Malaysian online consumers less likely to be early adopters: Nielsen survey

  • Most will wait for new products to be proven; 65% are more likely to buy new products from familiar brands
  • Malaysian early adopter rates are lower than Asia Pacific and global averages

Malaysian online consumers less likely to be early adopters: Nielsen surveyONE- quarter (25%) of online Malaysian consumers consider themselves as early purchasers of new product innovations, with 5% fully agreeing and 20% somewhat agreeing that they are strong supporters of innovation, according to a new study from Nielsen.
The percentage is lower than that of the Asia Pacific region and global average which is 38% and 34% respectively, the market research firm said in a statement.
The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment surveyed more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries and shows that proof-of-concept heavily influences consumers’ purchasing decisions related to innovation.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of those surveyed in Malaysia indicate that they will wait until a new innovation has proven itself before making a purchase. When it comes to priority in brands, 65% of online Malaysian consumers prefer to buy new products from a familiar brand, higher than the Asia Pacific’s average of 55% and surpassing the percentage of respondents (55%) who are generally willing to switch to a new brand (click chart below to enlarge).
“As much as consumers generally like to see new products produced and welcome innovation for a change, when it comes to first-hand buying behavior, consumers often have their reservations on what could happen to the product and its after-sales services in the short- and mid-term,” said Richard Hall, Nielsen Malaysia managing director.
Malaysian online consumers less likely to be early adopters: Nielsen survey“Although the confidence towards familiar, established and trusted brands does help to ignite the excitement when a brand launches an innovative product, the wait-and-see attitude adopted by Malaysians is still very much the norm when it comes to actual purchase and usage.
“Importantly, the price-to-value equation remains a key factor in new product success, as does users’ positive personal experience on distinctive demand-driven elements displayed by products at the right place and right time, inclusive of word-of-mouth endorsement,” he added.
Nielsen’s survey reveals that almost half (49%) of Malaysian consumers are likely to tell others about the products they have purchased compared to 64% in the Asia Pacific region.

Malaysian online consumers less likely to be early adopters: Nielsen surveyTraditional advertising and word-of-mouth
Nielsen’s review of 21 methods to reach consumers across various media and advertising platforms – ranging from traditional advertising to word-of-mouth communication and from Internet communications to mobile – shows that traditional advertising and word-of-mouth communications are still the most persuasive ways driving awareness of new products or innovative executions in Malaysia.
In fact, 69% of online Malaysian consumers who use free samples are likely to purchase the new product. This is followed closely by two other most persuasive awareness drivers under the category of word-of-mouth communications.
Listening to advice from family and friends (69%) as well as professionals and experts (67%) are among the top three methods. Seeing products in stores (67%) and in TV ads (56%) remain influential while active Internet searching (56%) are seen to be as persuasive as TV ads (click chart to enlarge).
“While conventional marketing vehicles such as in-store presence and TV advertising continue to be the largest drivers of awareness, consumers are increasingly looking to the Internet for information when making purchasing decisions,” said Hall.
Malaysian online consumers less likely to be early adopters: Nielsen surveySignificant Internet influence
The influence of the Internet on new product purchase decisions is significant across a wide variety of product categories, considering the results are based on online respondents. Overall, online consumers surveyed indicated that the Internet is very or somewhat important when making a new product purchase decision for electronics (82%), books (78%), food and beverage (78%), and car or auto (76%) categories (click chart to enlarge).
“Influencing demand can be a challenge for manufacturers who are marketing a compelling new product,” said Hall.
“Targeting the unmet needs and combining benefits from often-unrelated categories to create a new value proposition with distinctive solutions, while making benefits more affordable and accessible to a broader market, would be some key approaches to surmount these challenges.
“Developing a market-ready offer by leveraging on existing brand platforms can also convert a market opportunity into a winning demand-driven new product,” he added.
The Nielsen Global Survey of New Product Purchase Sentiment was conducted between Aug 10 and Sept 7, 2012, and polled more than 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and North America.
The sample has quotas based on age and sex for each country based on their Internet users and is weighted to be representative of Internet consumers and has a maximum margin of error of ±0.6%.
This Nielsen survey is based on the behavior of respondents with online access only. Internet penetration rates vary by country. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% Internet penetration or 10-million online population for survey inclusion.
The Nielsen Global Survey, which includes the Global Consumer Confidence Index, was established in 2005.
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