Malaysians prefer online shopping

More and more Malaysians are skipping the shopping mall queues to shop online and via mobile devices this festive season, leaving more time spent with family.

According to a Paypal survey conducted by GfK, 81% of Malaysians would spend more time with their family, 29% would use the extra time relaxing through exercising or taking up a hobby and 53% intend to hang out more often with their friends with the time saved from shopping alternatively.

This festive season, Malaysians expect to shop online 12 times and save an average of three hours every time they shop online instead of going to the shopping mall.

Over one-third (37%) of 1.6 million online shoppers in Malaysia plan to shop during the Black Friday to Cyber Monday shopping period, with an average spend of nearly RM113 per shopper over this period.

"Instead of shopping at overcrowded retail malls, battling traffic and carpark jams, savvier and smarter Malaysians choose to shop online and on mobile devices," said Klas Hesselman, head of marketing, PayPal Southeast Asia and India.

According to the survey, 2012 continues to be the year for mobile commerce as more Malaysians turn to their mobile devices to shop on-the-go.

Two-thirds of Malaysian shoppers expect to shop three or more times a month on their mobile devices this festive season. Smartphones and tablets emerged as the top choice by almost half (47%) when shopping online, followed by the use of laptops (34%) and desktops (18%).

Mobile apps are still more popular than mobile websites for Malaysian online shoppers as 75% of respondents prefer to use mobile apps to access online retail stores, 54% would like to use location-based mobile shopping apps to find great deals and 39%want to scanQR codes shown on advertisements and promotions.

User-generated content on social media platforms are shown to have a strong influence on what Malaysians buy during the festive shopping season with 76% of respondents saying they research online before they shop. Over 68% indicated that reviews would influence their purchase decision.

Nearly six out of 10 festive shoppers (57%) actively search social networks for shopping deals and promotions, while almost half (49%) were also likely to redeem offers while browsing social media channels like Facebook and Twitter.

The five most popular shopping categories for Malaysia during this festive season are clothing (46%), bags and accessories (43%), electronic gadgets (38%), shoes (35%) and fragrances (29%).