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E-Commerce Infographic: Understanding Online Shoppers in Malaysia

January 28, 2014 CK Wong Category : , , , , , , , ,


Understanding online shoppers in Malaysia

We have conducted a survey on online users in Malaysia back in December 2013, in order to understand online customers behaviour when they shop online.

Thanks to the collaboration with Senheng and EverydayOnSales, we have managed to collect responses from 626 online users in Malaysia, which is fairly sizable sampling for us to compile a meaningful analysis and infographic.

You can click on the infographic below to enlarge it while the summary of facts & figures comes right after the infographic.


91% of online users shop online. Out of the 9% who don't shop online, TRUST is the main reason why they don't shop online, citing reasons like can't touch & feel the products, and don't trust online shopping (in terms of security and sellers).

91% of online users in Malaysia shop online   

Malaysians are generally shopaholics, with 54% of the online shoppers confessed shopping at least once a month online, 26% of them shop once a week online, and 7% shop almost everyday!

How much do Malaysians spend online? 85% of online shoppers spend RM500 or less in a month, while 10% spend RM500 or more, and 5% spend RM1,000 or more in a month.

85% of online shoppers in Malaysia spend RM500 or less in a month   


Where do Malaysians prefer to shop online?


Deal sites and online marketplaces monopoly the online shopping sites favoured by Malaysians. In fact, 3 out of top 5 choices are deal sites, namely Groupon at #1, LivingSocial at #3 and MyDeal at #5.

The only non-typical e-commerce platforms in the list are Facebook high-flying at #2 and Mudah, being an online classified site at #7.

Groupon, Facebook, LivingSocial are the top 3 online shopping destinations in Malaysia   

Lelong.my which is founded in 1998 (way before Groupon and Facebook were born) is still the king of online marketplaces in Malaysia. However, Lazada with deep pocket and marketplace initiative, is not very far behind the current e-commerce kingpin of Malaysia.

Top online shopping sites in Malaysia

Lazada aside, Lelong.my has to be also wary of the other 3 foreign-owned sites that complete the top 10 list, namely Zalora at #8, eBay at #9 and Rakuten at #10.

In fact, popular online shopping sites in the list above are all foreign-owned besides Lelong.my and its sister site, Superbuy. It also implies that there isn't any super successful local e-commerce start-up (focusing on online shopping services) since Lelong.my, in the span of 14 years!

In case you are wondering, "others" above according to survey responses include individual online stores, forum sites like Lowyat, social media services like Instagram, and foreign sites like Amazon, which brings us to the next topic.

Read also: Top & popular e-commerce sites in Malaysia

Despite facing challenges from Lazada regionally, and not providing free shipping to Malaysia (like Singapore), Amazon is still one of the most popular online shopping sites in Malaysia even without physical presence here.

A whopping 69% of local online users wish to see Amazon offering online shopping services here in Malaysia, followed by Taobao at 45%, ASOS at 17% and Tmall at 12%.

Most wanted foreign online shopping sites in Malaysia

69% of local online users wish to see Amazon setup in Malaysia   


What do Malaysians buy (or don't buy) online?


So, what do Malaysians buy from local sites led by Groupon, LivingSocial, Lelong.my and the rest? What about foreign sites like Amazon, Taobao, ASOS?

There aren't much surprises in the top 5 lists of both local and foreign site, occupied by popular categories like Fashion & Accessories, Electronics, Health & Beauty, Toys & Games etc.

Electronics, Fashion, Food, Beauty, Home are the top 5 online shopping categories in Malaysia   

Food & Beverage is #3 in local favourites largely due to deal sites selling restaurant vouchers (service rather than product) while Amazon contributes to Books & Magazines at #2 in foreign list.

Top online shopping categories in Malaysia

How about the most unpopular categories for online shopping here?

87% of online shoppers in Malaysia don't shop for Pets (supply & accessories), with Car & Bike at 80% followed by Sports & Outdoor at 61%.

Most unpopular online shopping categories in Malaysia are Pets, Car & Bike, Sports & Outdoor   


Understanding more about Malaysians online shopping behaviour


How do Malaysians start their online shopping journey?

As expected, the most preferred way to start online shopping is to perform a Google search. That's why if you are an online retailer, improving SEO for your e-commerce site should be one of your top priorities.

Due to the fact that big e-commerce sites here are getting more prominent, online shoppers are becoming clearer on what they can get from respective sites, thus 58% of online shoppers will go direct to the site and start shopping.

Without doubt, Malaysians also prefer to discover deals and interesting products on Facebook, with slightly more than half of the online shoppers doing so. If you are selling online, find out how to reach out to Facebook users with 5 quick Facebook adverting tips.

How do Malaysians start online shopping?

Malaysians typically start online shopping with Google search, go direct to site, and discover on Facebook   

Another interesting finding where 51% of online shoppers prefer to shop during early night, followed by late night at 41%, office hours at 36%, lunch break at 27%, and morning at 20%.

No surprise here as the most preferred online payment methods are credit card and online banking, followed by PayPal at a distance third. Read our previous article on which online payment methods are popular in Malaysia?

Malaysians are actually quite compromising in terms of delivery duration, with only 34% of online shoppers here expect their order to arrive within 1-2 days, while 43% of them are willing to wait for 3-4 days to receive the parcel.

77% of online shoppers in Malaysia expect their order to arrive in maximum 4 days   

Most preferred communication method with online sellers

If you are a frequent online shopper, have you observed the recent trend of local online sellers displaying their contact number for customers to WhatsApp, or communicate via other mobile messaging methods?

In fact, there is a reason why this is happening as 40% of online shoppers prefer mobile messaging communication with sellers, just slightly behind SMS.

Email is still the most popular communication method preferred by 86% of online shoppers, while only 33% of online shoppers are happy to communicate via phone call.

86% of online shoppers prefer to communicate with sellers via email, followed by SMS and mobile messaging   

For more details, head over to the full infographic on our Pinterest board. Don't forget to follow us on Pinterest for more compilations of e-commerce infographic and charts.

Thank you to all survey respondents for your participation. Last but not least, special thanks to Senheng and EverydayOnSales for making this happen.

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