In less than six years’ time, Google predicts that the internet economy in the year 2025 in Malaysia will be worth RM86 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) and a big part of the market share would be held by the e-commerce sector. As we draw closer to the year 2025, the future of e-commerce is starting to form and becoming an important part of our everyday lifestyle. One futuristic feature that has become a part of our everyday lifestyle is the usage of mobile phones. It is without a doubt that mobile phones have now become a vital part of our lives, for both professional work purposes and for personal day-to-day activities. This is all before we even get to much better mobile internet utilizing 5G tech.
According to Statista, 60% of Malaysians today (2019) access the internet primarily through their mobile phones. This figure is also expected to increase to 64% by the year 2023. One simple reason for the advancement of mobile internet connectivity is due to the vast availability of affordable smartphones and broadband deals by various telecommunications companies. Malaysians are more likely to access the internet via mobile phones as laptops & desktop computers remains more costly as compared to smartphones as well.
A statement released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) also revealed that Malaysian internet users have increasingly moved towards online video and voice calls as compared to traditional voice calls as mobile data becoming increasingly more affordable, this trend is set to become the norm.
This trend is expected to see further growth as we draw closer to a future moving from a 4G internet connection to a 5G internet connection. Among the key talking points in the recent trade or technological wars between the United States and China was related to 5G tech as well.
According to tech experts, 5G tech, or fifth-generation mobile networks is expected to offer speeds 10 times the current 4G with more throughput and essentially no latency, or lag time. This is great for both users & businesses as this opens a wealth of opportunities for advancement and experimentation with new features. Among the many features business would be exploring would be the VR (virtual reality) or augmented reality (AR) features where users can have a realistic experience through a tech device.
Tech expert, Roslyn Layton stated that e-commerce could also become the top industry for VR/AR applications, enabling this technology for online sales of fashion, luxury goods, home décor, fine art and many others. This feature would also eliminate the common conception that e-commerce lacks the touch & feel as experienced in physical stores, and therefore opening opportunities for more people to shop online.
This reality is coming really soon for countries with high tech advancement like China and the United States, but what about Malaysia? Will we expect the experience the world of 5G tech soon or will it come many years later?
Certain telecommunications company such as Maxis has begun the groundwork on making 5G available in Malaysia. According to Morten Bangsgaard, the Chief Technology Officer at Maxis, the telecommunications company are already conducting 5G trials in their labs and they expect to move on to commercial trials in 2019. According to Morten, Malaysians should start to see the availability & implementation of 5G services as early as the year 2020.
If this is true and the implementation of 5G technologies would start happening in the early 2020s in Malaysia, it is no surprise that we should see the big advancement of online retail in the country. As such, businesses and entrepreneurs in Malaysia should do all they can to familiarise themselves with e-commerce in order that we capture the opportunity of mobile 5G connectivity for online retail.
Insights by iPrice Group