Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Are You Ready for The Holiday Online Shopping Bonanza?

Malaysia, 2 October 2013 – In recent years, October has joined the ranks of November and December as key months for consumers around the world to start their year-end festive shopping. This is no less the case in Malaysia, where more shoppers are actively scouring the online global marketplace and planning their gift buying earlier. Last year, PayPal’s Skip the Queues survey revealed that holiday shopping in Malaysia is starting as early as October.

Online holiday deals start now and consumers are still hungry to snap up the best offers available, but today they’re shopping from a global marketplace—not just at shopping malls. This is part of a much bigger trend: technology is fundamentally changing the retail calendar. Holiday shopping starts earlier and ends later.

The survey also revealed that Malaysians were expected to save almost 36 hours of their lives by doing nearly half of their holiday shopping online, avoiding their major pet peeves of mall shopping - trouble finding a parking lot (67%) and queuing at checkout lines (65%).

The Black Friday to Cyber Monday four-day period is one of the largest shopping long weekends in the U.S. where merchants offer massive discounts as the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.  Savvy Malaysian shoppers know that such sales are no longer exclusive to U.S. consumers and that they can now participate in super sales by their favourite brands, whether it’s Ralph Lauren, J.Crew, Saks or promotions on eBay.

This is also an incredible opportunity for merchants in Malaysia who are selling internationally to tap into the festive shopping phenomenon being observed around the world. PayPal recently released a Modern Day Spice Routes report, which showed that 94 million consumers are shopping online beyond their borders, with the global cross border shopping opportunity projected to be worth more than $100 billion in the top 6 markets alone.

According to last year’s Skip the Queues survey, the five most popular shopping categories during this end year shopping bonanza period for Malaysians were clothing (46%), bags and accessories (43%), electronic gadgets (38%), shoes (35%), and fragrances (29%), The survey also showed that over 68% of Malaysian consumers would shop on their mobile devices over the festive shopping season. Thus, merchants have a huge opportunity to capitalise on these trends and meet consumer demands to drive local and international sales.

As the holiday season kicks into full gear in October, there are exciting times ahead for both consumers and merchants. Consumers who plan ahead to get in early will get to skip the queues, snag the best deals from retailers selling from around the world, and get their shopping delivered well ahead of the festivities. At the same time, merchants can get ahead of the global demand curve and capitalise on these trends by ensuring their sites are mobile-ready, their logistics and stocks are in order, and most importantly, that they have enabled a globally trusted, seamless and secure payments platform for the savvy global customer this festive season.

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