is also offering innovative programs and tools to help sellers accelerate this digital transformation.

Amidst the opportunities for growth through e-commerce, the local MSMEs cited the following critical barriers when selling cross-border: (1) difficultly in managing cross-border supply chains and logistics, (2) high operation costs, and (3) the intense competition with international sellers on Amazon.

Difficultly in managing cross-border supply chains and logistics is the most common challenge faced by Malaysia MSMEs surveyed, with 47% citing it as their top barrier. While Amazon has been investing over the years to build world-class fulfillment and delivery network. Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA), can help MSMEs store their products in Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and Amazon will pick, pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. At the Boot camp, global logistic service providers also shared how they can support MSMEs on cross-border logistics management, to help them better tackle these challenges.

Operation and competition is another key barrier to selling overseas via e-commerce. 71% admitted that they are not well-prepared to meet the demands and preferences of consumers overseas. However, Malaysia has the highest brand owners in B2C e-commerce at 14.36%, compared to their counterparts from SEA, and therefore possesses great potential for future long-term development.

Global resources with regional efforts to support the journey of going global

Amazon offers various resources for MSMEs across the world to expand their business to a global level and complement existing efforts by collaboration with the industry and government agencies. Over the course of 2019 and 2020, Amazon have invested more than $30 billion in logistics, tools, services, programs, and people worldwide to foster the growth of our selling partners.

Earlier this year in February, Amazon Global Selling held its first ever online Seller Summit in Malaysia. The two-day virtual conference, provided educational support for Malaysia MSMEs who are looking to sell on Amazon. Besides, Amazon Global Selling and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE) are also collaborating on e-Commerce trainings, resources and programs for Malaysian MSME retailers to support them in expanding their businesses globally. Last April, the two parties have jointly promoted the MATRADE’s eTRADE Program 2.0, which assists new companies in embarking on cross-border e-commerce.

20 October 2021

Author: Terry KS

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