The e-Commerce Consumers Survey 2018 (ECS 2018), released by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) shows that 51.2 percent of Malaysians use the eCommerce platform to shop and sell online in the past 12 months.
As reported by World Bank Group 2018, Malaysia is at number two in the Southeast Asia region after Singapore in terms of percentage of e-Commerce users.
Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya topped the list of eCommerce adoption at 70.5 percent, followed by Wilayah Persekutuan Labuan and Perlis at 60.5 percent and 44.5 percent respectively.
The survey finds that women are more likely to conduct e-Commerce activities (53.9 percent) compared to men (48.8 percent), 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 spend more than women in the last 12 months at an average of RM690, compared to RM450 for the women. This finding is largely attributed to the type of products purchased by men who tend to buy computer software and equipment and automotive parts.
When asked why they choose to shop online, 84.4 percent 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 another attribute for 73.0 percent e-Commerce consumers, with strategies such as discount vouchers, festive sales, cash rebates, member privileges, and others by online retailers to attract consumers.
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 future.
This survey also reveals that 78.3 percent of consumers use their smartphone to purchase goods and services online, particularly among those below 30 years old. Users are able to download e-Commerce apps on their device which makes it convenient for them to do online transactions.
Social media is another platform for consumers to collect information on products or services before they make any transactions. 44.1 percent respondents seek and validate product quality to avoid from being scammed by irresponsible parties.
Despite the increase awareness on e-Commerce, ECS 2018 finds that more than half of online shoppers are concerned about security and privacy when shopping online such as credit card fraud, fake online retailers, banking details theft, identity theft, and trust issues.
63.9 percent of online shoppers cited credit card and debit card fraud to be of the highest concern. In terms of privacy, 82.7 percent shoppers are very concerned about the disclosure of their personal details while 70 percent are worried about their personal data being misused for marketing purposes.
MCMC’s Chief Corporate Officer, Dato’ Mohd Ali Hanafiah Mohd Yunus says “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, smart delivery options and customercentric return policies will also instil their confidence to adopt eCommerce. At the same time, the latest e-Commerce data is important to facilitate policy making in this area to benefit the rakyat.”
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 provides a higher level of granularity of data in measuring key dimensions of digital economy in Malaysia.