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Asians love our shopping. But how much do we really love it?

To track the online shopping trends in Southeast Asia, PricePanda, a comparison shopping website, has collected data from the past three months on the trends of visitors to the PricePanda site to see how shoppers in Southeast Asia make their decisions, and what they’re buying.


With a combined population of 375 million people, the countries of Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Indonesia make up one of the biggest shopping regions in the world. Out of the over 1 million people using PricePanda, there is an almost equal amount of people on desktops and mobile devices, which really surprising in this day and age.

But when broken down to specific countries, it’s interesting to see that Indonesia is taking the lead in shopping on smartphones, while Philippines still prefers their desktop when making online purchases. Tablet use when shopping online isn’t largely adopted yet, with its use ranging between 6% to 11%.


PP-Online-Shopping-Trends-Page3Despite the small percentage of people using tablets to shop, it is still high on the list of items consumers are shopping for, except for Indonesia who wants LED televisions more than tablets. It’s no surprise that smartphones are the top of the list in all four countries, even outshining gaming, which is usually positioned in the top spot for consumers shopping online.

Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia seem to share an interest in gaming consoles. The Philippines shows their continued loyalty to computers, being the only country that has laptops in their top three searched items.

PP-Online-Shopping-Trends-Page4According to PricePanda, these four specific products not only reached the Number 1 position in their respective category, but also made it to the Top 100 of most searched products overall in the analysed countries.

In the category of smartphones, the most searched for category in all four countries, the most popular smartphone isn’t the iPhone, but the Motorola Moto 360 – which isn’t a smartphone at all, but a smartwatch(?!)

Despite the misclassification, it proves that wearables are taking off more than we though, as it places in Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, and Malaysia, ranking 23rd, 19th, 8th, and 24th respectively. According to PricePanda’s blogpost, smartwatches are the favourites of Singapore and Malaysia, though no other information was provided on it. Perhaps they lumped it with the smartphones, which is just not right!

Sony Playstation 4 is the game console of choice in SEA, ranking 1st, 5th, 2nd, and 21st respectively, while The Sims 4, a PC game, ranks highest out of the top 150 products in all countries. Strangely, shoes are the most commonly searched fashion product. Maybe there’s room for online shoe stores to take off after all.

PP-Online-Shopping-Trends-Page5According to PricePanda’s blog, Samsung and Lenovo are two of the favourite brands in SEA online shopping. The former is the top-searched for brand for Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia, coming in as third most-searched in Malaysia. Lenovo meanwhile, sits right behind Samsung in Singapore, the Philippines and is the top brand in Malaysia.

True to Asian fashion, the Samsung Galaxy Y Hello Kitty smartphone stands out on its own in ranking 8th out of all products for Indonesia. People are actually also taking to buying home appliances online, with items such as washing machines and refrigerators landing themselves in the top-searched items on Price Panda. Other unusual products in this category which shoppers are keen to get their hands on are air conditioners, ironing boards, and rice cookers.

Looks like the items that you would typically by in-store are now moving online. The report may be skewed to PricePanda’s customer base preferences, which is still subjective to other factors like PricePanda’s marketing efforts and offerings, but it is an interesting peek into the possible preferences of Southeast Asian shoppers. Honestly, the results don’t look that far off mark.

What’s the most surprising thing you’d buy online?

(All images courtesy of PricePanda.)

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)