KUALA LUMPUR - A majority of Malaysian shoppers tend to regret their online purchases, according to a recent survey. Almost 50 per cent say their reason for dissatisfaction lie in products looking different when they arrived in comparison to what they had been led to believe, while 29 per cent say it was due to poor product quality.
The study, commissioned by Rakuten, Internet service company and owner of Malaysian marketplace Rakuten Online Shopping, polled more than 2,000 online consumers across Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.
Results revealed that only 29 per cent of local respondents were satisfied with goods they purchased online in the past year. The remaining claimed to have regretted their buys, often due to mismatched expectations.
Rakuten Online Shopping president and chief executive officer Masaya Ueno said shopping was not only about convenience, but also about entertainment and discovery.
The study also found that over three quarters of Malaysian respondents never or rarely interacted with merchants during the online shopping process. Comparatively, 42 per cent of Indonesian respondents frequently communicated with vendors.
"Consumers should expect the same experience they enjoy from their favourite local shops, which means talking to the experts and building a sense of trust in the merchants and their products."
Almost 30 per cent of Malaysians failed to complete their online purchases as they preferred to research the products further before making a decision. This often counters the very convenience that e-commerce offers by taking up significant amount of time.
"Extending research to engage and interact with merchants can save shoppers a lot of time and effort as it would help them validate their decisions."
He added that a secure website was the most important factor that influenced online shopping decisions, followed by price and quality products with detailed photos.
The study also showed that less than half of Malaysian respondents favoured payment via credit and debit cards. In Taiwan, 57 per cent preferred credit and debit cards over cash-on-delivery or e-wallets while Indonesian online shoppers had a clear preference and would choose PayPal, AliPay and other e-wallet services over other payment methods.