Part 1: 5 Steps to Kickstart Your E-Commerce Startup

Welcome to the first part of our guide on kickstarting your e-commerce startup in Malaysia! Starting an e-commerce business is an exciting journey filled with opportunities. At 80% of internet penetration, Malaysia’s e-commerce landscape is going strong. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or a budding startup, laying a strong foundation is crucial for success. So let’s dissect how you can turn your entrepreneurial dreams into reality. 


Step 1: Defining your visions and goals

To start off, you’ll need a clear vision of what you want to achieve with your e-commerce startup. Define your purpose, mission, and values that will guide your decision-making to build your business. Consider your unique value proposition that sets you apart from competitors. According to MDEC’s E-Commerce Trend Radar, the trend is veering towards metaverse, ultra-precise delivery networks, ubiquitous marketspaces, and more. In addition, establish specific and measurable goals that align with your vision. These goals could include revenue targets, customer acquisition, market share objectives, or expansion goals. 


Step 2: Conducting market research

Next, you’ll need to understand your target audience. This is where market research plays a crucial role so you can market your startup more effectively. Start by identifying your audience and understanding their needs and pain points. For example, analyse demographics such as age, gender, and location to develop buyer personas that will represent your ideal customers. Studying your competitors and identifying the gaps can also leverage your positioning and differentiate your e-commerce startup. 


Step 3: Choose the right legal structure

In Malaysia, there are several options of legal structures to consider. There is sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability partnership (LLP), or private limited company (Sendirian Berhad). Each has its own considerations such as liability, taxation, compliance, and scalability. Carefully evaluate the nature of your business, growth plans, and the level of control you’re comfortable with. Seeking professional advice can help you navigate the legal requirements and choose the most suitable structure for your venture. Through this, you’ll ensure compliance with regulations. 


Step 4: Securing financing options

Additionally, securing financing is a critical aspect of launching your online startup. Options available include traditional bank loans, venture capital funding, crowdfunding platforms, and more. Assess your funding needs and explore the options that align with your requirements. By securing the right financing, you’ll have the necessary resources to fuel growth, invest in marketing and technology, and seize opportunities in the marketplace. 


Step 5: Selecting a payment gateway

Lastly, you’ll need to consider a payment gateway as it serves as a bridge between your customers and their transactions. Naturally, you’ll be receiving payments and with the various payment methods in the e-commerce landscape today, it is all the more important to offer smooth and secure online transactions. And this is how Curlec can help. We offer a seamless and efficient way to manage your potential cash flow. Not just that, Curlec also supports startups and SMEs with zero set-up fee for the Curlec Payment Gateway. Your future operations and payment processes can be one less thing to worry about yet ensuring you boost your business and keep a competitive edge.

With RM0 set-up fee for startups and SMEs.

What’s next? 

By now, you would have an idea on how to build the foundation of your e-commerce startup! So stay tuned to the next part where we’ll delve deeper into the marketing aspect; building an online presence, creating a compelling brand, and more.

Industry Insights

Can You Pay With DuitNow’s QR Abroad?

In today’s evolving digital landscape, the financial services industry is undergoing a significant transformation. Accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, we will be seeing a 42% increase in global volume for cashless payments from 2025 onwards. As such, we’re witnessing traditional modes of payment being replaced by innovative solutions. One such development is cross-border QR payments by DuitNow and it’s reforming the way Malaysians make transactions abroad in Southeast Asia.


Back in the day…

Travelling required exchanging currencies or using a credit card that incurred additional fees. Today? Travelling comes with absolute ease. For Malaysians, we can now utilise DuitNow’s QR payment in Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand. On the flipside, travellers from aforementioned countries can also transact via QR payment in Malaysia. Accordingly, it’ll be with their own versions of DuitNow which is QRIS, NETS, and PromptPay respectively. Now, we can eliminate the need for cash, and travel with convenience, simplicity, and peace of mind. 

Furthermore, this payment revolution not only enables seamless transactions but it’s creating a network of interconnected payment ecosystems. That is to cater to the growing needs of a better payment experience. This collaborative nature amongst the countries marks a key milestone for us all!


How does it exactly work? 

If you’re a digital native, you would have already known how to utilise QR payments. However, for those who are not familiar, this is a quick breakdown on how it functions:-

Step 1: Use your device that is connected to a mobile banking service or e-wallet to scan the QR code displayed at the merchant’s location. 

Step 2: The payment amount is then deducted from your bank account or e-wallet balance.

Step 3: Transactions made from the QR payment will be converted into your home country’s currency (i.e. Ringgit Malaysia, MYR, if you’re Malaysian). Amount will be at the exchange rate set by PayNet based on the transaction date.

It’s truly that easy! 


How does this affect businesses? 

Additionally, one of the remarkable aspects of cross-border QR payments is the compatibility and connectivity between the countries. Prior to the pandemic, the annual traffic between Malaysia and Singapore was averaging at 12 million visitors. Between Malaysia and Indonesia? We were looking at an average of 5.6 million arrivals annually. Payment linkages will further increase the number of visitors as their travelling experiences are enhanced due to seamless and convenient payments. Moreover, cross-border payment highlights not only an established partnership but also the power to drive economic growth. Since there is reduction in cash handling and improved efficiency, it will help open up opportunities for businesses. It’s foreseeable that it will increase sales and reach into a new customer base.


What about consumers? 

In a nutshell, cross-border payments would mean a faster and better transaction journey. No longer do customers need to worry about carrying large sums of cash, exchanging currencies, and having leftover foreign currency unused. Just a simple scan abroad can effortlessly settle your purchase. 

As we venture into a more interconnected world, it is crucial for travellers to embrace the convenience of cross-border QR payments. By adopting this transaction method, Malaysians can truly experience hassle-free payments. So, the next time you plan your trip to Indonesia, Singapore, or Thailand – remember to explore the possibilities of QR payments! 

Safe travels and happy scanning!

Guides Industry Insights

3 Factors Affecting Your Transaction Success Rates

In this exciting era of digital payments, it’s evident how much has changed over the years. We’ve seen payment methods evolve tremendously and with that, there is a term you should know: transaction success rate. This term is a huge deal and rightly so. “Why?” you might ask. Because it affects how your business gets paid and how happy your customers are with their shopping experience.

As 70% of Southeast Asian consumers have gone fully cashless, a business’s transaction success rate signifies a few things. That is: low transaction success rate means loss of revenue and in turn, leads to loss of brand image and significant value. Well, we definitely don’t want that.

What defines transaction success rates? 

Transaction success rates measure the percentage of successful payments out of all the attempts made on a website or app. Essentially, it’s a scorecard of how many payments successfully make their way to your business out of every 100 payment attempts. Let’s say out of the 100 attempts made, only 75 went through – that means your transaction success rate would be a cool 75%. (Though it’s important to note that this includes customers trying again after a failed transaction). But here’s the kicker: 33% of failed payments are never reattempted and this is largely due to the change in the digital payments landscape.

Three primary reasons that affects transaction success rates

As such, we need to understand the underlying causes of payment failures. There are various factors ranging from simple mistakes like entering the wrong OTP to technical glitches. So let’s break it down further:-


  1. Customers take too long to complete the payment process.
  2. Customers cancelling their payment.
  3. Payment processing failures at the bank or payment provider.


Accordingly, while some cancellations are intentional, there are also avoidable situations such as insufficient funds in the payment method. In some cases, suspicious behaviour is detected, for example, attempting to use a blocked or stolen credit card. 

As for the banks or payment providers, failures can occur due to transaction errors involving intermediaries within the payments ecosystem. This includes card networks (example: VISA, Mastercard, American Express), payment enablers (example: e-wallets, payment apps), and banks. Understanding the intricacies of payment failures is crucial for businesses to tackle these issues effectively. After all, the goal is to provide a seamless payment for customers.

Importance of transaction success rates

Therefore, it’s crystal clear that for many savvy consumers these days, the online realm, including payments, has become the go-to method for purchasing goods and services. In the Asia-Pacific region itself, cashless transactions are predicted to have an annual growth rate of 16% from 2020 to 2025. The clincher? There are higher expectations when it comes to the online shopping experience. Any hiccup in the payment process can result in customer churn for a brand. If all the failed attempts were instead successful, your business could witness a significant revenue boost. Prioritising seamless and successful payment experience can have a profound impact on your business’s bottom line. 

So, what can your business do?

The good news is that business owners have the power to improve their transaction success rates. This is where Curlec comes in – to ensure the checkout process can be as smooth as possible to reduce the chances of payment cancellations and cart abandonment. Curlec can maximise your business potential with multiple payment methods and a seamless user experience that would delight your customers. That way, you can enhance your transaction rates, resulting in increased revenue, improved customer satisfaction, and sustained growth.

Guides Industry Insights

Subscription Business Model: How It Can Provide Consistent Revenue

Picture this: you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed and you come across an ad. It’s for a streaming service with the latest series or a monthly box with curated products. Sounds intriguing? Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg that is subscriptions.

In Malaysia, the subscription business model is gaining momentum, capturing the attention of savvy consumers who seek for more than what they are looking for. Therefore, we’ll look at how it is shaping consumer behaviour and ultimately providing consistent revenue.

How has consumer behaviour evolved?

The e-commerce landscape is not what it used to be. Payment methods have expanded along with the rise of subscriptions. 37% of consumers worldwide have at least one ongoing subscription. By 2025, that number is expected to reach 53%. How is it gaining traction? By providing a curated experience and a sense of novelty. Whether it’s a physical product or a service, satisfied customers would subscribe in comparison to a one-off purchase. Think about it, less time-consuming and fuss-free to purchase groceries, watch the latest hit show, and more? An absolute dream for consumers these days.

Furthermore, consumer preference has shifted from ownership to usership. It’s no longer “mine, mine, mine!”. Now, it’s about a more savvy approach to consumption which is convenience, saving cost, and variety. You don’t see many (or any) DVD sellers as streaming services such as Netflix, HBO GO, and Apple TV+ emerge. Physical Blu-ray discs are no longer in demand. Why hoard when you can subscribe to a streaming service? It’s like having a library of goodies without the burden of ownership.

Now, how can businesses benefit from this? 

So we know that the rise of subscriptions has shifted consumer behaviour but how do businesses benefit from it? The straightforward answer is: consistent revenue. The subscription business model done right can provide predictable and recurring revenue streams. Not only that, it can also build a loyal customer base and improve customer retention rates. This is especially relevant for businesses that offer products or services that customers use on a regular basis. 

Additionally, subscription models can also provide valuable data insights such as customer preferences and buying behaviour. This can help with refining products or services to better meet their customer needs. There is undoubtedly a market for subscription models in Malaysia and let’s face it, who wouldn’t want predictable income and a loyal customer base?

The importance of efficient payments collection

We know companies love subscriptions because they provide predictable cash flow, however, we need to understand the importance of payment collections as well. Customer experience is key to retaining customers – your products or services can be very well amazing but having to input payment details each time is uninviting. Enter Curlec’s robust payments collection solution to ensure that both businesses and customers enjoy the convenience that comes with seamless recurring payments.

Whether direct debit or credit/debit cards, recurring payment is made completely fuss-free. Plus, businesses can ensure payments are collected on time, every time – maintaining steady cash flow. This is specifically important as it allows businesses to forecast revenue more accurately and plan for future growth. If you’re a subscription-based business who would like to explore our services to improve your payment processes and revenue stream, click the button below!