As consumers recuperate from the festive and year-end spending, the market is gearing towards another wave of spending in line with the double celebration of Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day this year.
The Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey – recently conducted by online marketplace Rakuten – found that during this season, there is a balanced mix of consumers who prefer to shop online and offline.
However, the survey found that more Malaysians preferred to do their shopping online for Valentine’s Day (45%) compared to Chinese New Year (39%). Interestingly, more men (48%) than women (41%) preferred to shop online for Valentine’s Day, while for Chinese New Year, the opposite is true (43% of women versus 36% of men). Besides the convenience of online shopping, it is also easier for Valentine’s Day shoppers to keep their gift a secret or surprise and to look out for cheaper gifts. Malaysians are willing to spend an average of RM198.63 (USD47.10) on their spouse, RM 173.71 (USD 41.40) on their fiancé or fiancée, RM 159.03 (USD 37.90) on their girlfriend or boyfriend, and RM 156.09 (USD 37.20) on themselves. The top five gifts that people hope to receive for Valentine’s Day are a vacation (44%), food and drink (34%), jewellery (29%), handphone and smart devices (27%), fashion and accessories (26%). Ironically, 25% of survey respondents rated their wedding anniversary as the most romantic day of the year, compared to only 11% of respondents who chose Valentine’s Day.
On the other hand, online shopping for Chinese New Year is predicted to be the most popular for these categories; fashion and accessories (particularly for women), electronics and appliances (particularly for men), and Chinese New Year decorations (particularly for those between 50 – 60 years old). Mr. Hiroshi Terashima, General Manager of Rakuten Malaysia said, “Online shopping traffic in Malaysia is expected to be fuelled primarily by Valentine’s Day spending, but with Chinese New Year taking place less than a week before Valentine’s Day, consumers are likely to be cautious in managing their shopping budget between the two occasions. This means they will likely be on a close lookout for ways to optimise their spending online, such as monitoring merchant deals, signing up for loyalty programmes that give them cash-equivalent rebates or making bulk purchases which give them better discounts.” The Rakuten Shopping Secrets survey also found that in general, when buying a gift, the biggest influencing factor for 40% of Malaysians is the price, validating the fact that Malaysia remains a price-sensitive market in this economy. Mr. Terashima said, “Rakuten wants to ensure that we offer our customers the best deals and help them stretch their Ringgits especially during peak shopping season. We encourage shoppers to maximise our 5x Rakuten Super Point-back programme, which is equivalent to a 5% rebate on everything you can find on Rakuten, every day, with no limit on the amount of rebates. We want Malaysians to get more rewards when they shop as we give back to all our loyal customers” This first-of-its-kind 5% rebate programme is aimed at rewarding shoppers who buy anything on Rakuten, as they are given Rakuten Super Points that are the equivalent of 5% of their purchase value. These points can be used like cash to offset purchases, allowing customers to accumulate points with each purchase and use them as a discount for their next purchase. The new 5x Rakuten Super Point-back programme is now available on Rakuten’s website, www.rakuten.com.my.