Malaysia flag Malaysia: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Malaysia


Internet access
Malaysia has approximately 22 million active internet users (68% of the population) and another five million are expected to go online in the next year. The population has extremely high rates of mobile cellular penetration, with nearly 150 mobile subscriptions per 100 people.  Of these mobile subscribers, 53% use smartphones. In 2017, Smartphones were the most common device to access Internet (89.4%). However, access from other mobile devices such as tablets and laptops declined. Users’ own home became the most frequent place to go online (85.6%), followed closely by usage via on-the-go at 84.0%. The most popular search engines are Google (96.97%), Yahoo! (1.73%), Bing (0.96%), Baidu (0.17%), DuckDuckGo (0.06%) and Ask Jeeves (0.03%).
E-commerce market
E-commerce is growing quickly in  southeast Asia, now representing about 2% of all sales in Malaysia but expected to grow to double digits in the coming years according to Aseanup. And the Malaysian market is one of the most attractive in the region, as e-commerce in Malaysia is more mature than in all other ASEAN countries except Singapore. In 2018, revenue in the e-commerce market amounted to US$ 1,380 million, and is expected to show an annual growth rate of 17.6%, resulting in a market volume of US$ 2,635m by 2022. Consumers’ e-commerce participation has increased to 48.8% compared to 35.3% in the previous year. The main barrier for e-commerce adoption was consumers’ preference to go to physical stores, lack of confidence and skills, as well as security and privacy concerns. According to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, the majority of online shoppers in Malaysia shop locally only (75%), but for those who shop cross-border the top countries for overseas online shopping are the United States, Singapore, UK, China and Hong Kong. Popular online categories include:  daily supplies at 39%, fashion & accessories at 23%, special/rare items at 20%, home appliances at 7%, consumer electronics at 7% and food and health items at 4%. B2B e-commerce is one of the fastest growing sectors for small and medium size enterprises. There is an expansion in e-commerce as more SMEs take advantage of higher disposable income of the Malaysian population, better broadband service and the proliferation of mobile devices in the country.
Social media
The past decade has seen a vast proliferation in the use of social media sites, by both individuals and businesses alike. Apart from texting, visiting social networking sites were also common amongst internet users (89.3%). There were about 21.9 million social media users in 2016, of those 97.3% claimed that they owned a Facebook account. Ownership of Instagram accounts (56.1%), YouTube (45.3%), Twitter (26.6%), LinkedIn (9.1%) and Tumblr (4.8%) saw an increase as compared to previous year. On the contrary, account ownership of WeChat Moments (43.7%), Google+ (28.3%) and Line Timeline (7.6%), has declined since the previous year.

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Latest Update: June 2024

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