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E-Commerce Trend in Malaysia: PC vs Mobile, Online vs Offline, Local vs Foreign

October 21, 2015 CK Wong Category : , , , , , ,

Consumer Barometer by Google

How people consume devices, their behavior on performing research and shopping?

Consumer Barometer by Google has almost all the latest trends you need to know, categorized in the areas of:

• The Online & Multiscreen World
• The Smart Shopper
• The Smart Viewer

For your convenience, we summarize key findings on latest e-commerce related trends for consumers in Malaysia.

Read also: Malaysia Online Shopping Trend

Devices used for research

In general, 74% of Malaysians are using computer to conduct product research, compared to 45% smartphone and 16% tablet.

Which devices did people use for product research?

There are specific categories like flights in which research on computer is more dominant (check here), This makes sense as researching on flight tickets is a heavier activity compared to others.

In any case, researching on mobile is still a significant portion for any category so again, mobile or responsive website is a must.

Devices used for purchase

If we refer to the previous graph, you should be expecting around 45% of your website traffic coming from smartphone (and this is still growing), but it is safe to expect around 20% of your online orders are made via smartphone.

Which devices did people use to make their purchase?

Of course, the consumer behavior varies by product / service category. If we refer to the category breakdown, we would have expected more than 20% online purchases are made via smartphone for categories like music and cinema tickets.

Physical products like laptop / tablet, make-up, mobile phones also enjoys more than 20% orders via smart phone, interestingly 21% online purchases of mobile phones are made via tablet.

Buying online vs offline

The graph below provides us a good benchmark on e-commerce penetration, even though the sampling base is only limited to Internet users on their recent purchase.

58% of Internet users are still making their purchase offline via physical stores, by comparison only 30% recent purchases are online.

Where did people make their purchase?

If we refer to this category breakdown, consumers prefer to buy online for service-based items like flights, hotels, travel and music.

Clothing & footwear is the best performer among physical products with 42% purchases are made online, while groceries is the lowest with 6% bought online.

Buying online from overseas

Almost half of the Internet users in Malaysia have bought online from overseas, at least once a year.

How often do people purchase products online from foreign countries?

So what kind of products Malaysians buy online from foreign country?

Clothing & accessories or footwear is the #1 item consumers purchase online from overseas, followed by cosmetics, beauty or health products at #2, and books, CDs, DVDs or video games at #3.

Which products have people purchased online from foreign countries?

Why consumers opt for shopping online from overseas? Better availability is the top reason, followed by appealing offer, and better conditions (services, terms of payment or price).

This is something worth pondering for local merchants to stay competitive.

What attitudes do people have towards making online purchases from foreign countries?

For now, local merchants can still breathe a sigh of relief as almost half of Malaysians online consumers prefer to buy online within the country, with higher cross-border shipping cost an obvious concern.

Read also: Cross-border e-commerce in Singapore and Malaysia


What say you?