The continued rise of the e-commerce industry in Malaysia is laying the foundation for a prosperous online retail sector ahead, according to 11street. Through its recent nationwide survey from 15 to 21 November, in which 3,507 respondents participated, the online marketplace laid out key takeaways for the Malaysian online market in 2016 and predicted five leading trends for the year ahead.
Hoseok Kim, CEO of 11street explained: “Based on the findings of our survey, we can conclude that the online shopping sphere in Malaysia is thriving, fueled by potentials for it to mature and grow. The survey revealed the psyche of Malaysian consumers who shop online, and provide us with nuggets of information to outline our predictions for the Malaysian e-commerce scene in 2017.”
With over 80% of the respondents revealing to have shopped online and 59% who shop online at least once a month or more frequently, the online shopping sphere in Malaysia is indeed flourishing. However, despite the availability of a myriad of product categories, Malaysian consumers are still experimental in their purchasing behaviour by largely sticking to lifestyle and fast-moving products such as electronics, fashion and beauty, and sports and hobbies.
Meanwhile, smartphones continue to lead the way as the device of choice for Malaysians consumers to shop online, as 80% of the respondents have professed. This revelation echoes 11street’s belief that Malaysia is equipped with an apt IT infrastructure to pave the way for the e-commerce ecosystem to grow in the country.
From the survey, 95% of the respondents rated a ‘5’ and above when asked about their satisfaction level with online shopping, and summarises the fact that Malaysian online shoppers are more than happy with their online shopping experience. According to 11street, online shopping is a driver for Malaysians to save money, in line with the rising costs of living – a premise for the online marketplace to set the tone for what is in store for the e-commerce industry moving forward.
2017: Five Key Trends for Online Shopping in Malaysia
1. Online Shopping is the Way Forward
11street predicts that existing online shoppers will continue to buy more frequently, and non-online shoppers would start to explore e-commerce in the next 12 months. This is based on the results of the survey, in which out of the 17% of respondents who said they had not shopped online before, 85% expressed interest in seeking out online shopping within the next year. Their interest is likely encouraged by the satisfaction of existing online shoppers, as well as the good prices they can find online. This revelation will further bring the barrier down between online and non-online shoppers, thus making online shopping the way forward for consumers come 2017.
2. Payment Methods will Continue to Mushroom
While cash is king, 11street foresees that Malaysian consumers will be open to the idea of exploring non-cash payment methods such as online transfer, and through credit and debit cards, led by 90% of the survey respondents who pay cash-on-delivery being willing to try other non-cash payment methods in the next 12 months. As such, with the expected increase in frequency of online purchase, the usage of credit or debit card for online payments will grow as consumers gain more trust in buying online over time.
3. Exploration and Venture into New Product Categories
In addition, survey respondents have revealed home décor and furniture, household and groceries and health and supplements as top priority categories that they will likely to explore in 2017. As consumers gain familiarity with online shopping and with increased logistics coverage and affordability, 11street envisions consumers to shop online for daily essentials, fresh produce and personal items, for these product categories can be easily browsed on their smartphones and conveniently delivered to their doorsteps.
4. Express Delivery will Gain Traction
In general, 90% of the survey respondents indicated that they would be willing to wait up to one week for the delivery of their purchases. Yet while they was asked about express delivery, more than 60% of them stating that they are willing to pay extra up to RM10 for express delivery. 11street sees this as setting the trend for express delivery moving forward, in which consumers expect faster delivery at more affordable price. As such, in order to continue keeping the customers happy, the market and online sellers are expected to gear up and offer better services and faster delivery.
5. It Goes Beyond Price
As it is, consumers are aware of the cost-saving benefits from shopping online; therefore moving forward, sellers will have to up their game and go the extra mile to deliver better services by familiarising themselves with the processes of managing growing sales volume, rising expectations on logistics, and delivering impeccable customer service. This is on the back of 11street’s survey, in which respondents listed ‘timely delivery’ and ‘positive customer review’, among others, as their key considerations when it comes to online shopping.
In turn, 11street endeavours to ramp up support to sellers, to help them better their offerings and gain customer trust, to result in a thriving online shopping market in 2017.
“In 2017, we expect to see a substantial shift in the marketing plans of many businesses, whereby they will transcend from being device-focussed to more people-focussed. After all, consumers these days are not only on the look-out for the best deals, but also other factors that meet their needs and cater to their demands. On top of online deals, good customer service and excellent logistics will set the path for online businesses moving forward,” said Kim.
On the other hand, 11street introduces its host of Ong-some New Year promotions in preparation for the upcoming festivities. Working hand-in-hand with reputable brands such as Brands, Caring, Eu Yan Sang, Huawei, Nestle and Watsons, consumers can enjoy up to 90% discount and find a variety of gift ideas and related products in time for Chinese New Year.
• Shine This New Year with a series of spring cleaning products, from brands such as Air Wick, Dettol, Harpic and Vanish, and stand a chance to win 88 gold coins worth RM88,000;
• Chinese New Year hampers from health and food brands, namely Brands, Eu Yan Sang, Kinohimitsu and Tong Garden, for gifts that are carefully chosen for loved ones, family, friends and business associates;
• Ong-some Gadget deals from established smartphones makers of Huawei and OPPO, in which consumers are given the option to pre-order the limited edition Huawei Porsche Design Mate 9, or purchase the OPPO F1S and R9S with a special Chinese New Year bundle.
In conclusion, as online shopping integrates itself into the lives of Malaysian consumers, the barriers between e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar retail will be levelled, if not relinquished. 11street strives to be the enabler of this, and serve as a backbone for online sellers to offer better services and delivery to consumers.