KUALA LUMPUR: With the introduction of the Halal market on the Alibaba.com B2B platform, Malaysian SMEs have a better chance of expanding their presence in the global Halal market.
The Halal Pavilion, which debuted alongside the 18th Malaysia International Halal Showcase (MIHAS), will feature a certified Malaysian Halal market. They give them an advantage over vendors from other markets. Also, meet the needs of buyers in more than 190 countries through the online marketplace Alibaba.com.
The Halal Pavilion offers a wide variety of goods, while food and drink take center stage there.
Nianci Phang, who is in charge of marketing and business development for the Asia Pacific region, has reported an increase in queries for the Halal market. It is due to the migration of B2B customers to online retailers as a result of the worldwide pandemic.
She reported a 39% increase in customer inquiries from 2020 to 2021, of which 21% were directed toward Malaysian vendors on Alibaba.com.
The United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Pakistan are the top four nations where queries are coming from.
She told reporters during the opening of the Halal Pavilion on Alibaba.com earlier this month that the interest in the site had surprised them. They had assumed it would come mostly from Muslim nations and the Middle East.
Therefore, she advocated for Malaysian SMEs to expand their horizons outside their comfort zones, namely in the realm of export.
She went on to explain that because of the wealth of information available online, vendors on Alibaba.com can determine which nation generates the most interest in their wares.
Phang claims that the Halal Pavilion is a significant step toward making Alibaba.com’s marketplace more welcoming to global customers with unique sourcing requirements.
Despite the many difficulties that SMEs face when exporting, she is confident that Malaysian Halal SMEs are willing to create an online presence. It makes full use of digital and e-commerce tools and has a greater chance of expanding its business internationally. Yong Mama, a Perak, Malaysia-based, family-run Halal snack food factory, is a great illustration.
For 20 years, the firm catered mostly to the US market, with just occasional shipments made to Singapore.
In 2020, the business joined Alibaba.com as a result of the pandemic’s impact on commerce. After that, Yong Mama saw an increase of 80% in its export production volume and inquiries from Brunei, Egypt, Thailand, the UK, and the US.
They have increased shipments to Singapore, South Korea, and Cambodia, where they have completed two repeat orders in the space of only six months. It happened after receiving the first inquiry from the latter country. H.G. Cheah, the co-founder of Yong Mama Food Industries Sdn Bhd, has remarked that Malaysian companies need a solid plan if they are to succeed in the international B2B e-commerce industry. Find out what is popular in your potential export markets and which items will do well there.
In addition to new possibilities, he stressed the need to understand and abide by local rules in each country. He said, “E-commerce allowed Yong Mama to develop from a micro SME (MSME). Also, selling it to domestic clients into a worldwide corporation.”
Phang claims that suppliers that join Alibaba.com’s platform have access to buyers in over 190 countries. They can also control and own their connections with those customers, all while developing a successful online export business plan.
She went on to say that Alibaba.com, as the only B2B marketplace in Malaysia delivering an end-to-end digital trade experience, offers Malaysian SME exporters a full range of services. It includes managing an e-commerce presence, translating content, conducting digital marketing, and sourcing. Moreover, completing financial transactions online, arranged for shipping and delivery, cleared customs, converted currencies, and analyzed sales data.
Online sales festivals like “Super September,” which is the biggest annual B2B sourcing event on Alibaba.com and attracts millions of customers from across the globe. It is another way that the company helps vendors expand their reach.
Phang remarked that Alibaba.com was an effort to foster confidence between customers and vendors. It is to compensate customers for financial losses incurred as a result of disputes over payment, shipping, or product quality. It had to introduce an order protection service in Malaysia in 2017 under the name Trade Confidence and improve it in 2021.
Contribution of MATRADE
She said that the service exemplifies Alibaba.com’s dedication to promoting Malaysian SMEs internationally. Additionally, Abu Bakar Yusof, the deputy chief executive officer of MATRADE, stated that the Halal Pavilion was a significant step toward digitalizing Malaysian MSMEs. It is through the use of MATRADE’s cross-border e-commerce assistance program, Etrade.
Alibaba.com was one of MATRADE’s first strategic partners in the 11th Malaysia Plan. It aims to improve the digital preparedness of Malaysian micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Before the outbreak of COVID-19, the government “recognized the significance of cross-border e-commerce export.”
He said, due to the epidemic, “we opened up to additional local and international cross-border commerce platforms under MATRADE’s improved cross-border e-commerce eTRADE 2.0 program.”
Meanwhile, Abu Bakar expressed MATRADE’s gratitude to Alibaba.com for their ongoing partnership.
With just 11.7% of exports coming from MSMEs in 2018, the government has set a 25% objective for 2025 under the 12th Malaysian Plan.
Thus, “We have a long way to go, but Malaysian MSMEs have to ratchet up their marketing efforts. Its not just dependent on old or conventional techniques but also embracing e-commerce to export digitally.”