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Guide to Starting an Online Ecommerce Business in Malaysia

The business world is moving into the digital age, especially over the recent years and Malaysia is not to be left behind. The eCommerce market is one of the fastest growing market segments globally and its rapid growth doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

Not sure how to start an ecommerce business? Starting an ecommerce business, just like starting a brick and mortar business, can be both challenging and rewarding at the same time. And the key to success lies with the ability to understand that an ecommerce business goes beyond just setting up a website and hoping to make sales through that website. An eCommerce business, just like everything else, requires planning, time, investment, creativity and of course, the capital to get started.


Do Your Research and learn more about how to start an ecommerce business

Just like a regular business, setting up an online eCommerce business is going to require a careful amount of thought, planning and research in order to be able to better cater to the needs of the market you aim to target. They key to succeeding in this area is to:

  • Decide on what you’re selling
  • Identify who your target market is
  • Conduct a cash flow analysis
  • Identify the start-up costs
  • Understand the regulatory framework involved for the business idea
  • Establishing the required infrastructure


Incorporating a Company

An online eCommerce business needs to be incorporated just like a regular business. Incorporating a company means you are able to take advantage of the advantageous structures in place which are put there to assist businesses, which include a credible image, tax incentives and perpetual succession.


The Digital Free Trade Zone

Better known by its abbreviation, the DFTZ is one initiative which has been established to help capitalise on the confluence and exponential growth of the internet economy in Malaysia. The DFTZ helps with cross-border eCommerce activities and facilitates the seamless cross-border trade which enables local businesses to export their goods with focus on eCommerce as a priority.

Malaysia is one of the first countries to adopt this digital eServices platform and in the future, this digital platform will be connected to similar platforms in other countries which will inevitably make cross-border trade and even simpler process. Good news for businesses here.

The DFTZ platform in Malaysia is designed to help SMEs export their products globally at a much easier rate, and enable global marketplaces to be able to source products sold by Malaysian manufacturers and sellers.

The DFTZ also makes Malaysia one of the regional fulfilment hubs for global brands who hope to reach ASEAN buyers, giving a boost to the eCommerce business in Malaysia.

eCommerce businesses have a lot to gain from the DFTZ, namely:

  • Allowing SMEs to have market access to global customers
  • Simplify and accelerate the cargo clearance process
  • Provide end-to-end support for businesses involved in cross-border trade
  • Networking and knowledge sharing to help drive innovation with the online ecosystem
  • Provide access to eCommerce ecosystem players which include access to financing, insurance, digital marketing and more
  • Provide leading eFulfilment services which include warehousing, picking, packing, labelling and more