There are so many different ways to sell products on the internet that it’s hard to know which is the best way to sell items online in Malaysia.

Before the internet and eCommerce stores, people who wanted to sell their items had to start garage sales or sell them through newspapers.

Selling online has completely opened the doors to selling to just about anyone in the world. Typically, the barrier to starting a store can be just registering an account.

Over 63% of shopping journeys now begin online. That makes the internet the best way to sell items online in Malaysia.

There’s a sales channel out there that’s perfect for all. Whether you’re a hobbyist looking to sell handmade items or you’re wanting to start a serious online business.

To make it easier for you, I’ve researched the best way to sell items online in Malaysia, separating them into 4 categories.

Best Way to Sell Items Online in Malaysia in 2022

Working out where and what the best way to sell items online in Malaysia can feel daunting. There are four popular options of places you can sell your items online in Malaysia.

Note: you don’t have to choose only one between these four options. You could opt to sell across multiple channels without needing to hire a bunch of new staff, having sleepless nights, or growing another pair of arms.

But how can you do so?

An advantage of eCommerce shopping cart store builders like Sitegiant is the ability to integrate your online store with online marketplaces, social commerce, WhatsApp commerce, and live streaming sales.

Linking your eCommerce website with your social media or marketplaces can be done with the click of a button!

This will mean your customers will see products that are synced in real-time from your online store. Update your online store, and it will automatically update your Facebook store.

A good shopping cart software will allow you to manage your multichannel eCommerce store from one place. They are a one-stop-shop for selling online in Malaysia.

Selling Items Online with Shopping Cart Store Builders in Malaysia

For those wanting to start a store on their own, the best way to sell items online in Malaysia is by running your own eCommerce website.

You’ll be in total control, and you will get to decide how you want your website to look and how you present your products.

Shopify vs sitegiant, which is the best way to sell items online in malaysia.

Social media and online marketplaces are run by algorithms, a mathematical process in their system which decides which pages and content should be shown to visitors.

With your own online store, your store will not be subject to the constantly changing algorithms of social media or online marketplaces. You are in total control of what your visitors get to see.

You can freely customise your own store interface, change, promote and edit products without the need to rely on updates from Facebook or Lazada.

With eCommerce shopping carts, you can now process sales and showcase your products in faster and easier ways than ever before while running it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

These eCommerce platforms provide tons of online learning resources, teaching you how to best utilise their platform and how to make the most out of your online store. In addition, they provide phone, chat, and email support whenever you need it.

Automate repetitive tasks and focus more on the significant parts of your business, such as customer service and improving your user interface.

The top two ecommerce shopping cart store builders in Malaysia for any business are:

  1. Sitegiant
  2. Shopify

Selling Items Online with Sitegiant in Malaysia

If you’re looking for the best eCommerce platform for selling items online in Malaysia, Sitegiant is the way to go.

Sitegiant is the leading eCommerce platform in Malaysia, with more than 3500 active merchants and 1.5+ billion in GMV.

There are many advantages for Sitegiant from their hands-on training, drag-and-drop website builder, social media store integration, and online marketplace sync.

My favourite feature of Sitegiant is its integration with almost every known marketplace in Malaysia, from local marketplaces such as Lazada, Shopee, Zalora, Qoo10, Prestomall, and Lelong.my all the way to overseas marketplaces such as eBay and Amazon.

This wide-scale integration is a massive feature and makes the best way to sell your products online in Malaysia.

However, Sitegiant has only yearly subscription plans available, with no free trial. For those who want to start out and test the waters, this may be a huge turn off for you since it requires a huge upfront commitment.

In addition, a shortage of themes, third-party add-ons, and plugins means that this option may not work well for those that require completely custom functions for their online store.

Despite these disadvantages, Sitegiant is a lot cheaper than its international eCommerce platform counterparts and charges Zero transaction fees, unlike platforms such as Shopify and online marketplaces.

Sitegiant is by far the best way to sell items online in Malaysia with its services catering to the local market.

Selling Items Online with Shopify in Malaysia

Without a doubt, Shopify is the best international eCommerce platform that’s out there.

For retailers selling both in Malaysia and internationally, Shopify will be the best way to sell items online in Malaysia. Even if you don’t know about the features of Shopify, you have probably heard of the name before and are aware of its well-known dropshipping features.

Of all the Shopify features, my favourite would have to be the sleek iOS and Android app, which allows you to manage your store from the comforts of your smartphone.

Why waste time sitting at a computer all day managing your store when you can go out and about while monitoring your store from your phone?

In addition, Shopify is extremely user friendly and caters well to international sellers and buyers. For those looking to sell items online internationally, including Malaysia, Shopify will be your go-to.

There are also a ton of free and premium themes and apps with Shopify. Feel free to expand your online store’s functions and customise your store design according to your needs.

While its features may sound almost irresistible, Shopify is actually quite expensive (since everything is in USD), and there is no catering to the local Malaysian market. However, you’re entitled to a free 14-day trial with them. No harm in testing!

For international sellers, I recommend using Shopify to cater to both the local Malaysian and international buyers’ needs.

Selling Items Online with WordPress’ WooCommerce in Malaysia

Wordpress and woocommerce's ability to be fully customised and edited makes it the best way to sell items online in malaysia.

As a web designer, I would be biased to say that the best way to sell items online in Malaysia and internationally is through WordPress’ WooCommerce. Though I have a good reason for that.

With over 5 million downloads, supporting one-third of all online stores while powering 22% of the top one million eCommerce stores around the globe, WooCommerce is one of the best ways to sell items online.

But is WooCommerce right for you?

Same as WordPress, WooCommerce is open-source software that requires some coding knowledge to integrate.

I would not recommend WooCommerce for beginners and those wanting to set up an online store by themselves, but it does offer complete freedom in terms of functionality and design.

WooCommerce is free to install and operate, but you will need to set up and purchase the following:

  • A domain name (RM60 – RM120 per year),
  • Website hosting (RM200+ per year),
  • A payment gateway (Free – RM450+ per year), and
  • A WordPress theme (RM100+), or
  • Custom Website Design Price Malaysia (RM1,200 – RM6,000).
  • Optional: SEO Price Malaysia (RM 1,000 – RM 10,000 per month)

In terms of built-in features, WooCommerce is no match to SiteGiant or Shopify. However, you will have access to the source code to your website and over 50,000 plugins to add any functionality you can think of.

If you have the coding know-how or engage a web developer, there will be nothing to stop your creativity from flowing more freely than you could ever do with an eCommerce shopping cart platform.

Aside from all the eCommerce functions, WordPress enables you to maximise your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) score. To rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) like Google, you need good SEO.

For those that know how to code or don’t mind hiring a web designer to create an online store, WooCommerce is the best way to sell items online in Malaysia.

Selling Items Online with Marketplaces in Malaysia

The best way to sell items online in malaysia is through an online marketplace such as shopee or lazada.

Most Malaysians are now familiar with Lazada and Shopee, two of the online marketplace giants in Malaysia.

Lazada and Shopee, similar to eBay and Amazon, allow individuals to open a store and sell products online through their website and mobile app.

An online marketplace is a digital form of a traditional marketplace, with myriads of sellers and buyers coming together to buy and sell items.

With an insane amount of enthusiasm around marketplaces, online marketplaces are the best way to sell items online in Malaysia, either on your own or as a business with no heavy upfront commitment.

Want to know how easy it is to get started? Here are the steps:

  1. Create an account
  2. List a product for sale
  3. Set up a delivery method
  4. Accept payment from a customer
  5. Prepare item for shipment

That’s about all there is to it!

With thousands of vendors crowded on one marketplace, it’s hard to stand apart from other vendors when your storefront looks the same.

The best way to sell items online in Malaysia through an online marketplace is to make your store stand out from the crowd.

While selling on these online marketplaces makes selling online super easy, relying on them is a huge mistake.

These online marketplaces have constantly changing search algorithms; one day, your product might show up, and the next day it might not.

In addition, new competitors are constantly coming up and selling at lower prices to win over customers. On that topic, let’s not get into how difficult it is to build loyal customers when there are so many alternatives from which they can choose.

Customers look for products with the lowest price and the most decent reviews when shopping on online marketplaces. So unless you sell a drastically unique product, you’re just another merchant with the same product to shoppers.

Creating a memorable brand for your store is an extremely valuable asset.

A good brand creates trust to shoppers. At the core of online shopping, trust is one of the most fundamental and important requirements to selling online successfully.

I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t purchase from any shady online store or seller that you didn’t trust, right?

That being said, marketplaces are the best way to sell items online in Malaysia only if you’re wanting to sell a small number of products. The reason being that you can get online and start selling with no background knowledge, minimal upfront costs, and no support.

These marketplaces do charge transaction fees, so make sure you double check before you sign up. For example, Shopee charges 2.12% after SST on the final amount paid by the buyer (inclusive of shipping fees).

Here’s the basics on selling through Shopee and Lazada.

Selling Items Online with Shopee in Malaysia

Shopee is renowned as a mobile-first and the most popular online marketplace in Malaysia.

Just to provide some insight into how popular Shopee is, their monthly active users exceeds 46 million. That’s 14 million more than the actual population of Malaysia.

You can buy and sell just about anything through Shopee, from electronics, clothing, groceries, car accessories, toys and more. Even though you’re in the market, you would still have to compete with some of the biggest retailers in Malaysia and the world.

Shopee offers convenient delivery options, from express to standard delivery. Shoppers can also choose a time that’s the most appropriate delivery time for them. These features make it the best way to sell items online in Malaysia for sellers who are just starting out.

In addition, Shopee recently introduced their Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) payment method, which allows shoppers to purchase their products in instalments rather than one upfront lump sum.

This payment method is growing in popularity every day in Malaysia as the preferred payment method.

Be sure to check out Shopee’s guides and fees before you start out.

Selling Items Online with Lazada in Malaysia

Coming in second place to Shopee, Lazada is another online marketplace that allows Malaysians to easily shop online and purchase everything they need.

Despite the average monthly traffic of Lazada slipping down to just under 15 million a month with the rise of Shopee, Lazada remains a valuable online marketplace to reach Malaysians.

Regardless, 15 million is still an attractive figure for sellers and still makes selling on Lazada the best way to sell items online in Malaysia for online retailers. However, I wouldn’t recommend solely opening a Lazada store. Make sure you open a store on both Shopee and Lazada!

Selling Items Online with Social Media in Malaysia

Alongside online marketplaces, social media is another popular way to get connected and sell items online.

For those with the social media marketing know-how and a young millennial following, Facebook is the best way to sell items online in Malaysia.

There are many social media platforms you could choose from, each with its respective benefits and user base. For this article, we’ll be focusing on the biggest social media platform, Facebook.
Selling on facebook is advantageous because you can communicate and entertain your customers. Therefore, social media is the best way to sell items online in malaysia.

Selling Items Online with Facebook in Malaysia

With nearly two billion active users on Facebook, there’s no doubt that Facebook is one of the most significant places in which businesses should have a presence.

To begin selling on Facebook, you’ll need to create a Business Page and add a ‘buy’ button to your page.

While you may be tempted to just run your page with photos of your products, you should understand that social media works a lot different to classic eCommerce platforms. Here are some tips on the best way to sell items online in Malaysia via Facebook:

  • Post content that your customer base likes to watch. Facebook is a bustling online social media platform where customers’ attention spans are short (even a short 5-second ad would warrant them to swipe away). Experiment with entertaining videos, riddles, tips, and even memes that attract your customers’ attention.
  • Run social media promotions. Everyone loves discounts. Offering them in exchange for a ‘like’ can be a great way to draw in attention and build up a base of followers.
  • Don’t post low-quality images. Blurry or low-quality images and illustrations give a poor impression of your business. Keep a professional image by using clear photos and graphics.
  • Be consistent. Post regularly, but not too often that you annoy your followers. Find out what type of content your customers love and what doesn’t work. Experiment with posting at different times of the day to understand how they use Facebook.

With the rising popularity of live streaming on Facebook, you can make use of this function to sell products via the live stream store. Customers trust what they can see, making Facebook the best way to sell items online in Malaysia if you wish to use a live stream store.

While Facebook may be a great place to advertise and promote your brand and products, a downside is that you will have to manually manage orders, which can be time-consuming.

However, you can still link your online eCommerce store to your Facebook page, where you can continue to manage all of your products and inventory from one location. For example, WooCommerce, Sitegiant, and Shopify all offer integration with Facebook, which I find terrific!

Best Way to Sell Items Online in Malaysia Summary

Each selling method is the best way to sell items online in Malaysia for businesses and entrepreneurs with different needs.

I’ve summarised the best way to sell items online in Malaysia for each selling method.

You should note that you don’t have to choose between one or the other, and could choose to sell through a mixture.

Choosing a specific platform does not guarantee sales. The best way to sell items online in Malaysia will depend on your marketing capabilities.

Selling Method

Best Way to Sell Items Online in Malaysia for:

Shopping Cart PlatformEntrepreneurs who want to set up and customise their own store.
Online MarketplacesEntrepreneurs and businesses that want to sell online without upfront commitment.
WordPress’ WooCommerceBusinesses that want scalability and customisability.
Social Media PlatformsBusinesses that rely heavily on customer interaction and communication.

What’s the Best Way to Sell Items online in Malaysia for Me?

To find out the best way to sell items online in Malaysia and what would work best for your situation and budget, contact ALEPH Media to get an expert and unbiased opinion from one of our E-Commerce and web design specialists.

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About the author

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Alan Loh

Alan Loh is the founder and Creative Director of Aleph Media. He began his journey into web design and digital marketing from a young age when he was in high school. Today, he manages the operations of the company across the Asia-Pacific Region, including Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, and China.