Survey says Malaysians Spent an Average RM1074 Online last year

An average Malaysian spent around RM1074 over 2012 according to a survey that was revealed by Rakuten, an e-commerce site from Japan with presence in Malaysia. The company said that Malaysia was included for the first time in the survey.

The E-commerce Index, an independent global survey into shopping trends revealed that the average online spend across the markets surveyed was USD$725 (MYR$2263) per person over 2012.  However, there were big differences between countries, with the UK leading the way with an average spend of USD$1,700 (MYR$5308), while at the other end of the spectrum Indonesians spent around USD$239 (MYR$746) per person in 2012.

While the actual full data of the survey were not revealed to TheTechInsider, Rakuten said that Malaysians spent more online in 2012 compared to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Thailand.

Over two-thirds (67 per cent) of those questioned in Malaysia would recommend a product via a social media platform, coming in second place behind Indonesia which took the top spot with 78 per cent. The data shows the majority of Malaysian shoppers are keen to share their online purchases on popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. The data also indicates consistent global trend where on average almost half of respondents (45 per cent) are actively recommending products on social media sites.

“The findings show that Malaysia is riding on the social shopping wave, which is consistent with trends we’re seeing globally,” said Masaya Ueno, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rakuten Online Shopping. “There is a definite increase in users taking their shopping online in the past two years and we expect this to continue rising at a steady pace, especially with the proliferation of linking social networks to e-commerce sites. It signals the need for online shopping to integrate features that allow users to easily share their purchases on social channels in order to improve their overall experience in line with their demands and behaviours,” he added.

Almost 85 per cent of respondents are still choosing their PCs over mobile phones or tablets to make purchases online. In the same light, Malaysian shoppers still prefer to make in-store purchases as compared to mobile or online purchases, with over 35 per cent of respondents choosing to shop in physical stores and over 36 per cent saying that their purchase decisions are dependent on the situation. While more Malaysians are starting to embrace online shopping, data shows that many are still cautious about using mobile devices to complete their purchases.

Other interesting findings:

  • Japan has the lowest number of first-time online shoppers (9 per cent), as compared to two years ago, where over 90 per cent of respondents shopped online for the first time.
  • Austria (46 per cent) and Germany (46 per cent) lead the way in preferring to stick with the bricks-and-mortar experience.
  • The survey also found that consumers in Brazil and Taiwan prefer the shopping experience online to in-store (29 per cent of Taiwanese and 26 per cent of Brazilian respondents).
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