Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Malaysia’s leading pay-TV operator, has just announced that it is venturing into the home shopping business in Malaysia via a joint venture with South Korea’s GS Home Shopping Inc.
According to Malaysia’s newspaper The Star, the joint venture, Astro GS Shop intends to carry out home shopping business through various platforms including but not limited to TV home shopping, Internet shopping and mobile shopping. For the TV home shopping, it will specifically be available on both its free NJOI channels and Astro pay-TV subscription service.
This will allow its customer base of 3.8 million TV homes in Malaysia to shop from the convenience of their home, providing a retail reach of some 17 million consumers, a number unmatched by any physical retail chain stores in the country.
The home shopping channels and services is expected to be launched in the second half of 2014.
“Many more consumers are expected to benefit from the convenience of related Internet and mobile shopping,” said Astro in a public statement.
The company has conducted feasibility studies on the potential of the business and concluded that home shopping will be commercially viable.
Astro determined that the best strategy to enter the business is with a partner who has a proven track record in the home shopping business as GSHS, is one of the leading home shopping operators in Asia with presence in South Korea, China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Turkey.
E Commerce boom in Malaysia
The partnership marks another significant milestone in the e-commerce industry in Malaysia. As Internet and mobile penetration in the country increases, more consumers are consuming more content online. By 2016, there will be 21 million estimated users online. This opens up vast opportunities in the e-commerce space for key players to tap into.
Earlier last week, we covered that 7 Eleven also entered into a partnership with FoodPanda to offer delivery services to its users, hoping to leverage on the rise of internet and mobile users whom are using FoodPanda to order food. Companies are starting to realize that they have to reach out and go to where the customers are, instead of waiting for them to come knocking on the doors.
While it is unclear whether Astro will carry its own consumer products or will it act as a distribution channel for other merchants such as eBay, Lelong, TaoBao, Rakuten, Zalora, Lazada and many other e commerce players, the company has definitely positioned itself as a key player in the online shopping vertical in Malaysia.
Definitely a big milestone in the history of Malaysia’s e-commerce industry.