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21 November 2016

Online Shopping Now The Habit For Indonesians

Indonesians’ love for their smartphones has crept into their shopping habits as a recent Google study finds using them for online shopping has become their latest widespread habit, a trend that affects brick-and-mortar stores. 

A survey of smartphone owners in Indonesia, who account for 43 percent of the population — 80 million users — showed that up to 57 percent of online shopping in Indonesia is done on mobile phones.

On top of that, 77 percent gathered information on products online through their cell phones prior to visiting the physical or online stores that sell the products, Google’s research finds.

“Mobile phones are the gateway to [physical] stores,” Google wrote in a statement distributed following the release of the research results on Thursday. “What’s fascinating is Indonesians’ love for their smartphones.” 

Notable habits that are shown by Indonesian online shoppers include the fact that most tend to research what they want to purchase and evaluate specifications and prices almost 20 to 30 days beforehand. The study says that this is due to the prevalence of smartphones and the increasing internet usage that enables such habits to thrive. 

As many as 71 percent of smartphone owners consider their smartphones to be their primary tools for going online, the highest in the Asia-Pacific region. They spend 136 minutes per day on their smartphones, compared to spending only 52 minutes on desktop computers. 

However, the industry still faces challenges to properly grow, mainly with the transition of consumers to the online shopping concept, but also the everlasting problem of logistics for the platforms themselves. 

Commenting on this trend, Tokopedia CEO William Tanuwijaya said that he had expanded his site’s purchase capabilities, enabling customers to pay for their BPJS health insurance or even pre-pay electric bills on Tokopedia. 

He said the focus of his service is to ease transaction barriers, such as by diversifying payment options, which also benefits Tokopedia’s collaborators. 

“For example, after we enabled the option to make payments at Indomaret and Alfamart stores, we were told that it brought them a monthly 7 percent sales increase from those who want to pay for their goods. It has become a win-win thing,” William said at Google Indonesia’s office on Thursday. 

William said he observed how “first time” online shoppers tend to have the same expectations as when they are shopping offline, which results in a lot of online complaints, making the transition to online shopping for some customers more difficult. 

Despite the challenges, Tokopedia managed to sell 20 million products in 2015 and claimed a 
Rp 1 trillion (US$75 million) per month growth in transactions since it hit that figure in August this year. Tokopedia’s target is to maintain a 15 percent monthly growth until the end of the year.

The Google study was done to help e-commerce platforms prepare for the busy year-end shopping season, which has been dominated by Lazada, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, Elevania and blibli.com. 

During the year-end holiday season last year, blibli.com and Lazada had nine to 10 times more transactions than their average sales as consumers went on a shopping frenzy for products such as beauty and personal care products, gadgets and accessories, clothing and baby equipment.


Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2016/11/18/online-shopping-now-habit-indonesians.html