09 May 2024

Malaysian Consumer Shopping Behaviour 2024: Habits & Attitude

In the realm of consumer behaviour, understanding how people shop is essential. Our analysis of Q1 2024 purchases uncovers valuable insights into why people make purchases and how they make decisions. This article delves into these aspects, as well as explores consumer perspectives on value. Join us as we reveal these insights, shedding light on the ever-evolving landscape of consumer habits. 

Methodology 

This survey was conducted from 23rd February to 11th March 2024 using Vodus’ proprietary OMTOS online survey method that enables a survey audience sampling reach of 17 million Malaysians (53% of population) through a network of major online media platforms [1]. In total, Vodus has surveyed 19,697 respondents nationwide to gather data and insights that accurately represent the Malaysian consumer population. 

Shopping Habits & Decision Making 

To gain a better understanding of the shopping habits and decision-making processes of Malaysian consumers, we gained key insights into price comparison practices across different purchasing channels, as well as sought to understand whether Malaysians were willing to pay a higher price for quality. 

Our findings show that whether purchasing from physical retail stores, online or through ecommerce marketplaces, 42% of consumers in Malaysia always compare pricing before making a purchase. In particular, consumers between the ages of 45 and 54 are more inclined to compare prices (81%) in order to determine the best option, potentially saving money and maximising their budget. 

We uncovered a range of attitudes towards paying a premium for quality among those surveyed. A noteworthy 23% of respondents consistently prioritise quality, showing a strong willingness to invest in superior products regardless of price. Conversely, a substantial 44% of participants demonstrate a more flexible approach, indicating that they would occasionally pay a higher price for quality. This diversity in consumer attitudes highlights the intricate balance between price and quality considerations in purchasing decisions, reflecting the diverse preferences and priorities of modern consumers. 

These consumers primarily consist of individuals from the M40 group, with a monthly household income (MHI) ranging from RM5,000 to RM8,000 (76%), and the T20 group, with an MHI of RM12,000 and above (79%). Notably, 73% of the Chinese segment prioritise quality and are willing to pay a higher price for it. 

Chart 1: Frequency of Engaging in Price Comparisons and Paying Higher Price 

The incidence of consumers in comparing prices varies across different categories. When it comes to daily necessities and discretionary items like F&B (77%), personal care/hygiene products (78%), clothing (81%), health & wellness (76%), beauty & cosmetics (78%), consumer electronics (76%), and home improvement products (78%), consumers exhibit a keen eye for value. They actively compare prices between physical and online stores, showcasing a channel-agnostic approach in their quest for the best deals. This dynamic behaviour underscores consumers' determination to make informed purchasing decisions and maximise the value of their expenditures. 

Consumers shopping for specific-purpose items such as pet products, baby & childcare essentials, and office supplies tend to focus their price comparisons on various ecommerce websites and marketplaces. In these categories, consumers prioritise specific features or brands, motivating them to scour the internet for the best deals and options available. 

In contrast, prioritising a higher price for better quality is more prevalent among buyers of indulgence items such as tobacco & alternatives (i.e.: vape, e-cigarettes) and alcoholic beverages, rather than engaging in price comparisons. This suggests that factors other than price, such as quality and brand reputation, may take precedence for consumers in these categories. 


Chart 2: Incidence of Price Comparisons across Categories and Paying Higher Price

Consumer Attitudes Towards Value 

In Malaysia's bustling marketplace, businesses regularly introduce new products and services. However, consumer responses vary. Some eagerly embrace innovation, while others prefer familiar options for a sense of security. This diversity in preferences underscores the importance of understanding consumer attitudes to effectively launch successful offerings. 

Our survey reveals that a significant 73% of Malaysian consumers are adventurous when it comes to grocery shopping, readily exploring new products or brands that offer better value. Notably, younger consumers aged 18–34 years (83%), those of Chinese ethnicity (81%), and individuals from lower M40 households with an MHI of RM5K–8K and lower T20 households with an MHI of RM12K-16K show a strong inclination towards embracing new products or brands. 

Moreover, regular users of social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and X are more likely to be receptive to new products and brands, with an impressive 80% showing openness. As such, marketers should leverage social media platforms to effectively market any new products and services. 

Chart 3: Willingness to Try New Products 

Get a deeper understanding of our findings by checking out "Malaysian Consumer Sentiment Behaviour 2024: Online Preferences & Spending" There, we unveil the influences steering purchasing decisions and which products Malaysian consumers are most likely to purchase online. Click here to explore the factors driving consumer behaviours and discover their online shopping preferences.  

For more info on the product category level and demographic deep dive analysis, or if you want to know more about our proprietary OMTOS survey technology, please contact us in the form below or email us at contact@vodus.com.   

Citations:

  1. Vodus proprietary OMTOS survey technology surveys Internet users across popular online platforms from Media Prima, Astro, The Star, and Sinar Harian Karangkraf.

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