Topics: Retailing, Sales, Online shopping Pages: 2 (429 words) Published: February 26, 2014
KUALA LUMPUR: The Internet has literally changed the way we live. Some say it has made our lives easier while others would feel it has done more damage than good.

Regardless of the differing views, Internet users worldwide have increased tremendously over the last decade. For example, in Malaysia alone, Internet users are expected to grow from 18 million in 2012 to 25 million in 2015 (based on the Economic Report 2013/2014 that was released last year).

Given that the country's population is currently about 30 million, that is about a 23 per cent growth in three short years.

As the Internet penetration rate is on the rise, many businesses decided to have an online presence as part of their growth strategy and as a means to reach out to more customers both locally and abroad.

The retail industry, for example, has seen such change. Many retailers have now formed a presence online to reach out to a wider market and sell more products.

Read more: Online retailer Zalora to bring in more new brands

the past two years, the online retailer has seen one million unique visitors on its website at an average of two to three times per month.

Zalora Malaysia managing director Giulio Xiloyannis said last year, the company saw its sales grow 400 per cent year-on-year.

Although he did not disclose the sales value, he said the company aims to achieve similar growth this year.

"We saw a nearly 50 per cent growth in December, 100 per cent during the Hari Raya period and 15 to 20 per cent in the other months," Xiloyannis told Business Times last week.

On the online retail industry in Malaysia, Xiloyannis said it is not so different from other countries.

Although the local retail sector offers a wide range of products, it started to see slower sales late last year due to the government subsidy rationalisation measures and the rising cost of living....
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