The New Trend Towards Online Shopping In Malaysia
According to UK-based Centre for Retail Research, e-commerce is the quickest growing market in Europe and North America.
A trend that is comparable is also seen in Asia. Parkson Retail Group Ltd recently announcing dropping margins in its latest annual report. The fact is that it is no longer so rosy outlook for traditional “brick-and-mortar” stores.
According to PwC in its Total Retail Survey 2016, about 93% of South East Asia customers surveyed are making online purchases – most of them at regular frequencies. The PwC report surveyed 500 customers per nation. In Malaysia, PwC senior executive director Scott Constance mentioned that SEA consumers are quite new to purchasing from online stores. Interestingly, three-fifths of Malaysians people surveyed said that they only started purcashing from online only within the past 3 years.
“Based on patterns we’ve noticed in other nations, there is room for much growth,” he stated.
At International Beauty Store, we noticed a shift in trend towards online shopping. When we first started out in 2014, we only require a single full time staff to the orders we had. Due to the increasing popularity of online shopping, added with the high number of regular customers we have acquired over the past years, we now need 8 full time staff to handle all our enquiries, inventory and shipping. International Beauty Store has currently served over 17000 orders, and counting. Many of our clients are from Malaysia and neighbouring South East Asia countries, with more customers coming from other countries nowadays.
Constance of PwC cites “convenience” as the major component that is driving customers towards online shopping.
“Convenience accounts for the main reason why people shop online, according to about 50% of the surveyed respondents. Significantly less than 5% are driven by cost, whilst the remainder are driven by ‘other factors’,” he claims. A survey conducted by International Beauty Store in June 2017 found that most of our customers purchase from us due to the convenience of online shopping. A significant number of our customers cites “excellent service” as a factor for choosing to purchase from us.
International Beauty Store offers the convenience of being able to pay online using credit card or PayPal. Our secure encryption payment gateway ensures 100% safety when you purchase online. We also offer the convenience of free, speedy delivery. We process your order usually on the same day, or latest by the next business day when you order after our usual working hours of 8am – 12 midnight (Malaysian time).
According to the study by PwC, about 33% of respondents said they shopped online several times a month while 32% of them stated they bought services and products off the internet “a few times per year.”
Weekly online purhases accounted for 16% of the participants surveyed. 6% of participants stated they shopped daily. Another 6% shopped just once year; while only 7% said they never bought anything off the web.
“It’s clear that consumers are prepared to purchase online, and it indicates that every company need to have a really good strategy for handling consumers who want to purchase online,” said PwC.
Popular online purchases frequently comprise books, attire and music, states Constance.
In Malaysia, consumers generally research about electronic items online, but choose to purchase them at the store instead. In other countries, customers choose to purchase their products or services from online. Whereas in China, 90% of survey respondents in China report buying online monthly or more often.
Five years back, the perception had been that technology could not replace businesses that are brick-and-mortar shops. People used to think that being able to feel and touch a product is an experience that is considered irreplaceable and could withstand the onslaught of online shopping.
With the appeal of online shopping, that perception is changing.
“Given the rapid adoption of online buying and increasing use of mobile and social media marketing technology, the role for a brick-and-mortar shop is diminishing nowadays” claims PwC.
At International Beauty Store, many customers research online regarding the products that they wish to purchase. They do this by Googling for information on websites, blogs and even YouTube videos. They are especially interested to read honest reviews regarding the product in question from dozens or even hundreds of online reviewers.
From our survey held last year, we know that our customers are usually very knowledgeable and have done quite a bit of research before parting with their hard earned money to purchase products. Some customers had also asked for reviews or advice from friends and family members who have used the same product before.
Online shopping is here to stay and we at International Beauty Store welcome you to shop with us with 100% confidence.