PETALING JAYA: Malaysians, like most other Asians, like variety and shopping, and the behaviour of modern Malaysian shoppers further drives the country as one of the fastest-growing online markets in the region. “We consume information and use the internet extensively for social networking, news and research. The Malaysian consumer is a shopaholic, with 7% of online shoppers making a purchase almost daily, 26% once a week, 54% once a month and the remaining 13% make a purchase once a year,” Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC) director of e-commerce enablement Wee Huay Neo (pix) told SunBiz. With 19 million people online, she said, Malaysians are definitely no strangers to the internet. Malaysia has the highest penetration of online shoppers (67% of Malaysians online), followed by Thailand (57%) and Singapore (52%). Among Asean countries, Singapore is the biggest retail e-commerce market with 24%, then Malaysia and Indonesia at 19%. “But if we look at the growth rate of our region as a whole, we are one of the fastest growing markets, on par with China at 25% growth rate. In 2017, the potential market size is estimated to be US$67-US$90 billion. Malaysia alone will contribute US$10 billion to US$15 billion,” said Wee. She said online shopping in Malaysia is poised for significant growth, given its rising popularity and relatively new adoption rate among local customers. Convenience, too, plays a big part to the strong growth of online purchases. “On MDEC’s front, we are implementing efforts to encourage more participation within this space, and guiding online merchants on e-commerce. “#MYCYBERSALE is one of our major initiatives in driving the growth of our local e-commerce industry,” Wee said.