§ 41 percent of Malaysians research products on their smartphones before buying. The numbers in Western Europe are much lower: UK - 21 percent, Germany 20 percent.
§ 28 percent said they researched products on their smartphone in-store. 26 percent did location-based research and 25 percent shared product photos on their smartphone; some of the highest percentages in the world.
- Smartphones in Asia are also an entertainment destination.
§ Over half (55 percent) of Malaysians use their mobiles to listen to music, half (50%) play online games and almost seven out of ten (67 percent) Malaysians watch online video on their phones.
Asia takes control of the internet
The Consumer Barometer study showed that Malaysians have at least 1.2 Internet-enabled devices, which underlines the importance of the multi-screen trend: using more than one device to achieve a task, or using devices simultaneously.
Malaysian respondents also showed one of the highest rates in the region for shopping research with 70 percent of respondents researching their last purchase both online and offline.
The increasing importance of the internet to the travel industry was one of the study's highlights. Flights are the most popular items for Malaysians to buy online with 86 percent saying they last bought their flight tickets online and 75 percent had last booked their hotel stays online. In the categories covered by the survey, apparel (42 percent), cinema tickets (37 percent) and insurance (26 percent) were the next most popular categories.
Sivanandan said that Digital also helped researching larger purchases with 77 percent of Malaysians using the internet to check out which TV to buy and six out of ten (63 percent) for large home appliances like refrigerators or washing machines.
"This research clearly shows that Asian consumers have taken charge of the internet, and are shaping it in their own image - Malaysians are at the forefront of this trend, using their mobile devices to access news, look for local businesses and watch videos," he said. "The trend is only going to continue as more people come online and the appetite for all things digital grows. It's up to Malaysian businesses to satisfy that hunger with all the innovation and creativity in that's out there."
"In Malaysia the shift to mobile has happened and cannot be ignored - savvy businesses need to catch up with the consumer to stay relevant in this fast-paced environment," said Sivanandan.
The Consumer Barometer, which was conducted with TNS, includes more than 150,000 interviews across 56 countries on consumers' online behaviour.
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