Malaysians love to shop online, region’s top digital consumers, report says

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KUALA LUMPUR (October 9): If you’re an online shopaholic, you’re not alone: ​​a recent survey showed that up to 22 million people in Malaysia are digital consumers.

The survey was conducted by Facebook and Bain & Co in their annual SYNC Southeast Asia report which examines the digital economy and the future of e-commerce in the region.

Gwendolyn Lim, partner at Bain & Co, told The Edge Malaysia that 88% of the total Malaysian population are digital consumers today, compared to 78% on average for South East Asia (SEA).

It also revealed that Malaysia is ahead of Indonesia at 80% and Singapore at 79%, and by the end of 2021, nine in 10 Malaysians are expected to shop online.

Up to 46% of Malaysians already use online as their primary shopping channel.

Better logistics and the increased role of e-commerce players have played an important role in the growth of digital consumption.

“Shopee Malaysia, for example, is able to deliver nationwide in one to four days now instead of over 10 days two or three years ago,” Lim said.

The survey also showed that many consumers don’t really know what they want to buy when they go online to ‘browse’.

“When consumers go online, they have this mall mentality or this browser window shopping mentality, and they’re like ‘this is interesting’. And they also shop through [about] seven websites before making a buying decision and visiting stores they’ve never tried before. Last year they visited [an average of] 4.8 websites, ”Nicole Tan, country manager of Facebook Malaysia, told The Edge.

Lim said people are visiting more websites as they search for value, “especially for non-essential items.” “Consumers are willing to wait for offers and promotions before making a purchase, especially when it comes to electronics, clothing and cosmetics,” she said.

It is well known that the spike in online consumption was largely caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (lockdowns, social distancing) and the question now is whether consumers will abandon e-commerce as more countries will move into endemic and post-pandemic stages. ?

The habits developed over the past 1.5 years will transcend the pandemic and become a permanent behavior change, Lim said, as connecting online is a good way to “seek value” while the convenience offered by consumption. electronics “is ingrained in the psyche of people. now”.

At most, she says there could be a slight drop in online shopping if things get back to normal.

Read the full report in this week The Edge Malaysia

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