Online shopping in Indonesia seen to grow 40 per cent

Indonesians shop online mostly to buy fashion, cosmetic and electronic products; airline tickets, and tour packages, according to a survey conducted by Visa Worldwide Indonesia.

The survey indicated that Indonesian online shoppers spent US$500 per year on average on buying airline tickets and accommodation and about $194 per year on fashion products and cosmetics last year.

"No one can deny that travelling has become a need. People always need holidays in the hustle and bustle of their lives, especially in big cities like Jakarta," said

Visa president director Ellyana Fuad on Tuesday. "Similar to holidays, fashion and cosmetics have also become a need," she added.

The survey was conducted last year on 516 respondents through an interview and group discussion held in Jakarta, Bandung, Bekasi, Depok (West Java), Tangerang (Banten), Surabaya (East Java), Semarang (Central Java), Medan (North Sumatra), Makassar (South Sulawesi) and other big cities across the archipelago.

The respondents who are above 18 years old and actively involved in online shopping through credit and debit cards.

Based on the survey, Visa estimated online shopping in the country would grow by about 40 per cent this year and 53 per cent next year, from 23 per cent the previous year.

"We believe online shopping will grow sharply in the future because of the increasing middle class in the country," said Ellyana.

Middle-class people require efficiency in their business transactions so they will optimize Internet connections to shop for commodities or pay bills. Due to the bright economic outlook, the Indonesian middle class will grow and their needs of online shopping will follow, Ellyana explained.

The projected sharp increase in the number of the online shoppers was supported by the country's demographics, said Ellyana, adding that Indonesians are mostly young and active people with an average age of 28.

"The young are different than the old. Young people are really familiar with the Internet and they use it not only to contact their friends but also to shop for goods. This will grow e-commerce in the country."

The survey showed online shoppers mostly preferred using credit cards as their payment method instead of money transfers and Internet banking as they could pay in instalments via credit card.

The survey also said that out of 10 online shoppers, nine used personal computers and laptops when they browsed and shopped online.

"Online shoppers prefer to use these things rather than cell phones. They tend to use cell phones to share information instead of for online shopping," said Ellyana.