Malaysia tops global average in the embracing of retail tech, report shows

Malaysia tops global average in the embracing of retail tech, report shows. (Photo by Mohd RASFAN / AFP)

Malaysia tops global average in the embracing of retail tech, report shows

  • More than any other countries in APAC, Malaysia saw the biggest changes in the amount of businesses embracing retail tech.
  • Even F&B businesses in Malaysia turned to delivery platforms at a higher rate than anywhere else in APAC.
  • Yet, more than any other country studied, Malaysians (76%) said they would still shop at physical stores for pleasure, as online shopping is viewed as convenience.

“No matter what pandemic-related restrictions were thrown at them, businesses and consumers found a way to get things done”– that’s how financial platform Adyen stated its recent ‘The Malaysia Retail Report’. What they meant by being able to get things done is the fact that Malaysians, compared with their regional neighbors, embraced retail tech during the pandemic. It is apparent especially through the performance of businesses that digitally transformed and eventually outperformed their competitors.

“In spite of – or perhaps because of – the multitude of pandemic-fueled challenges hitting the retail, food and beverage (F&B), and hospitality sectors over the last year, businesses around the world managed to invest in digital technologies. That has led to the Improving of operations and breaking down silos in backend processes and systems such as payments,” Ayden said in its report.

The report was based on the survey of 10,000 businesses across 23 markets; including 500 from Malaysia. Those markets include the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Germany. “Our study shows that there is an 18% increase in growth amongst businesses that connect payment systems across their business compared to those that don’t. This is reflected in their ambitions – the growth projections for 2022 are 11% higher for those who connect their systems compared to those who do not,” the report reads.

The research also found that 84% of businesses in Malaysia who connected their backend systems grew by 20% or more. To top it off, more than 89% expect to grow 20% or more in 2022 — a percentage more than most markets globally. Ayden said, hitting those growth ambitions would equate to a RM334 billion opportunity. “In fact, if tech adoption is accelerated, the retail sector could add 5.6 percentage points to its growth rate over the next five years,” the report reads.

Adyen head of commercial Southeast Asia & Hong Kong Priyanka Gargav, in a media briefing held in Kuala Lumpur, reckoned “Many retail players have unlocked the promise of unified commerce throughout the pandemic.” She also noted that Malaysian consumers’ love for tech-enabled, seamless shopping experiences stands out on a global level and the time is ripe for retailers to capitalize on the RM 334 billion opportunity in digital transformation.”

In surveying 40,000 consumers from 26 markets, including 1,000 from Malaysia, 87% of Malaysian consumers said they were more likely to shop with businesses that embrace retail tech to enhance the customer experience — compared to 55% of customers globally, 64% in Asia-Pacific and 74% in Singapore.

Overall, the report reflects how Malaysian businesses are aware of the potential of retail tech, as 97% plan to invest in digital technologies in 2022. Interestingly, the report also highlights that Malaysian businesses are among the best in the region at using data to inform decision making and engage customers. Currently, 39% of Malaysian businesses use payments data to build a better picture of their customers, which is 12% above the global average and 9% above in Asia-Pacific and Singapore respectively.