PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are shopping online more than ever despite the perceived sluggish overall economy, with 38.2 million online transactions recorded by iPay88 Sdn Bhd last year. iPay88, an Asean online payment service solution whose payment gateway system represents over 70% of Malaysia’s e-commerce market, said that the 38.2 million online transactions was a 161% increase from 14.6 million recorded in 2015. “Over the review period, we would have thought that consumers are tightening their belts due to a squeeze in their disposable income in view of the current economic ‘winter’. However, iPay88’s payment system shows otherwise as e-commerce and online purchases went up by 210% over the same comparable period,” iPay88 executive director Lim Kok Hing said in a statement yesterday. He said this is directly related to the convenience of shopping online and the better deals that are available on the internet. In addition, online shoppers shop on both their desktops and mobile phones. “Another factor that would encourage online shopping is when the government starts to implement the abolishment of tariffs imposed on items being shipped into the country that are priced over RM500,” he added. iPay88’s online payment and transactional data for the first quarter of 2017 revealed that interest in online purchases has not waned despite the sluggish economy and spending trends at online marketplaces saw a volume growth of 293% with shoppers more likely to purchase online games, general ticketing, fashion and apparel. iPay88’s data also showed that Malaysians are spending more online while the types of goods purchased online remains unchanged. Popular purchases include apparel and footwear; accessories and jewellery; electronics; and sports equipment. These purchases recorded volumes of RM25.3 million, RM1.7 million, RM5.1 million and RM3.3 million respectively. “It is good to know that overall consumer confidence is not decreasing. Based on our findings, the spending appetite of online shoppers remains positive and that issues like data security and fraud have become negligible,” said Lim. According to iPay88’s data, online shopping spikes during weekdays from 11am till 3pm and 7pm till 11pm. Popular days for online shopping are the later part of the week namely Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. However, this trend decreases over the weekend, possibly due to the lifestyle fact that Malaysians tend to go offline on Saturdays and Sundays.