Any attempt to define a community—for marketing purposes or otherwise--can be tricky. But it is safe to state that Malaysian consumers are digitally mature and mobile. In fact, many would also rank among the region’s social media savants.
This know-how opens a world of digital opportunities for marketers targeting Malaysian consumers.
Indeed, Malaysia already boasts a high online penetration rate of 66%–the equivalent of 20 million consumers–and that number is growing by 6% a year, according to “The State of Digital in Malaysia for E-commerce” report by Adobe (CMO.com’s parent company).
This sophisticated online community also has bought into ecommerce. The Adobe report revealed that more than half (10.9 million) of this Malaysian cohort have bought goods and services online, and 5.6 million have bought via a mobile device.
Smartphones Gain Ground
To reach this enthusiastic online population–and for budget-allocation purposes–it helps to understand how users like to spend their time online.
According to the Adobe report, Malaysian consumers typically spend 5.1 hours a day online using a desktop or laptop computer, and 3.7 hours a day online via a mobile device. Forty-two percent of these online consumers watch television and movies via the Internet.
While laptops and PCs currently dominate the online landscape–57% of Web page views originate from these devices–the smartphone is rising fast. Unlike in many other markets, Android phones dominate with a 65% market share. Apple and Windows devices are even at 13% each, followed by BlackBerry with 9%, the report states.
Eighty-eight percent of Malaysian smartphone users reported that they use their mobile devices to access the Internet every day. Just over a third of all Web page views come from smartphones, and this share is growing by 45% a year. (Laptop-originated Internet access, in comparison, is falling by 17% a year.) Sixty-one percent also reported they perform daily searches.
From an e-commerce perspective, 75% of mobile users reported they have used a smartphone in-store as part of the purchasing process. However, in most cases, mobiles are used to research rather than complete a purchase; some 69% of consumers report that they start their online shopping experience with a Google search. Also, mobile apps don’t play a huge e-commerce role: Only 17% of consumers report that they have used a smartphone app as part of the shopping process.
For marketers, opportunities to build on Malaysian consumers’ enthusiasm for their mobile devices are numerous. Enterprises can cement a closer relationship with consumers through apps that deliver coupons, offer location-based services, and leverage loyalty programs. These initiatives can support consumers through the search and research phase, holding them through to purchase, and looping them back to service and loyalty programs. Search engine optimisation should be emphasised as well.
As mentioned, Malaysian consumers are heavily invested in social networks, with the population registering 14 billion social network views per month–or 731 per person, according to the Adobe report. On average, Malaysians boast 233 Facebook friends, which is 80% higher than the global average. Seven out of 10 Malaysian online consumers report that they refer to a brand’s social media presence before making a purchasing decision.
“Considering the consumers’ social media maturity, social is a strong opportunity to engage the Malaysian market,” the Adobe report recommends.