Online shopping activity in Malaysia is picking up for this year’s festive season, according to a survey conducted by Internet services company, Rakuten. Around 70% of Malaysian shoppers are expected to buy more, or at least the same number of Christmas gifts online this year compared to the previous year.
The respondents preferred online channels as their Christmas shopping destination, due to convenience (80%), easier browsing and comparison of products (52%), and cost effectiveness from attractive rebates and loyalty programmes (48%). The survey results also indicate that people are very willing to spend both time and money this season. Shoppers were found to spend the longest time on Christmas gift-shopping for their partners and spouses – 4.3 hours on average – followed by 4.1 hours on themselves. This exceeds the amount of time taken for their crushes and mothers-in-law (3.7 hours).
Correspondingly, the biggest amount spent on Christmas gifts is on partners and spouses (RM 182), followed by gifts on themselves (RM 176), and their mothers (RM 157). If respondents could only buy a present for one person, 37% chose their partner or spouse, while 19% chose their mothers or themselves.
The online shopping spree is expected to continue even after Christmas.
More than half (56%) of shoppers said they make it a point to shop in the one or two weeks leading up to the start of the New Year. This trend is primarily attributed to shoppers’ desire to splurge due to great discounts (72%), wanting to start a new year with new things (38%), or rewarding themselves after a year of hard work (27%).
Rakuten also shared three tips for festive shopping:
- Know where to start from – From family to colleagues, it’s always good to start off with your recipients and item-ising a wish list for them. A little planning should also go into the budget, so that you’re conscious with what you can afford. Whether it’s shipping costs, delivery time, or the return and exchange policy, make sure that you know all the details before committing to buying anything.
- Know who you’re buying from – Choose certified online shopping sites with a solid reputation globally where you can shop with a guarantee that you’re buying products directly from legitimate merchants.
- Know what’s in it for you –Look out for websites that offer loyalty programs, like Rakuten Super Points, where customers can accumulate points with each purchase and use them as a discount for their next purchase.
The top three categories for year-end purchases are fashion and accessories, food and beverages, and electronics and appliances.
The Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey 2015 was conducted on more than 500 men and women aged 20 to 60 in Malaysia. This is the second year running that Rakuten, which operates Rakuten Online Shopping, one of the most vibrant marketplaces in Malaysia, has commissioned it.
The Rakuten Shopping Secrets 2015 survey was commissioned by Rakuten and conducted by an external research agency. More than 2,500 men and women in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan (500 people per market, with an equal split between men and women) were surveyed using an online methodology in October 2015. The respondents were aged between 20 to 60.