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eBay, a global e-commerce leader connecting millions of buyers and sellers worldwide, released its Southeast Asia Small Online Business Trade Report 2022 (“Report”), highlighting the successes of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Southeast Asia in expanding their global reach and selling to international markets using the eBay global marketplace.
SMEs are the backbone of Southeast Asia’s economy and a vital tenet of the regional economic architecture. In Malaysia, SMEs account for 97.2% of total business establishments, contributing 38.2%, or more than RM 512.8 billion, to the country’s GDP in 2020. Among the six Southeast Asian markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam covered in the Report, 68% of eBay-enabled small businesses exported to 10 or more international markets. In 2020, the region’s eBay-enabled small business community made sales in 214 international markets.
eBay’s global marketplace is uniquely positioned to offer Southeast Asian SMEs e-commerce export opportunities – while less than 20% of traditional businesses in each of the six markets highlighted in this Report export, all eBay-enabled small businesses in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam are exporters, and more than 95% in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore use eBay to reach global consumers. As a result, eBay enables small businesses to become global retailers from day one, and the eBay marketplace offers them an extended growth runway that is both diversified and resilient.
eBay-enabled small businesses defy the conventional wisdom that entry costs are a barrier to expanding into new international markets. Malaysian SMEs on eBay export to an average of 30 international destination markets. The top markets include the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Canada, Italy, France, Japan, China, and Spain.
“The main goal of eBay in Southeast Asia is to enable SMEs to sell globally. The marketplace offers 142 million active buyers across more than 3,000 product categories with market access to 190 markets. On eBay, export is no longer the privilege of large enterprises only. SMEs in Malaysia can easily reach consumers in some of the world’s largest consumer markets, such as the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and become ‘mini multinational corporations,” said eBay’s Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, Vidmay Naini.
Beyond that, the ability to access non-traditional export markets via the eBay marketplace is immediately apparent for these SMEs. Seven of the top ten export markets for eBay-enabled small businesses in Malaysia are not in the top ten for traditional exporters.
The top five product categories exported by Malaysian sellers on eBay were: Auto Parts, Home & Garden, Health & Beauty, Cell Phones & Accessories and Collectibles.
Malaysian sellers on eBay have seen strong growth in a number of categories in 2021. For instance, in the Auto Parts & Accessories category, Malaysian sellers have grown Wheels, Tires and Parts sales by 29% in 2021, while Electrical and Ignition parts have grown by 76%.
There was also an increase in sales by Malaysian sellers on eBay in the Cell Phones & Accessories Category, with smartwatches increasing by 24%, headsets by 33%, and smartphones by 15%. Meanwhile, Sports Trading Card Singles in the Collectibles category increased exponentially at 109%.
eBay provided the platform for eBay-enabled small businesses to penetrate the global market. Jeff Liow is the director of Kings of Rim Malaysia (KOR), an eBay-enabled small business, and has been selling automotive wheels on eBay since 2016. According to Liow, “eBay has opened more countries for KOR to branch out their business including countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.”
During the infancy stages, it took us some time to learn and adapt. Later on, eBay suggested moving most of KOR inventories to the US warehouse via the SEA forward deployment initiative. “Our sales increased tenfold and continued to rise as KOR became acquainted with buyers’ wants and needs, and eBay provided the insights enabling us to tap into the global scene,” said Liow.
“eBay is leveraging the combined depth of our in-market teams and the global scale of eBay’s marketplace to assist SMEs in growing their businesses and meeting the increasingly complex demands of global markets and consumers. We are delighted to play an important role in empowering and enabling our Southeast Asian, and Malaysian SMEs to expand their international reach – and to assist Malaysian SMEs in bringing the region’s diverse retail offering to the world,” said Mr. Naini.
The launch of the eBay’s Report in Malaysia was followed by a fireside chat. Based on the Report prepared by eBay, the discussion focused on the Malaysian SME ecosystem. Yong Kai Ping, CEO of Selangor Information Technology & Digital Economy Corporation (SIDEC), Khairul Annuar Abdul Halim, Senior Director at Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), Jeff Liow, Director of King of Rims Malaysia, and Vidmay Naini, Regional General Manager for Southeast Asia and India eBay International CBT (Cross Border Trade) were among the panellists.
Click here to download eBay’s Southeast Asia Small Online Business Trade Report 2022.