Five in 10 Malaysians relate most to micro-nano influencers with follower count under 500,000. Consumers find these these influencers relatable because they occupy a niche in posting word-of-mouth recommendations to well-acquainted circles of interest, according to Shopee's recent marketplace study which examined the motivational structures of 2,459 buyers.
The degree to which Malaysians follow influencers in other tiers are spread: 25% like mega influencers (over a million) and 22% prefer macro influencers (with 500,000 to less than a million followers).
Meanwhile, three in 10 buyers want influencers to bond with them on a personal level so they can continue to stand out from their peers. A third also said they follow influencers to reaffirm their shopping choices before they purchase a product, while 22% habitually follow influencers to stay on trend or to educate themselves. When it comes to education, Shopee's survey found that 75% of surveyed customers follow influencers' tutorial videos to solve problems and expand their product knowledge.
At the same time, 21% of consumers find influencers relatable while 20% follow them just to discover new things. Only 7% chose to follow influencers for their popularity.
The most popular type of influencer content, according to 33% of Malaysian buyers, are reviews, vlogs and unboxing videos. The other buyers find inspiration in the following types of content: 20% watch DIY hacks, tips, and tricks, 19% feel rewarded by giveaways, special offers or contests, 15% discover new products or feature launch announcements, and 12% prefer interactive videos, livestreams and polls.
Through the survey, Shopee found that 27% of its surveyed buyers watch Shopee Live for entertainment and educational content. Entertainment (27%) is the main thing the draws consumers to livestream platforms, Shopee found, followed by convenience (24%), the ability to evaluate the speaker's sincerity (18%), wanting to stay on trend (17%), and participating in giveaways (14%).
Separately, Shopee also surveyed 1,035 sellers on the type of content they thought influencers should post on social media and 48% preferred influencers to post relevant and genuine reels and videos of their product. Meanwhile, 24% wanted their products featured organically in engaging content, and 15% wanted to see their products on influencer selfies. Shopee also found that 15% wanted influencers to give away their products in live interactions.
That said, there are numerous influencers these days and to stand out, 38% of consumers said they should stay relevant and 28% said they should bond and interact with followers. It is also important for influencers to foster strong brand relationships (15%) and find a niche (15%) as well as be an early adopter (10%).
The 2022 “The Future of E-Commerce with Malaysian Influencers” survey was conducted by Shopee Marketplace, between 28 September and 21 October 2022. Voluntary feedback was obtained from 2,459 Malaysian buyers and 1,035 Malaysian sellers on the platform.