Asia Pacific's E-Commerce Statistics at a Glance

Well, this post is all about charts and figures. Read on to get a glimpse of e-commerce outlook in selected countries of Asia Pacific. Hopefully, you will get a rough idea on those markets that you are not particularly familiar with.

Asia Pacific Online Shopping Revenues

7 Reasons to Upgrade Blogshop to E-Commerce Shopping Cart

Blogshop seems to be an unique trend booming only in Singapore and Malaysia. Perhaps, many Singaporeans or Malaysians are accustomed to browse and navigate around blogshop but certainly not me (some might agree with me on this).

Nevertheless, I can't agree more that blogshop is a good platform for individuals or first timers to get a taste on selling online. It is also good for those who are selling products like collectibles or hand-made stuffs (limited quantity per offering). In this case, customers or fans would have just subscribe to the blog feed and check out the offering whenever it is available.

In any other cases, especially when your online business is starting to grow, do consider to commit yourself into setting up a proper online store with shopping cart. In this episode, let's explore features of an online store which are not conveniently available to blogshops.

Whale Done - Build Trust

This is the second episode and the most watched one among the self development videos that I uploaded to YouTube.

In short, it is about building relationship and trust by being sincere and honest, using killer whale training as an example.

Watch it if you have time to spare, or you can just skip to the selected excerpts after the video.

8 Tips on Writing a Programmer's CV

I am not a recruiter by profession but I have read hundreds of programmer's resume over the years. Sad to say, quite a number of the CVs are neither well presented nor urging for a "Let's arrange for an interview".

Therefore, I guess it will be helpful if I list down some of the tips on writing an eye-catching resume.

An Inconvenient Shopping Experience at Acmamall.com

Note: Read the end of this post for latest update.

Acmamall.com started off years ago as an online book retailer in Malaysia and Singapore. Since not long ago, flowers and beauty products are being introduced, as well as shipping to the rest of Asia, Europe, Americas and even Africa!

Their catalog is quite extensive by Malaysia's standard, but personally I am not very impressed with their pricing. Take this book for example, which they are selling at RM 109.16 after "20% discount".


Breaking: PayPal in Ringgit Malaysia!

Well, not really a breaking one if you have noticed the policy updates in your PayPal account.

For those uninitiated, PayPal has just introduced new currencies which included Philipino Peso, Taiwanese Dollar, Thai Baht, Argentinean Peso, Brazilian Reais and yes, Malaysian Ringgit! Nothing official from PayPal yet but if you have a PayPal account, you will be able to check the policy updates as below:

PayPal's policy updates on Ringgit Malaysia

My Twitter Compilation

Years ago, the first thing up and running on my computer was the internet browser. Months ago, it was the feed reader - FeedDemon. Now, the first thing I read up every morning is tweets arriving at my TweetDeck.

Yes, you can say that I am addicted to Twitter. However, I am not a serial poster but enjoy observing updates within my circle of interest. I do tweet occasionally (when geekness kick in) and here are some of my selected tweets.

Malaysia's Gobbledygook Award

Oh jeez, not another flexible, scalable, groundbreaking, industry-standard, cutting-edge product from a market-leading, well positioned company!

How many times have you came across these in web sites or press releases? I guess it's a common sight especially when you are reading some product or company write-ups.

Let's have some fun here. I just did a quick search on local IT companies and I think these deserve to be in the shortlist of Malaysia's Gobbledygook Award. Drum roll...

Setup Your Online Store For Free

Again no, not the blogshop. If you are currently selling on blog, eBay, Lelong or forum, you might want to explore Trosworld to setup your own branded store for free. At the very least your customers will be able to navigate and browse all your offerings with ease.

A little bit on the background, Trosworld was just being officially launched about 1-2 months ago. This year is no doubt the year of e-commerce SaaS in Malaysia, with the launches of webShaper, SMilDS.com and now Trosworld. And I bet there are a few more out there.

Malaysia's E-Commerce Statistics

eCommerce statistics in Malaysia is hard to come by and I have got quite a number of requests on that. Thankfully, there was a special report on Oriental Daily News (yes, the no.4 Chinese Daily) last week presenting updated stats from IDC.

Again, sampling methods used in generating the statistics are not known but the stats itself might be useful as a reference.

Internet Users VS Buying Online

Malaysia E-Commerce Statistics: Internet Users VS Buying Online

Can you believe it? More than 8 million Malaysians (half of our internet population) have actually bought something online. No doubt, most of the numbers are contributed by the airlines and I am not sure whether online financial activities, bill payments etc. are included as well.

A Brand, Quality & Customer Service Story

This is a true story that happened to a friend of mine...

Sometime last year, she bought a pair of shoes from a local brand for more than RM 200. That was the first time she bought from that particular brand thinking that it is a decent brand.

However, the shoes left bruises on her feet within the first 30 minutes she wore it. Mind that those are not high heels but comfy (covered) shoes, and she doesn't have abnormal feet size.

She just felt so disgusted and stop wearing it since. Due to a busy lifestyle, she didn't make the time to lodge any complaint or whatsoever.

Until recently, the founder of that particular brand was on a TV talk show Start 'A' Biz. In that show, he bragged about how his company emphasizes on Brand and Quality. You know what's next, my friend felt even more disgusted, doubting that whether they are really looking into their product's quality before putting it up on stores.

So, she suddenly felt an urge to vent her frustration, by writing to the company's email as well as their Facebook group.

Why Brick & Mortars Should Go Online?

I guess there are a lot of talks on individuals or small businesses starting their e-commerce ventures, but how about those existing brick & mortars? Locally, you don't see many of those expanding their sales channel via online stores.

Why? "How much I have to invest?", "How to run an online store?", "Do I have to hire people to run it?" are some of the questions being asked, which deserves a separate discussion on another day.

In this episode, let's talk about what brick & mortars will gain by going online.

Buy Baju Kurung, Baju Melayu Online for This Coming Raya

Looking for Baju Kurung, Baju Melayu, Traditional Malay Clothings for you and your family?

BintangFashion.com has just been launched to enable shoppers to view and buy clothings online. As part of the store opening promotions together with the upcoming Raya celebrations, you can enjoy free delivery for purchase of RM 50 or above, more details here.

Baju Kurung, Baju Melayu, Baju Raya at BintangFashion.com

Quick Facts on Malaysia's Internet - Past, Present & Future

Malaysians started their internet experience with dial-up internet during the early nineties.

Broadband (or narrowband) is only available since year 2001.

Come November, internet will be celebrating its 40 years anniversary.

Internet only exists in Malaysia for less than 20 years.

Broadband penetration rate in Korea and Singapore is more than 90%.

According to MCMC, broadband penetration rate as of early 2009 was 21%.

Malaysia's Government aims to achieve 50% broadband penetration rate in 2010.

But, PC penetration rate in Malaysia was only 44% in early 2009?

Wanna Get a Free Paypal Bag?

That is, if you sign-up an e-commerce store with webShaper.

Get an Authentic PayPal Crumpler-Style Bag for Free!

How much is it? RM 1 per day or RM 365 per year for a miniStore, inclusive of domain and e-commerce hosting fees.

This is certainly attractive to many blogshops out there to upgrade themselves to "professional sellers". Come to think of it, I personally dislike browsing at most of the blogshops because I have to keep on scrolling up and down, and most are without credit card payment facilities.

Malaysia Crunch is 1 Year Old!

How fast time flies! I started Malaysia Crunch a year ago with the intention of sharing my research and observations, and hopefully connect to people with similar interest.

The blogging experience has been satisfying, with people visiting, commenting and subscribing to this blog. The more exciting part of the experience though, is to meet people ranging from various backgrounds related to the IT industry.

The thing is, I don't think that I can truly understand (technically) and experience social media without this particular blogging experience.

SMilDS.com - E-Commerce 4.0?

Continued from SMilDS.com - Smile Everyday?


You must be wondering how they define E-Commerce 4.0, right?

SMilDS.com - Smile Everyday?

UPDATE: This post has been edited to hide "sensitive" FACTS. This is the best I can do after being asked to remove this post, not by direct contact but instead via a messenger. I have to stress that I wrote about facts (at the time of writing) and looks like someone needs to pick up social media 101.

Looks like there is a new e-commerce player in town, a SaaS one like webShaper by Neowave.

A little bit on the background, SMilDS.com is the brainchild of Platform2u.com. For introduction to this latest "4th generation e-commerce solution", check out the powerful video below:

Stephen Covey: Trim Tab

To be frank, I am not a big fan of Stephen R. Covey or personal development books in general. I just stop reading at the first few pages of his seven habits book. Personally, I very much prefer books like these.

Until recently, I have came across some training materials of a local corporate. I have to admit that to my own surprise, I enjoy most of those personal development videos. This is the first one I wish to share with you all.

Top Mobile Sites in Malaysia

Opera has provided an useful benchmark on popular mobile destinations in Malaysia as well as other selected countries, via the State of the Mobile Web, May 2009 report. Malaysia enjoys a growth rate (as in unique users) of 249.6% since May 2008, third highest in Southeast Asia after Vietnam and Philippines.

Top sites ranked by unique users
1. google.com
2. friendster.com
3. facebook.com
4. yahoo.com
5. myspace.com
6. youtube.com
7. my.opera.com
8. wikipedia.org
9. tagged.com
10. gamejump.com

Comparing to the report in Oct 2008, tagged.com is a new entry in this recent report while the sole local site utusan.com.my has dropped out from the top 10 list. If you look into Southeast Asia region, Malaysia is the only country without a local site in the top tens among countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and even Brunei.

Book: The Google Story

This is the second time I have read this book since the 2006's edition. I may sound like a Google worshiper here but to me, this book is quite enjoyable, albeit some criticisms on the author's Google worshiping himself.

This book is much like a chronology + wikipedia of Google, hence you might be disappointed if you are looking forward to some sorts of technology insights. It is not mind-blowing as well if you have been following Google's development all these years. Nevertheless, I am going to recap some of the interesting events or thoughts about Google here.

Has Facebook Colonized Asia?

Previously, I spoke about Facebook superseding Friendster in Asia, or more precisely Southeast Asia. However, Facebook is facing bigger challenges to beat or even catch up with its competitors in other parts of Asia, especially China, Japan and South Korea.

Social Networks Around the World

The map above is an interesting visualization by Vincenzo Cosenza built using Alexa and Google Trends for Website traffic data in June 2009.

How I Consume The News?

Continued from An Observation on Newsprint Circulation...

Newspaper

Newspaper

Yes, I still read newspapers mainly for general news. Sin Chew is on my daily information consumption schedule while I do read The Star on weekends if I have time to burn. Why Sin Chew? Because I think it is quite politically neutral and being a Chinese myself, I would like to get in touch with updates on Chinese community.

An Observation on Newsprint Circulation

Continued from Online News Portal in Malaysia...

After looking at the online figures, let's check out some of the selected Peninsular Malaysia statistics from Analysis of Print Media by MSA.

Total Newspaper Circulation 1988 – 2008 (Peninsular Malaysia)

Total newspaper circulation is generally on the rise since 1998. Actual figure for 2008 should have stood higher though if data from Nanyang, Malay Mail and Weekend Mail are included.

Online News Portal in Malaysia

According to comScore (via The Edge), the average daily readership for local news portal in March this year was about 2.8 million, 10% of our population. Many believe that online news portal has hit mainstream since the political tsunami in last March. Citizens started to flock into these sites looking for (almost) real time and unfiltered updates. Imagine how popular Twitter would have been in Malaysia then?

Some of those sites (without mass circulations) are still maintaining lot of their audience since then. Malaysiakini's position as no.1 is both surprising and impressive considering that it is on paid-subscription model (for English content).

Slide: Asian Youth, Social Media and Music

Allow me for a Che Det-ish posting here:

1. The world population currently stands at 6.77 billion, with 4 billion or 60% of them are from Asia.

2. The world total internet users currently stands at 1.6 billion, with 660 million or 40% of them are from Asia.

3. Asia's internet penetration rate currently stands at 17.4%, the second lowest region after Africa. The world's average is 23.8%.

4. It shows that the Asia's (internet) market is so huge, yet with so much potential and room for growth.

Price Comparison Service in Malaysia?

Continued from The State of eCommerce in Malaysia...

There are so many webstores, so many blogshops in Malaysia nowadays, if you notice. You might have got the feeling that most of them are like some sort of isolated islands. They have problem reaching out to the customers, and vice versa.

I have already mentioned that Google (or other search engine) is not a product aggregator, whereas Google Product Search is only available in US market.

How about online shopping directory, like Shoppy, emmagem etc? Technically speaking, these are only aggregating links not products, sort of an online version of yellow pages.

So, what product aggregator? Enter price comparison service.

The State of eCommerce in Malaysia

Has e-commerce really taken off in Malaysia? Difficult to say, I think.

On one hand, so many has bought airline tickets via Air Asia. On another, how many of you have bought something else online? Ask the same question to those not so tech-savvy ones and you will roughly know, it does not reach the critical mass level yet.

However, we cannot deny that there is some sort of growth in the local market, and these factors are pivotal in fulfilling the potential.

Has Facebook Beaten Friendster in Malaysia and Asia?

How fast things change, Facebook seems to be no.1 in Malaysia already since I last posted 5 months ago (while Friendster was still leading).

Proof? Alexa. Facebook has moved up from no.8 to no.5, whereas Friendster has dropped from top 3 to no.7.

However, Friendster is still leading in terms of web searches. This is probably contributed by heavy searches such as "Friendster layouts" for teens who like to decorate their mini-hompy (pardon my Korean slang here).

The State of The Internet in Malaysia

Akamai has recently released The State of The Internet - Q4 2008, and it's nice to see that Malaysia is one of the 10 Asia Pacific countries appended in the report. However, even to compete in this region, there are still some catch-ups to do in terms of internet penetration and broadband adoption.

Broadband internet penetration in Asia

Note: 10 Asia Pacific countries surveyed are Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan.

Book: Go For Broke

Malaysia is not renown for its technology entrepreneurs, but we are certainly creative in coining the term "technopreneur". If you don't already know, technopreneur is only widely used and recognized in Malaysia, even Google can prove this.

Go For Broke: Tales of Technopreneurship

Go For Broke: Tales of Technopreneurship is an initiative by TeAM in partnership with MDEC and edited by Onn Yeoh. This book aims to share the success stories of 21 Malaysian technopreneurs and hopefully serves as an inspiration to encourage local technopreneurship.

Household Use of The Internet Survey

After skipping 2007, MCMC has just released its third in the series of Household Use of The Internet Survey for 2008. Besides the usual demographic and socio-economic data, it's good to see that trends of household internet users are also being sampled this time around.

Household Use of The Internet Survey 2008

Following are the selected facts and figures, especially on those not included in 2005 and 2006.

Top Web / Mobile Browsers in Malaysia

Have you been wondering what are the most used browsers (on web and mobile) in Malaysia? StatCounter does provide an useful reference to this with its sampling method as the following:

Stats are based on aggregate data collected by StatCounter on a sample exceeding 4 billion pageviews per month collected from across the StatCounter network of more than 3 million websites.

How Many Lines of Coding in Your Car?

Software development has becoming an integral part of automotive engineering. A premium-class automobile probably contains close to 100 million lines of software code executing on 70 to 100 ECUs throughout its body. Even the low-end cars have tens of million of lines of code on 30 to 50 embedded ECUs.

Following are how and where software is used in cars:
- Air-bag system
- Antilock brakes
- Automatic transmission
- Alarm system
- Climate control
- Collision-avoidance system
- Cruise control
- Communication system
- Dashboard instrumentation
- Electronic stability control
- Engine ignition
- Engine control
- Electronic-seat control
- Entertainment system
- Navigation system
- Power steering
- Tire-pressure monitoring
- Windshield-wiper control

As you can see from the list of features above, it is not wrong to estimate that more than 80% of car innovations come from computer systems and software has become the major contributor of car's value. The cost of software and electronics can reach up to 40% of the cost of a premium car today, and is expected to rise to 50% for conventional cars and 80% for hybrids within 10 years, according to experts.

Now Everyone Can Sell Online

No, not the blogshop. Neowave - one of the major e-commerce software vendors in Malaysia, has just introduced webShaper bizStore, which modeled upon Software as a Service (SaaS).

This is an interesting development of local software companies adapting SaaS model to deliver their products or services over the web.

webShaper bizStore promotion

Taking advantage of SaaS (multi-tenant architecture), potential sellers need only to pay RM 199 monthly (current promotion price at RM 150) to setup a online shop with their own branded domain name.

Maxis Unveils iPhone 3G

After months of rumours, iPhone 3G is now officially available in Malaysia with Maxis, well at least according to its corporate site hours ago.

The details are no longer accessible now, but you can still check the snapshotted rate plans here.

UPDATE: It seems to be back up, and Maxis has astonishingly made some adjustment to the earlier release.

12 months contract: iPhone 3G price from RM 1,080 to RM 2,290
Maxis iPhone 3G - 12 months contract

D.I.Y. Anti-Theft Vehicle Tracking System

Sad to say, car stolen cases are very common in Malaysia. As reported by Sin Chew Daily, Mr Yap in Johor Bahru has managed to recover his stolen Toyota Camry all by himself (it's pretty hopeless if you are to rely on police). Guess how he did it?

Friend Finder helps to recover stolen car

Yes, Mr Yap has a habit of hiding a mobile phone in his car, of which granted permission for Friend Finder service. The police officer did not believe him after being told the approximate location of his stolen vehicle. He then spent more than 3 hours searching for his car at the surrounding area signaled by Friend Finder, and finally recovered it.

Book: The Long Tail

What is "The Long Tail"? To put it simple, let's assume the following graph as Amazon's selling items in decreasing order of popularity along the horizontal axis.

The Long Tail - Power Law Graph

The head of the graph (green area) are the most popular items, while the tail (yellow area) consists of MANY lesser demanded items. The Long Tail concept is that the internet is pushing demand away from the head to the tail.

Najib in Computing Terms

I came across this humorous opinion through TechXii, a local technology blog in Chinese. If we are to map recent and upcoming Prime Ministers of Malaysia to MS Windows version, how would it be?

Mahathir is like Windows 95...
Windows 95 is considered being a revolutionary upgrade from Windows 3.1x.


Pak Lah is like Windows 98...
Although Windows 98 is not without shortcomings, especially the Blue Screen of Death, it is still an improvement.


Najib is like Windows ME...
Cosmetic improvement over the predecessor, short shelf life.

Slide: Malaysian Youth's Top Brands

Remember YouthSays? They have recently conducted a survey sampling 10,280 young Malaysians on what brands being consumed. Well, YouthSays is generous enough to share the data with us in the following slide:

Free Mobile Internet by Maxis?

Yes, you heard it right, sort of. Maxis is now offering free mobile internet, but it's only 1 month free trial for "selected customers only". The free trial is also only limited to the 1MB package, which they are currently charging RM5 monthly.

Maxis Mobile Internet Free Trial

Personally, I am not getting too excited by this offering. I was, and still looking forward to really attractive flat rate data plans. Be it from any telco, I don't mind doing a party-hopping without millions on the table, oops I mean MNP.

Bidding on Branded Keyword in Google Adwords

If you have noticed, Mudah (Malaysia's fast-rising eMarketplace) is aggressively buying a whole lot of keywords in Google Adwords. This could be the main reason why they are one of the most visited sites in Malaysia within a few months of launching.

For example, when you google keywords like nikon, samsung or proton, Mudah's advertisement will appear in the search results page. Not only that, they even bid on their competitors' brand identity.

ebay...
Google Search by Ebay Showing Mudah Ads
lelong...
Google Search by Lelong Showing Mudah Ads

Startups - How to Split Founders' Equity?

Imagine if you are in a founding team of four, how do you split the founders' pie? Example of a scenario might be dividing it equally, just to be "fair". However, almost certainly one of the founders must be thinking, 25% is too little, or "why the other guy deserves 25%?".

In this scenario, you would have just hide your feelings thinking that this issue is too sensitive to bring up. Also, founders might have taking this too lightly as there is not much value or liquidity in the equity yet.

Malaysia's Top eCommerce Sites

By looking at Malaysia's E-Commerce Habits, it is not difficult to guess that local eCommerce acceptance is being stimulated with the emergence of Air Asia. Where do Malaysians spend? Without any outright statistics, let's find out the top sites (with high local traffic) in each category.

Auction & Shopping

Lelong

Lelong (Alexa rank in Malaysia: 45)
eBay Malaysia (64)

We only have one obvious local player with eBay-like auction model, other than eBay itself. Lelong has been around since 2000 and claims to have 1 million visitors per month. Strangely, it also has a Facebook-like social network site.

Most Popular Programming Languages

Debate over the most popular programming language can become a passionate battle, something like between Manchester United and Liverpool. But does it really matter, as long as programmers being able to get the job done on time and within budget? Football fans (stakeholders) no matter which camp you are from, would be just as satisfied after being presented a high quality match (software project).

Still, it is fun for football fans to check out the league table ranking every end of the season, whether they earn the bragging rights against their rivals. Thanks to TIOBE, we have a programming language "league table" as well. Bear in mind that, the ranking is not about the best, but the most popular programming language based on the number of skilled engineers world-wide, courses and third party vendors.

TIOBE Programming Community Index for January 2009
(Image Source)

Note: ASP and ASP.NET are not considered by TIOBE as programming languages because they make use of other languages such as JavaScript and VBScript or .NET compatible languages. The same is true for frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, ColdFusion, and technologies such as AJAX.

Malaysia's Digital Media Consumption Statistics

This post is summarized from the Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey on entertainment media usage. The sampling is based on 26,000 online users from 52 countries, with 500 Malaysians involved. In this survey, digital media includes video (movie, TV show, music video, short video), audio and video game.

How do Malaysians fare?

- Rank #5 in digital media consuming nation. (5 from Asia Pacific are in the top 10 - Philippines, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia.)
- Rank #7 or 53% having streamed digital media in the past month.
- Rank #9 or 41% having downloaded digital media in the past month.
- Rank #3 in spending over 20 hours a week watching streamed or downloaded content from the Internet.

Red Herring Top 100 Asia Startups

Red Herring (a global media company) has announced its 100 winners of the Red Herring Asia 2008 award. What is the selection criteria?

For 10 years, the Red Herring's editorial team has diligently surveyed entrepreneurship around the globe. Technology industry executives, investors, and observers have regarded the Red Herring 100 lists as an invaluable instrument to discover and advocate the promising startups that will lead the next wave of disruption and innovation.

Convincing? You can judge for yourself. Nevertheless, let's find out which Malaysian companies are "diligently" selected.

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