SINGAPORE: Malaysian consumers are particularly price-sensitive, with four fifths saying it is the most important consideration in their purchasing decisions, according to research from Nielsen.
The findings form part of Nielsen's Global Survey of Consumer Shopping Behaviour, which polled 29,000 online consumers in 58 countries. Across Asia Pacific as a whole, 64% of respondents said price was the most important factor, a 17-point difference with Malaysia, and a four-point difference with neighbouring Singapore where 68% said it was most important.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the flip side of this statistic was that Malaysians were much less drawn to designer labels and high-profile brands than the rest of the region.
Just 31% said they were prepared to pay more for designer products and 37% felt the same way about high-profile brands, compared to the Asia Pacific averages of 61% and 55% respectively.
The focus of Malaysian consumers on price was further highlighted by the survey's finding that 95% compare prices and actively look for deals when in-store.
A significant majority also used promotional leaflets (85%) and coupons (80%) when out shopping.
The categories where Malaysians thought price was especially important were clothes and shoes, cited by 49%, home appliances and cars, both attracting a 45% response, and mobile phones, referred to by 44%.
Even though they were fixated on price, Malaysian consumers were open to the effects of advertising. Two thirds got their shopping ideas from commercials, while that channel also influenced the brand preferences of 62%.
Richard Hall, managing director at Nielsen Malaysia, observed that consumers were faced with a wealth of choice and were "constantly seeking out the lowest prices and great sales or promotions".
"From thousands of fast-moving consumer goods to dozens of retail channels, cutting through the clutter is where we find and fulfil unmet needs," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.
Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff