DESPITE the perceived sluggish overall economy, there is solid evidence that Malaysians are buying online more than ever.
And frequently, they do it during office hours.
The favourite hours for online shopping are between 11am and 3pm as well as 7pm and 11pm on weekdays.
Online payment specialist iPay88 Sdn Bhd said this conclusion was based on statistics collected from its payment gateway systems, which represented over 70% of the country’s entire e-commerce market.
In 2016, iPay88 recorded 38.2 million online transactions via its systems – a substantial increase of 161% (from 14.6 million in 2015).
“Over the review period, we would have thought that consumers were tightening their belts due to a squeeze in their disposable income in view of the current economic winter.
"However, iPay88’s payment system showed otherwise, as e-commerce and online purchases went up by 210% over the same comparable period," said executive director Lim Kok Hing
Lim attributed this to the convenience of shopping online as well as the ability to get better deals online.
“Online shoppers do not just shop when they are desktop-bound but using the mobile phone is just as easy. Another factor that will encourage online shopping is when the government abolishes the tariffs imposed on items being shipped into the country that are priced over RM500.”
Malaysian consumerism trends online in the first quarter of the 2017 were equally upbeat.
There has been no decrease of interest in online purchases despite the sluggish economy. There has been volume growth of 293%, with shoppers more likely to purchase online games, general ticketing, fashion and apparel.
People are spending more online while the type of goods purchased online remains unchanged. Among the popular purchases are apparel and footwear, accessories and jewellery, electronics, and sports equipment. Their volumes were RM25.3mil; RM1.7mil; RM5.1mil and RM3.3mil, respectively.
"Based on our findings, the spending appetite of online shoppers remains positive and issues like data security and fraud have become negligible,” said Lim.
The company stated that one of the interesting things they noticed was that avid shopping times were during office hours, and that the popular days were later parts of the week on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
However, this trend decreased over the weekend, possibly due to Malaysians going offline on Saturday and Sunday.