Online Shopping Is Easy - Maybe Too Easy!

online shopping is easy - maybe too easy!

How do you discover new products to buy?

We know we often get caught up while mindlessly scrolling through social media! According to a study by Facebook and Bain & Company, the emerging middle class in Southeast Asia make up for about 70%-80% of the growth in digital consumers by 2025. 

Involving 12, 965 respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, along with over 30 CEOs and venture capitalists in the region, it was found that the number of digital consumers rose from 90 million in 2015 to 250 million in 2018 and is estimated to hit 310 million by 2025!

70% of respondents said they did not have a clear idea of what they wanted to buy, much less where to purchase them, while over 50% said they discovered new products and brands online via social platforms.

Meanwhile, 80% said they would compare prices across online discovery platforms and in-store (sometimes being kiasu saves money ok) before buying something. Social media also plays a strong role in influencing purchase decisions locally, with 58% of consumers using it to find new products. All that mindless scrolling definitely wasn’t so mindless after all.

More than 40% said they tried out online stores they have never heard of before previously, with the main three reasons for making an online purchase being positive reviews from other users, good deals (who can resist?) or simply, interesting products!

online shopping is easy - maybe too easy!

“There is no longer just one way to shop and nobody shops the same way twice. The key takeaway is that designing for discovery is absolutely crucial, given that customers engage with a business through multiple channels at the same time. In Malaysia alone, 70% of the respondents said that they are either open to other brands or will buy from multiple brands when shopping online. This means businesses of all sizes, including specialty players have a significant opportunity to compete on a larger scale in Southeast Asia,” said Nicole Tan, Country Managing Director of Facebook Malaysia.

As there is no main player in the e-commerce market, there is huge potential for brands to build loyalty among consumers. Online shoppers in Malaysia shop at an average of 4.2 websites before making up their minds, showing that we are all pretty savvy shoppers!

Methods like reward systems and loyalty programs serve as a great way to build loyalty, with respondents saying they were 1.5 times more likely to promote those brands than those without benefits. In fact, loyalty members were 45% more likely to make recommendations, 25% to purchase more products and 20% more likely to spend more when it came to brands with loyalty programs!

“Brands need to be very savvy and reimagine their marketing and trade spend to be in sync with the ever-evolving omnichannel consumer journey. Brands that want to win in the ever-evolving omnichannel consumer journey need to understand what customers are looking for in their category, work to solve needs and pain points, and customise loyalty to differentiate themselves, all while delivering with consistency,” said Gwendolyn Lim, Partner at Bain & Company, Singapore.

So how often does social media affect your purchase decisions?

By: Celestine Foo