Malaysians lag in online transactions

Although Malaysia has a highly active Internet community especially in social media, Malaysians are still reluctant to conduct transactions over the web, according to the latest study of online habits by Mindshare.

Malaysians came up 32nd among 33 countries in the category of "doing transactions" as their motivation for going online.

This is according to the 2013 Mindshare Digital Normalness Index (MDNI), released recently in the UK.

Malaysia has among the highest Facebook and Twitter penetration worldwide. They fared well in other categories of going online by coming up 8th in communication and self-expression and 9th in entertainment.

"This signals to businesses and brands that the potential for more Malaysians to conduct transactions online is huge. We are perhaps only tapping the ‘tip of the iceberg' here," said Gerald Wittenberger, managing director of Mindshare Malaysia.

On a positive note, the study also found that Malaysians scored slightly above average in seeking information on the Internet.

The MDNI also revealed:

  • The US is among the least motivated (31st) for using digital media for self-expression, beaten by neighbour Canada at 17th. Instead, things traditionally associated with self-expression (e.g. blogging) are driven by a desire to be entertained.
  • South Korea, one of the most advanced digital nations in the world, is only 23rd globally when it comes to being motivated to search for information, whilst scoring high on all other motivations.
  • The UK is below ‘normal' in its motivation to use digital communications across the four areas (17th) when compared to the quality of its infrastructure, as are the USA (20th) and Japan (28th).
  • The BRIC countries are all above ‘normal' in their use of digital communications across the four motivational areas when compared to the quality of their infrastructure (Brazil 14th, Russia 12th, India 5th, China 1st).
  • Chile is the most advanced (ahead of ‘normal') Latin American country (11th) beating Brazil (14th), Venezuela (18th), Colombia (19th), Mexico (21st), Peru (26th) and Argentina (29th).
  • Portugal is the most advanced European country (2nd), beating Sweden (6th), Spain (9th), Poland (10th), Germany (13th) and the UK (17th).

The MDNI is part of a Mindshare research project entitled Are you Digitally Normal?

The research focuses on the motivation of online consumers falling into four areas which are self -expression, entertainment, information gathering, and transacting, where a sample of 33,000 respondents were questioned about whether, and how often, they undertook a range of online behaviours, from blogging to online banking.