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KUCHING, June 3: As Covid-19 changes the retail landscape and consumers’ shopping behaviour, Sarawak is planning to roll out its very own e-commerce platform some time this month.
Assistant Minister of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Enterpreneur Development (Mintred) Datuk Mohd Naroden Majais revealed that Mintred is now finalising the online business platform which is expected to be launched sometime mid-June.
“We are working with Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA) to come up with the platform similar to that of Lazada, Lelong and the likes which will make registration simple to facilitate businesses in marketing, selling and buying virtually.
“Very soon, maybe by middle of June after the Gawai festive celebration, we will be launching it,” he said in statement today.
Throughout the Movement Control Order (MCO) period, Naroden noticed the growth in online shopping as more businesses shifted online including the newly created BROSS (Bazaar Ramadan Sarawakku Sayang) as well as delivery companies such as FoodPanda, GrabFood and Helpy.
“As the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the whole world including Malaysia and Sarawak, life in these unprecedented times is changing the landscape of e-commerce and spending habits of shoppers.
“Indeed online platforms are the best way to buy and sell, more so when people need to avoid physical contact and observe social distancing,” he added.
The benefits of e-commerce, Naroden pointed out, were simple as it allows for speedy buying and selling as well as easy finding of best product selections at the click of a finger.
“More importantly, e-commerce allows you to reach a wider customer base to a national and even international level.
“It is easier to access information of products and services, so customers are better informed, can do research, make comparison and then shop online,” he elaborated.
Rather than opening up brick and mortar stores, Naroden added that rental of internet was definitely cheaper and online stores can stay open and running 24/7.
“Online store fronts can be updated while marketing strategies can be altered quickly, conveniently and inexpensively,” he said.
With internet and technology, Naroden stressed that it gives every users the same level playing field irrespective of geographical locations.
“It doesn’t matter where you are, whether in the cities or the rural areas. It doesn’t matter the amount of your business investment, whether in millions or just a few hundred ringgit. Internet and technology give you the same opportunities,” he highlighted.
Noting that the infrastructure must be there to enable technologies to work, he said this was the reason why Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had committed RM1 billion to build telco towers throughout the state in order to connect entire Sarawak especially the rural and interior areas.
“Mintred has in fact planned many programmes for this year but they have to be postponed due to Covid-19. We will start the first few via online and video conferencing after Gawai festival,” he added.—DayakDaily