The Critical Elements for Successful E-Tailing of Furniture in Malaysia
Au, Choong Meng (2013) The Critical Elements for Successful E-Tailing of Furniture in Malaysia. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)
There is much excitement in the growth of internet shopping in Malaysia. Some entrepreneurs invest in online e-tailing believing that since the start-up costs and fixed costs are much lower than brick-and-mortar e-tailing, it is easy to profit. Some products and services are being successfully sold online in Malaysia. But there are limited furniture offered online. Is it simply because furniture e-tailing or the online market is still at a nascent stage? If that is so, it is a ‘land’ of opportunity for new businesses. Or could it be that it is very difficult and challenging to e-tail furniture? Is the situation compounded by the limited market size and other market attributes? Do cases of the failures indicate investors’ ignorance of the challenges involved? In Alexander Pope’s words, did “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”?. This study is aimed at determining: The critical elements for successful e-tailing of furniture in Malaysia. It perused academic literature to understand the various propounded elements and different schools of thought. And in areas where there is a dearth of recent literature, live-cases of successful e-tailing was analysed. The latter not only complement the former, but also verify (if it correlates) the latter’s findings, in view of the tremendous growth and change in e-tailing. In order to ensure that the study is relevant to the Malaysian market, the author put up open-ended questions on a popular national-online forum. Answers were analysed and findings were triangulated with those from literature and live-cases. This study found many critical elements for furniture e-tailing which indicate that it a highly challenging business, and certainly no ‘walk in the park.’ It also found that although many of the elements are applicable worldwide, e-tailing entrepreneurs must appreciate some of the elements which are distinct to the Malaysian market, in order to achieve success.
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