11street: Malaysia’s online shopping scene takes off
By Chong Jinn Xiung December 16, 2016
- Rise of the e-commerce industry lays foundations for a prosperous online retail sector
- Malaysians are experimenting with new categories of products, moving to online payments
THE online shopping sphere in Malaysia is thriving and fuelled by the potential for it to mature and grow according to a recent survey conducted by online marketplace 11street.
The nationwide survey collected data from 3,507 participants in 14 states between Nov 15-21, 2016.
A snapshot of Malaysian online shoppers shows that 59% shop online at least once a month or more.
It also found that smartphones continue to lead the way as the device of choice on which Malaysians shop online. Eighty percent of respondents used smartphones to shop.
This echoes 11street’s belief that Malaysia is equipped with apt IT infrastructure to pave the way for the e-commerce ecosystem to grow in the country.
Interestingly, there is a difference in behaviour between mobile and desktop users as those who shop via smartphones prefer to buy low price point products like smartphone accessories and fashion items.
This is in contrast to desktop users who prefer to buy bigger and higher priced items like furniture as it allows them to view items more clearly and compare before making a decision.
Though cash is king, there is a noticeable shift in online shoppers away from payment forms like cash-on-delivery, as only 12% of those surveyed used this method. A vast majority, at least up to 54% preferred to pay via online transfer, followed by 33% that used credit or debit cards.
Even among the minority that prefers to pay cash-on-delivery, 90% are keen to try non-cash payments in the next 12 months.
Looking forward to 2017
11street chief executive officer Hoseok Kim said the survey revealed the psyche of Malaysian consumers who shop online, providing them with nuggets of information to outline key trends in online shopping in 2017.
“Despite the myriad of product categories, Malaysian consumers are still experimental with their purchasing behaviour,” he said of the survey’s findings.
The top three most purchased categories in 2016 included lifestyle and fast-moving products such as electronics, fashion and beauty and sports and hobbies.
Moving into 2017, survey respondents revealed that home decor and furniture, household and groceries and health and supplements are top priority categories that they are likely to explore.
“As consumers gain more familiarity with online shopping and increased logistic coverage, 11street envisions consumers to shop online for daily essentials, fresh produce and personal items,” said Kim.
Kim notes that though the logistics infrastructure in Malaysia is capable of meeting e-commerce orders at the moment but more needs to be done to improve its efficiency.
In order to meet these demands, the market and online sellers are expected to gear up and offer better services and faster delivery.
Though Malaysians are a patient lot, with 90% willing to wait up to one week for their orders to arrive, there is a growing interest in express delivery options.
In fact, more than 60% of survey respondents are willing to pay up to RM10 extra for an express delivery option, which may set the trend moving forward.
Though price is at the top of the list of key considerations of Malaysians when it comes to online shopping, timely delivery and positive customer reviews are increasingly gaining in importance.
Moving forward, 11street sees sellers having to up their game and go the extra mile to deliver better services by familiarising themselves with the process of managing growing sales volume, rising expectations on logistics and delivering impeccable customer service.
As online shopping integrates into the lives of the Malaysian consumer, the barriers between e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retail will be levelled.
Kim believes that 11street will serve as the backbone for online sellers to offer better services and delivery to consumers in the year to come.