How To Start E-commerce Business in Malaysia 

In this age of technology and the new norm of post covid-19, almost everything and anything that you can think of you can get from e-commerce. For example, from getting news to cross-border conference calls you can reach with just a click on your phone or computer. This also including the buying and selling all the products and services in the market, e-commerce has become a new norm in this era. Due to the pandemic, many traditional brick-and mortar business forced to move online. There are a few things that you need to take into consideration before you start your business online.

1. Determine what to sell

Before you start an online business, the most important thing that you need to take into consideration is to decide what you want to sell and what is your business nature. To identity the product you will need to know why you want to sell this product. Therefore, it is important for you to write a business plan. A business plan provides a road-map for you to identify what is the next step to take and how you can bring your business to success.

Probably one of the most challenging parts is to determine what is it that you want to sell. Every great product starts with an idea. There are different types of online business and there is a need to determine your business nature and the product or services that you want to sell. Some of the examples are as follow:

  • Physical Products – You may offer physical things like bags or phone accessories on your e-commerce website.
  • Digital Products – You may offer digital items such as an e-Book using a promotional landing page.
  • Services – You may also offer services such as photography. using your portfolio website.
  • Other Business Products – You may earn a commission by selling the products of other companies as an affiliate or reseller.

2. Platform

a. Website

A website is very important for any online business in this digital world. It can act as your physical store virtually. Almost all the people are spending most of their time over the internet to purchasing products, using services, or watching movie. If you do not have a website for your business, there is a big possibility you will miss several business opportunities and potential customer. By having a website is not only can provide business opportunities and bring in potential customer but also can create credibility and market your business online. Having an informative and professional website can also differentiate yourself from your competitor who provide the same service or products. A website may represent your company; it can help you make a good first impression, as well as generate trust and credibility in the minds of your customers. The website is available 24/7, customer can easily access to your website anytime and you can easily keep them posted regarding the latest promotion, announcement, and updated activities.

b. Social media

Social media is an essential component of your company's marketing strategy. Almost half of the world’s population using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and etc to purchase product and services that they need. Without social media, people will not see your product or services. People who are unaware of your company's existence will not become your customers. Social media increases your exposure among potential clients, allowing you to reach a huge audience with less time and effort. You also have nothing to lose by creating a company profile on all the main social networks. Those with a strong social media presence and branding will see higher conversion rates, whilst those who do not have active social media campaigns may lose potential clients.

3. Payment gateway

Payment gateway is a technology that used to accept payment from customer through debit card, credit card, e-wallet as well as online banking. It is important for entrepreneur who start up an online business because it provides a secure way for their customer to make payment on their website. Choosing the right payment gateway can improve your cashflow. Fees are undoubtedly one of the most important considerations when it comes to the best payment gateways in Malaysia. You don't want your profits reduce due to exorbitant fees. Apart from that, payment method that accepted by payment gateway is also one of the important criteria that need to take into consideration. You need to make sure that the payment gateway can support difference type of payment including credit card, debit card, online banking as well as e-wallet where can bring a good experience to your customer. Furthermore, a dependable payment gateway contributes to a positive customer experience. In other word, choosing a secure and reliable payment gateway that suit your business needs is the key to lead your business successful. 

4. Order Fulfillment 

Order fulfillment is the process of accepting, packing, and sending a customer's order. It is also known as order processing and fulfillment. Order is not completed until the order is fulfilled and the client receives it.

There are 4 type of order fulfillment that you can choose:

a. In-house:

In-house fulfillment occurs when a company manages all parts of order fulfillment, from production to shipping and customer care. The best part of in-house fulfillment is that you can fully control over every part of the process and respond immediately to changes in your client demand. The disadvantage is that it can be costly to start up and manage an in-house fulfillment operation.

b. Third-party:

Third-party fulfillment occurs when a company outsources all or part of the fulfillment operation to a third-party provider. You can save money on labour and other expenses that related with running a fulfillment operation if you use a third-party fulfillment. The disadvantage is that it become difficult for you to control over your fulfillment process, and it might take longer time to reach your customer.

c. Drop shipping:

Drop shipping occurs when a company hires a third-party fulfillment partner to distribute items directly to customers on its behalf. The benefit of drop shipping is that it minimizes the need for the company to keep inventory or manage shipment operations. The disadvantage is that you will have less control of the quality of your items and may have to cope with prolonged delivering periods.

d. Hybrid:

Hybrid fulfillment is a combination of the three preceding models and may be tailored to a company's individual requirements. For example, a firm may opt to handle order fulfillment for all or just popular products in-house and might need choose to outsource fulfillment during peak seasons, for example during the holidays, and drop ship large and bulky items straight from the manufacturer. The key advantage of hybrid fulfillment is that it allows businesses to benefit from the finest characteristics of both models. The disadvantage is that setting up and managing a hybrid fulfillment operation can be more expensive and difficult.

5. Register your business/Company Incorporation

When you are going to register your company, you need to choose a name, a name that can represent your business activities and does not exist yet. Next is to decide which business entity that you want to register, you can read more for the type of business entity. For more details about company incorporation and company secretarial services, you can contact us here.

Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

One of the famous cloud accounting software in Malaysia is Xero, which is originated from New Zealand/Australia and currently serving more than 2 million business worldwide. Xero accounting software is a cloud based program designed that gives business owners real time access
Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

Xero - A powerful cloud accounting software for startup and SMEs in Malaysia

One of the famous cloud accounting software in Malaysia is Xero, which is originated from New Zealand/Australia and currently serving more than 2 million business worldwide. Xero accounting software is a cloud based program designed that gives business owners real time access
Writing your Business Plan

Writing your Business Plan

It is important to create your business plan as it will help to guide you on how to structure, manage and develop your business.


If you're looking to form an Sdn. Bhd. in Malaysia, or have any other questions on starting your business, contact the team at Altomate. Starting your own E-commerce soon? Take a look at our Company Incorporation Service too.

We're here to answer any questions, provide resources, and give you the exact answers you need to get your business to the next level. We thank you for reading this article and hope it gave you some new thoughts and business ideas to move forward with.