70 per cent of internet users in Malta turn to the internet to search for products or retailers before purchasing, regardless whether the item is bought online or in a physical shop, a study found.
According to a study commissioned by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) in July 2016, only 19 per cent claim to visit brick-and-mortar shops to get information prior to buying a product or service.
Ever noticed those people walking around a shop with their eyes glued to their phone? The study also showed that 66 per cent of millenials with internet access on their phones use their smartphones to look up the products they’re interested in, even when they’re in a physical shop.
The study also indicated that apart from the traditional activities of status updates and the sharing of photos and videos which continue to rank high, consumers are also eagerly using social media channels such as Facebook in their purchasing decision-making process.
One out of every six consumers follows favourite brands and look-up peer and expert reviews prior to purchasing, whilst more than half of those active on social media, like and/or share a product, brand or retailer and expect to be informed of promotional offers.
The study also found that 31 per cent of social media active users post positive and/or negative comments about their experience with a product or retailer, and hence influence other consumers’ purchasing decisions.
The number of consumers that are purchasing online around two to three times a month has increased to 33 per cent from 20 per cent in 2014. 13 per cent of those surveyed now shop online on a weekly basis, a significant increase from the 3 per cent registered in 2014.
Less than a third of digital buyers are making their purchases from local websites, with sales mainly restricted to event tickets, flights and accommodation. However, there has been a general increase across many of the items bought locally. In addition, it is interesting to note that 80 per cent of digital buyers purchasing online would be encouraged to buy from local websites if the delivery was offered for free and/or done more rapidly.