Mobile shopping becoming more popular in Malaysia
KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — You’re standing in line waiting to buy tickets for the latest blockbuster at the cinema when some guy walks right by, takes out his smartphone, scans a QR code onto the turnstile and strolls in. What’s that about, right?
Mobile commerce. Everyone’s connected, everywhere, anytime. We’ve got the tools and we are ready to buy and perform transactions and the market is changing to meet this need.
“Technology is enabling the market change, with consumers leading it,” said Elias Ghanem, Managing Director, PayPal Southeast Asia and India. “Merchants must adapt to the market change to be competitive. We call this the ‘so-lo-mo-d’ — social, local, mobile, digital.”
Rahul Shinghal, Director, PayPal Mobile Asia Pacific, gives a cute example. “I’ve got a 20-month-old daughter and she sees me using my gadgets, my tablet and mobile. One day, a relative passed her a book and she started swiping the book instead of flipping the pages,” Shinghal said.
Tech-savvy consumers are used to reading news, watching videos, playing games and working on mobile devices and, according to a recent GfK Malaysia report, over 4.4 million smartphones were sold in Malaysia in 2011 and about 40 per cent of all online shoppers made their purchases on mobile devices last year.
According to Ghanem, there are three rules businesses follow when it comes to marketing products: location, location and, yes, location.
Shopping or paying bills online is available 24/7, be it at home, office, in transit or wherever there is an Internet connection. Competition is global and in order to drive sales, merchants need a competitive edge to constantly engage the consumer at any time.
“Before this, you had to go to Paris to buy a certain perfume. Now, Paris comes to you. Local merchants need to prepare themselves to compete with everyone (on an international level),” said Ghanem about the globalisation of online shopping.
PayPal conducted a survey from February 22, 2012, to March 5, 2012, with a random sample size of 1,020 consumers, of which 415 had performed mobile commerce before. The study by Nielsen revealed that there was almost RM2 billion PayPal transactions in 2011.
Seventy per cent of the PayPal users spent on local sites in 2011, with RM184 million for airline tickets and RM72 million for fashion accessories. 2011 was the milestone year for mobile commerce, with RM467 million transactions — a 370 per cent growth from 2010 with only RM101 million.
The bulk of mobile commerce was for movie tickets, followed by fashion and accessories. Most of the consumers are from the high level and middle level income groups and are aged 18 and above.
On top of that, QR codes are becoming a trend among mobile users, with six out of 10 Malaysian smartphone shoppers aware of the technology using QR codes in 2011.
PayPal is working with local merchants to engage consumers using QR codes, enabling easier and faster transactions with a sense of security.
“Malaysia has one of the highest penetration of smartphones in the world. Twenty-nine per cent of smartphone users do research on their smartphones before buying a product at a store,” said Shinghal.
At present, Paypal together with Dealextreme, a Hong Kong-based site, has created an application that provides a seamless shopping experience on the site. Since the launch of the Dealextreme application, there has been a sixfold increase in traffic on the mobile site.
Courts, a popular department store in Malaysia, is working with PayPal to offer customers one-click shopping at their fingertips.
For more information visit http://www.paypal.com.my