Online shopping uptrend in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Online shopping in Malaysia is poised for significant growth, given its rising popularity and relatively new adoption rate among local customers.

According to PwC in its Total Retail Survey 2016 report, South-East Asian consumers are relatively new to the online marketplace, with nearly three-fifths of respondents in Malaysia reported buying online only within the last three years.

“Based on patterns we’ve seen in other countries, there is a good amount of room for growth,” said PwC senior executive director Scott Constance.

According to the report, higher proportions of Thailand and Singapore consumers are new to online buying as compared to the average of our global survey.

“More than 80% of China respondents have been buying online for more than three years,” it said.

The report, which surveyed 500 consumers per country, revealed that about half of Malaysian respondents buy online at least monthly and only 7% have never shopped online. The survey also said South-East Asia shoppers lead the world in mobile and social adoption.

“Nearly three quarters of Malaysian respondents use social media to access promotional offerings while shopping. Consumers in South-East Asia demonstrate a strong desire to use social media in forming associations with their preferred brands.”

In terms of online buying frequency, PwC said although a sizable percentage of consumers in South-East Asia report buying on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, the percentage was still smaller compared to its overall global survey.

It said that 60% of all consumers its global survey reported buying online on a monthly basis or more frequently.

“Consumers in Singapore match this proportion, followed closely by Thailand at 58% and Malaysia at 48%.”

The report also said that South-East Asia consumers are among the world’s fastest and strongest adopters of mobile and social media usage in support of their online and in-store purchasing activities.

“Whatever the mobile or social media purchase usage, whether it is using a mobile phone to check product reviews or prices, or accessing coupons, or making purchases outright, it’s likely that consumers in South-East Asia are doing it more frequently than just about anyone else in the world.

“Two-thirds of consumers surveyed in Malaysia and Singapore, and nearly three-quarters of consumers surveyed in Thailand report using their phones directly to make purchases. Rates of mobile phone purchasing usage in all three South-East Asia countries surveyed exceed the global average of 54%,” said PwC.

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