Despite a love of online shopping and increased options for mobile payments, young consumers in South East Asia still prefer to pay in cash, according to new research.

According to new research by Dentsu Aegis Network and Econsultancy, which surveyed over 3,000 online shoppers aged 16 to 23 years old in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam, a majority of centennial consumers – those born after 1995 – still prefer to pay in cash for peace of mind when they shop online.

Accounting for about 277 million of Southeast Asia’s population, 50% of centennials – born after 1995 –spend more than USD$30 a month on online shopping, while 9% spend over USD100 monthly.

56% of survey respondents want cash on delivery for their purchases, and 43% of centennials will readily abandon their purchases because their preferred payment option is not available.

South East Asia’s young consumers are open to technology enhancing their online shopping experiences, with 82% of centennials excited about futuristic shopping technology such as virtual reality. Personalisation is key as well, as 76% of respondents are happy to share their data with websites, if it makes more relevant recommendations.

Shopping on social media is the norm at every point of the customer journey. Social media applications (47%) such as Facebook and Instagram are the second most popular place for centennials to shop in. 49% of respondents also turn to social media when they are researching for more information on their future purchases, rather than asking friends (45%) and family (27%). 

As mobile-first consumers, they also expect a seamless path to purchase and will lose patience if their online shopping experience is slow or inconvenient. The survey showed that 86% of centennials will not use an app or website that takes too long to load and 82% will not use an app or website that is difficult to navigate.

Sourced from Dentsu Aegis, Econsultancy; additional content by WARC staff