KUALA LUMPUR: Online shopping is gradually becoming the new trend for Malaysians, with almost half of Malaysian consumers making online purchases at least monthly, according to PwC’s Total Retail 2016 Survey (Southeast Asia report).
In a statement, PwC says the growth is encouraging considering that Malaysian consumers are relatively new to the online marketplace.
PwC said Southeast Asian consumers were leading the world in usage patterns of mobile phones to make purchases, where 66 percent of consumers in both Malaysia and Singapore and 73 percent in Thailand use their phones to make purchases, compared with the global average of 54 percent.
Malaysian consumers are also ahead of other Southeast Asian countries in terms of reading reviews on social media (69 percent) and accessing promotional offerings (74 percent).
Senior Executive Director and Retail and Consumer Consulting Leader for PwC Southeast Asia Consulting Scott Constance said this information would expand the universe of possibilities for retailers who want to engage individually with their consumers.
“It will also present a challenge to retailers as consumers broaden their range of channels for interacting with brands vying for their attention,” he said.
Even with the rise in online shopping, the role of a physical store continues to be important as local consumers want the ability to order an extended range of stock across a store network or brand, and the ability to gain access to information about product availability at other locations.