Being an entrepreneur is quite challenging while being in the pandemic season. For those who want their business to progress further apart from operating solely in physical store premises, let’s spare some time to read about the benefits of online business.
Benefits of Online Business
- Online business can make transactions easier and faster, while at the same time reduce costs.
When we start selling online, it is easier for us to control the stock purchase. Overhead costs of the company may also be further reduced. This is clearly because you don’t need to allocate bigger space to accommodate many people. Therefore, you can save a lot of costs in terms of electricity consumption, water, number of employees, and so on; if you appropriately manage your business.
Some people don’t even have a premise or retail store. Among the reasons is, the person is just an agent or dropshipper and sells other people’s products. So, if they were to start the business, they just need to open an online store and perform digital marketing.
- Conducting online business can promote goods and products sold more effectively.
According to statistics released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), there has been a significant increase in the number of online shoppers, as well as online transactions using e-wallets by Malaysians. Online shoppers have increased from 53.3% in 2018 to 64.2% in 2020. Similarly, those who conduct financial transactions online have increased from 54.2% in 2018 to 63.8% in 2020.
It can be observed that even before the era of Covid-19 again, there was already an increase in online sales because more than 50% of Internet users actively shop online.
There are many e-commerce and e-hailing platforms that help online sellers today such as Shopee, Lazada, Grab, Foodpanda, and so on. In fact, social media platforms already offer a place to do business, for example, Facebook Marketplace.
If you can afford to invest to develop your own online store, you should also invest to set up your own website or landing page with plug-ins for appropriate sales. This method is also suitable to improve the branding of your online business products or services. Many stores already have their own e-commerce website. In fact, some are already moving forward by developing apps to be downloaded on buyers’ smartphones as well.
It is convenient for buyers to see the prices, product descriptions, and so on. Moreover, it is also easier for sellers to make sales promotions and other things.
- Another benefit of online business is information can be disseminated faster, efficiently, and accurately through email, SMS, and other mediums.
The top 3 popular communication applications in Malaysia are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram. In fact, it is the highest online activities recorded (98.1%) as compared to other activities such as social media (93.3%), video streaming (87.3%), video communication (81.1%), and information search on the Internet (74.3%).
Indeed, the current trend shows that people are more likely to communicate via text, with a percentage of 98.1% in 2020, rather than 96.5% in 2018. An application like WhatsApp also has the facility to allow people to conduct online business on a professional platform like WhatsApp Business. Online merchants can also use it as a marketplace by creating listings in a certain way so that potential buyers can see your products, contact you for more information and subsequently make payments.
Entrepreneurs should know that there are so many benefits of online business, which will result them in making good profits. It’s such a loss if an entrepreneur could not use an optimal and friendly way to run the online business. By having virtual connections, entrepreneurs do not only improve their networking with the stakeholders, but also with buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, and others, even if they are unable to meet face-to-face. This situation has indirectly created a digital ecosystem.
- It helps to create consumer research for upcoming new products or marketing campaigns.
Social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram professional accounts provide Audience Insight (Insights) to help account admins in researching for various purposes related to business and marketing. By looking at how many Leads, Likes, Reach, and Engagement on past posts, entrepreneurs will be able to get an idea of what people are looking for in your services or products.
- Online business also allows access and market to large audiences.
By creating advertising and marketing online, entrepreneurs have more opportunities to market their products and services throughout Malaysia. Indeed, it is not impossible to expand the business at the international level as well.
- However, it requires interest, passion, and specific training to devote time, energy, and money to the digital platform.
Educational background is no longer a barrier to becoming more advanced with information and communication technology (ICT). Many government bodies and agencies offer various digital programs and workshops to help entrepreneurs move more actively on this platform.
One of the responses of an interview study conducted by a research team from the Faculty of Economics and Management UKM on a group of small and medium enterprise entrepreneurs found that the average entrepreneurs agreed that there should be an interest to be competitive in utilizing the digital platform. There are various training and incentives provided for this group. However, in the end, having good attitudes is the only thing that matters in determining the success of the training results. In other words, you have to be diligent in practicing the knowledge received, especially if you have the opportunity to receive the training for FREE.
E-Usahawan is a program sponsored by the government, open for all Malaysians aged 18 and above. It was launched in 2015. From January 2016 until December 2020, a total of 408,016 of young and rural entrepreneurs have been trained; and out of this number, a total of 158,340 entrepreneurs have successfully reported additional sales of RM973.4 million (Portal Malaysia.gov.my).
*THIS PROGRAM IS FREE! BUT, SEATS ARE LIMITED ACCORDING TO THE NUMBER OF GRANTS PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT DURING THE CURRENT YEAR.
Entrepreneurs of the new norm era now who have not yet switched to the online system, make your move now by registering as an e-Usahawan participant! Make use of the benefits of online business by starting from here.
 Internet Users Survey 2020 (ISSN 1823-2523). (2020). Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission. https://www.mcmc.gov.my/skmmgovmy/media/General/pdf/IUS-2020-Report.pdf
 Ramdan, M. R., Abdullah, N. L., Mat Isa, R., & Hanafiah, M. H. (2020, October 23). Meneroka faktor-faktor Yang Mempengaruhi Penggunaan platform digital oleh Perusahaan Mikro Dan Kecil. Penerbit UKM. https://ejournal.ukm.my/pengurusan/article/view/38617/11170