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Lim, ACG 2011, 'The factors affecting the usage of private retail sales portals by Malaysian urban consumers', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.

Copyright ACG Lim 2011


The purpose of this research is to explore the challenges and advantages affecting the usage of private retail sales portals by Malaysian urban consumers. Most of the previous studies have focused on the usage of private retail sales portals in non-Malaysian urban consumers’ perspectives. This study aims to bridge the gaps created by the lack of literature on the factors that contribute to the successful use of private retail sales portals by Malaysian urban consumers. The research problem is “How can Malaysian private retail sales portals be more efficiently and effectively used by Malaysian urban consumers?”

The rapid globalisation of the world’s economy has increasingly made it a very competitive marketplace more than ever before, partly due to the advancement of information technology, particularly in telecommunications. Globalisation has also brought along greater urbanisation and urban areas in Malaysia are expanding at an unprecedented rate. More Malaysians are moving from non-urban areas to urban areas because of better job opportunities and amenities. Given the enormous increased in urbanisation and the cosmopolitan nature of the Malaysian population, the improved earning powers of Malaysian urban consumers have created more demand for diverse types of consumer goods. As such, the retail sector in Malaysia serves as an important intermediary for the distribution of these goods. It is very important that the retail sector increases its competitiveness in the backdrop of a very competitive marketplace. One of the ways for the retail sector to improve its competitiveness is by establishing private retail sales portals through the use of the Internet.

The case study approach by personal interviews and supported by the questionnaire survey results helped to identify the solutions to fill the gaps to address the research propositions.

The key findings for this research are as follows:

- The development of private retail sales portals is still at an infant stage in Malaysia. There is a need for retailers to have a sound strategic plan to make private retail sales portals more efficient and effective to attract more consumers to use them. This plan will need to encompass the integrated use of people, processes and technologies.

- A well-structured private retail sales portal can improve the overall supply chain management by adding value to retailers, suppliers and consumers.

- The private retail sales portal environment is very dynamic and retailers must be resilient to be able to adapt quickly and to remain relevant.

- There is a need to create more awareness to promote the use of private retail sales portals among Malaysian consumers. Retailers and the Malaysian government can play a leading role through various media to promote the use of private retail sales portals.

Although there are still challenges that need to be addressed in order to promote greater diffusion of the use of private retail sales portals, this trend is expected to increase. The infrastructure to support the use of private retail sales portals is also good and continuously improving with significant progress. This has enabled private retail sales portals to be used by consumers irrespective of time and place. Private retail sales portals offer the convenience for the busy Malaysian urban consumers to shop online. It is hoped that, organisations and governmental agencies can use the findings of this research to establish improved marketing strategies and develop better policies to promote the use of private retail sales portals. This research also provides a solid foundation for future research that can be extended to a broader scope of the subject matter based on the conceptual framework.