M-Commerce spending in Malaysia quadrupled: PayPal

  • Mobile commerce in Malaysia jumps fourfold in spending
  • Merchants who do not have a mobile website need to or risk loosing out

MOBILE commerce in Malaysia has risen sharply in the last two years, recording close to a fourfold increase from 2010 to 2011, according to a new study by PayPal.
Statistics released today (June 14) by the payment provider revealed that mobile commerce spending in Malaysia increased 370% from RM101 million (US$31.7mil) to RM467 million (US$146.6mil). Comparatively, regular [non-mobile] e-commerce only grew 9%, from 1.8 billion in 2010 to 1.97 billion in 2011, PayPal noted.
Nielsen, commissioned by PayPal to manage the survey, conducted the interviews between February and March, 2012, and comprised 1,020 respondents, 415 of whom were asked specifically about their mobile spending habits.
The survey firm interviewed males (60%) and females (40%) above the age of 18 years, of whom 64% indicated that they had high income bracket, earning more than RM4,001 (US$1,256) per month.
Paypal noted that the results of the mobile commerce study showed just how quickly shopping and paying on mobile devices have taken off in Malaysia.
In the previous study conducted in 2011, there were 642,770 Malaysians who made a purchase through a mobile device compared to 253,960 in the previous year (2010), Paypal said.
Of these, mobile shoppers constituted close to half (40%) of all online shoppers in 2011, compared to about one in five (22%) in 2010, it added.
PayPal also noted that mobile shopping spend comprised about a quarter of all online shopping in 2011, four times its share of the online shopping market in 2010, while the median spend saw a substantial increase to RM500 (US$157) in 2011 compared to RM387 (US$121) in 2010.
Elias Ghanem, managing director of PayPal Southeast Asia and India, said 70% of the total online spend in Malaysia last year was conducted on local mobile websites.
"Mobile is no longer only for downloads, but to do real [monetary] transactions on goods and services," Ghanem told a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur today. "If you're a merchant and do not have an online presence [specifically a mobile optimized website], you're loosing out because mobile is the new device connection between the buyer and seller."
M-Commerce spending in Malaysia quadrupled: PayPal Ghanem (pic) said the study also revealed that Malaysians spent RM337 million (US$106mil) through their smartphones in 2011 – representing close to three quarters of the total mobile commerce market – compared to RM108 million  (US$33.9mil) through tablets.
The median spend per head on smartphones was RM494 (US$155) which is slightly higher than the median spend of RM464 (US$145) via tablets, he added.
Other interesting data revealed through PayPal's mobile commerce survey are:

  • M-Commerce spending in Malaysia quadrupled: PayPal The top three mobile spending categories (mouse over, to enlarge chart) in 2011 were movie tickets, fashion & accessories, and books; and
  • The top three places where Malaysians make their mobile purchases were at home, offices/workspace and educational institutions.

Ghanem said the potential for mobile commerce in Malaysia to grow further is good, noting that the Nielsen study forecasted this sector to reach RM3.43 billion (US$1.08 bil) in 2015, representing 60% of the total online shopping market, up from the current 40%.
"The message is simple; retailers are to seize the opportunity and embrace mobile," Ghanem said.
RM1 = US$0.314

Related story:
The mobile web key to m-commerce, says PayPal


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