E-Commerce Tools for SMEs to Navigate a Transformed Business Landscape

E-Commerce Tools for SMEs to Navigate a Transformed Business Landscape

SC Chong,
Managing Director
FedEx Express Malaysia

Over the course of the last two years, Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs), particularly those in the retail space, had adapted to the new business norm that had quickly evolved into one geared towards shop-at-home and home delivery convenience, utilizing e-commerce platforms as its primary means of reaching customers.

As of now, the lockdowns are mostly lifted, but e-commerce growth remains strong worldwide, outstripping many other industries and certainly marking e-commerce as one of the ‘big winners’ emerging from the pandemic era. Consider the statistics: in Malaysia, the e-commerce market is expected to hit $2.53 billion this year and grow at a CAGR of 11.4% (Source: eCommerce Malaysia Overview, Digital Malaysia, 2021). In the greater APAC region, digital sales were $2.992 trillion in 2021. The online shopping culture has become firmly ingrained in our retail habits, and will continue to strengthen.

SMEs need to adapt to the new business norm or risk being left behind. However, the new generation of consumers across the world are quite different from just a few years ago. This new generation of consumers became hyper-connected during the lockdown, and thrive on social media, influencers and technology adoption. They practice shopping habits that indicate they are ethical and socially-conscious consumers, and show an inclination to prefer local brands with a ‘story’ behind the product and personalization options.

The name of the game with the contemporary consumer is convenience. In fact, the online retail space is now experiencing a hyper-convenience revolution, whereby consumers tend to be sufficiently bothered by even minor inconveniences to stop their transaction. For example, if the platform is too complicated, or filled with advertisements and other pop-ups, a lot of potential customers will be turned off.

The result of how quickly a consumer can turn off is the ‘cart abandonment’ phenomenon, which occurs when the shopper does not complete their transaction, most likely due to some inconvenience at the checkout stage. Cart abandonment is a serious issue, as e-commerce brands lost $18 billion in sales revenue last year to this phenomenon. Resolving this issue through providing optimisation at checkout – including delivery options – can earn back 36% of lost business, according to a research by the Baymard Institute of Denmark (Reasons for Abandonments During Cart & Checkout, Baymard.com, 2021).

Thus, it would be in the best interests of e-commerce platforms to offer convenience at the checkout level, including for logistics options. But, the new generation of consumers have delivery expectations significantly different from before. The norm now is quick doorstep delivery, sometimes even on the same day, with added conveniences such as tracking and notifications.

FedEx Express has several solutions on hand available for SMEs to use to provide that seamless logistics experience for customers. We have taken steps to improve the customer experience with a solid and reliable network and infrastructure as well as user-friendly tools to enhance both the customer and seller’s logistical experience.

  1. FedEx International Connect Plus® (FICP) is suited to B2C transactions, by offering day-definite service to select markets for shipments up to 10kg. Included in the FICP service is customs clearance, end-to-end tracking and connectivity to FedEx Delivery Manager® which provides both the shipper and receiver delivery options such as redirecting and delivery to a third-party address.
  2. FedEx International Priority Express (FIPE) launched just this year, offers door-to-door service by 10:30am or noon, in selected markets across Asia, the United States, Canada and Europe, within 1-3 days. The newest solution by FedEx, it is intended for those urgent shipments that must reach their destination by a certain time.
  3. FedEx Ship Manager™ offers e-commerce merchants to streamline its end-to-end shipping process by keeping shipping as simple as possible, whether for regular orders or just a single package. Accessible from any desktop, FSM empowers the e-merchant with information about shipping rates, capabilities and shipment status.
  4. SMEs are probably keenly aware that the documentation process for exports can be tricky, causing delays and additional cost should the paperwork not be in order. FedEx’s Electronic Trade Documents®, or ETD, an online comprehensive resource for simplifying international shipping, provides SMEs the necessary resources to properly fill out their customs and duties paperwork, preventing holdups at points of departure and entry. ETD also integrates seamlessly with FedEx Ship Manager™.


Seamless logistics go a long way to ensuring customer satisfaction, essential for small and medium-sized businesses to get the best returns from e-commerce. While it is not easy to perfect the seamless, frictionless retail experience that customers demand, working with a reliable logistics service provider can go a long way to achieving this experience.

The pandemic was a watershed moment for society and brought with it many impactful changes. One of the positive changes was providing businesses opportunities to reach new customers never seen before on such a scale. It is vital to ensure that the supporting services are in place and in order, to provide peace of mind. Primary among these is logistics, a vital component as it physically gets the product to the customer.

This paradigm shift in the way of doing business is here to stay, and business will need to adapt or be left behind. It is crucial for SMEs to tap on e-commerce tools that will help them grow and succeed, and be in tune with the e-commerce boom and not fall behind the competition.

Find out how FedEx can help you overcome your logistical challenges. Get the information you need and learn more about how to ship with FedEx here: https://smemalaysia.org/fedex/