The e-Commerce Consumers Survey 2018 (ECS 2018), released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) today revealed that 51.2% of Malaysians use the e-Commerce platform to shop and sell online in the past 12 months.
As reported in report by World Bank Group 2018, Malaysia is at number two in the South East Asia region after Singapore in terms of percentage of e-Commerce users.
At the state level, Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya topped the list of e-Commerce adoption at 70.5%, followed by Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan and Perlis at 60.5% and 44.5% respectively.
The survey found that women are more likely to conduct e-Commerce activities (53.9%) compared to men (48.8%), with clothing and accessories being the most popular products purchased.
Even though the percentage of men adopting e-Commerce is lower compared to women, in terms of value however, men spent more than women in the last 12 months at an average of RM690, compared to RM450 for the women. This finding can be largely attributed to the type of products purchased by men who tend to buy computer software and equipment, as well as automotive parts.
When asked why they choose to shop online, 84.4% of e-Commerce users cited convenience and comfort to access various online shopping platforms at their own place and time being motivation factors for them to buy online.
Competitive pricing is also a main attraction for 73.0% e-Commerce consumers. This is encouraged by various strategies by online retailers to attract consumers such as discount vouchers, festive sales, cash rebates, member privileges, and others.
Furthermore, various types of payment methods such as online banking is another key reason why consumers shop online. Among the preferred payment method of e-Commerce consumers are e-Money facilities such as Boost, WeChat Pay and Touch ‘n Go eWallet. Even though the adoption for this payment method is still low, MCMC expects that the percentage will increase in the future, which will be driven by adoption of the e-Money method by various e-Commerce platforms.
This survey also revealed that smartphone is the most popular device for consumers where 78.3% uses them to purchase goods and services online, particularly among those below 30 years old.
Preference toward smartphone usage is not surprising as users are able to download e-Commerce apps on their device which makes it convenient for them to do online transactions.
Social media is also important for consumers to collect information on products or services before they make any transactions. 44.1% respondents uses social media to seek and validate product quality to avoid from being scammed by irresponsible parties.
Despite the high awareness on e-Commerce, ECS 2018 also found that more than half of online shoppers are concerned about security and privacy when shopping online. Concerns regarding security have emerged from a vast range of potential threats such as credit card fraud, fake online retailers, banking details theft, identity theft, and trust issues.
Among these threats, fraudulent activities including credit card and debit card fraud appears to be the highest concerns as mentioned by 63.9% of online shoppers. In terms of privacy, 82.7% shoppers indicated that they are very concerned about the exposure of their personal details while 70.0% are worried about their personal data being misused for marketing purposes.
MCMC’s Chief Corporate Officer, Dato’ Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus said, managing consumer trust and privacy in every part of e-Commerce value chain is very important to sustain the e-Commerce sector. Apart from strengthening cybersecurity and risk policies to manage security and privacy risks perception, smart delivery options and customer-centric return policies will also instill their confidence to adopt e- Commerce.
“Undertaking ECS annually is important to understand the behaviours of e-Commerce consumers as well as identifying current e-Commerce trends in Malaysia. The survey will also provide a higher level of granularity of data in measuring key dimensions of digital economy in Malaysia.
At the same time, the latest e-Commerce data is important to facilitate policy making in this area to benefit the rakyat,” he added. The survey was held for three months from 28 August until 27 November 2018 through phone interviews. Respondents were randomly selected and reached to a sample size of 5,348 people from all over the country.
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