BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Approximately 76 percent of Bruneians are using e-commerce to shop, bank and pay bills, according to a recent survey carried out by Brunei’s internet regulator.
Released Saturday, the e-commerce survey was commissioned by the Authority for Info-communications Technology Industry of Brunei Darussalam (AITI) to study consumer attitudes, behaviour and preferences.
“Globally, e-commerce retail platforms are outselling brick and mortar stores and this trend shows no sign of slowing down,” AITI said in a statement.
Approximately 1,000 people aged 18 to 65 participated in the survey, which was carried out from January to February 2018.
Here are the key findings:
Millennials are driving online sales
What’s clear from the survey is that millennials dominated e-commerce activity in Brunei, with the number of users declining as the age demographic progresses.
About 33 percent of respondents said they purchase items online once or twice a month, while eight percent said they do it at least once a week.
In the past 12 months, the majority of respondents (56%) spent $500 or less buying items online, while 26% spent more than $1,000.
Convenience is king
The vast majority of people who shopped online said it was because of convenience, better prices and more variety. Interestingly, social media had a strong influence on what people bought, with 30 percent saying they made purchases because of advertisements they saw on social platforms.
Smartphones were used by 83 percent of respondents to make online purchases, while 78 percent percent used laptops or desktop computers, and 22 percent used tablets.
More shoppers turning to social media platforms
About 57 percent of online shoppers said they prefer to shop via websites, while 24 percent said they use social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Eighteen percent said they used online marketplaces such as Carousel and OfferUp, while only two percent said they use mobile applications to make purchases.
Zalora and Chinese retail sites gaining strong foothold among Bruneian shoppers
According to the survey, the three most popular websites for Bruneian consumers are eBay, Zalora and Amazon. About 47 percent of e-commerce users said they shopped on eBay, followed by 36 percent for Zalora and 18 percent for Amazon.
Chinese-owned Ali Express and Lazada are also gaining popularity, with 11 percent of users making purchases via those portals.
Only 5 percent said they made purchases with local websites, the most popular being Royal Brunei Airlines, and TelBru and DST’s online payment platforms.
Clothing and flight tickets top online purchases
Some 72 percent of respondents used e-commerce to purchase clothes and accessories in the past 12 months, while 50 percent used it to buy travel and tourism services.
Other popular online purchases include cosmetic and healthcare products (32%); consumer electronics (31%) and digital content (such as apps) at 26%.
A quarter of people still hesitant to embrace e-commerce
Credit or debit cards were the preferred method of payment for 84 percent of e-commerce users, other methods include online bank transfers (36%), e-wallets (27%) and offline payment or cash on delivery (19%).
However almost a quarter of respondents (24%) said they don’t use e-commerce because they are afraid of credit card fraud and non-delivery of items, while others prefer to shop in physical stores.
About six percent said that they did not know how to engage in e-commerce activities, but those responses were not restricted to older age groups.
The full e-commerce report from AITI is available here.