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Malta continues to embrace online shopping

70% of consumers go online to check prices and reviews before buying a product

yannick_pace
Yannick Pace
21 April 2017, 8:00am
70% said they had bought an item online in the last three months and those who said they bought something off the internet every week quadrupled since 2014
70% said they had bought an item online in the last three months and those who said they bought something off the internet every week quadrupled since 2014
Data from a survey commissioned by the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has confirmed that the vast majority of people (81%) in Malta are using the internet regularly and becoming increasingly more reliant on the internet for researching products and following brands, in addition to buying products.  

In fact, 70% of respondents said they check prices and reviews on the web before buying a product. Only 19% claim to physically visit shops to obtain information prior to buying a product or service.

Similarly, 70% said they had bought an item online in the last three months and those who said they bought something off the internet every week quadrupled since 2014 (3% to 13%).

While the UK remained the country of choice for Malta’s online purchasing, China’s share of sales increased by a whopping 41%, with 62% of respondents saying they had purchased items from China – a sign of the growing popularity of the online Alibaba.com supermarket.

Online purchases from Maltese retailers were the only category to have decreased. According the survey, most respondents (55%) did “not feel the need to buy from local online shops” while 32% complained of uncompetitive prices and 29% of lack of choice. 

Clothes and shoes (77% of respondents), flights (74%) and holiday accommodation (74%), from international websites were the types of products most commonly purchased online. Of the sales made through local online services, flights (24%), event tickets (23%), and accommodation (21%) where the most frequently purchased. 

On the whole, the trends observed showed a population that is embracing new technologies with each passing year, especially among younger people.

The number of respondents who identified as internet users increased across all age groups between 2010 and 2016, most significantly among those aged between 50 and 65. 

Males identified as internet users more often than females by a margin of 12% (87% vs 75%).

The survey also showed the increase in popularity of mobile devices as a means of accessing the internet, with 40% saying they used a tablet, up from 23% in 2014, and 59% accessing the web through their mobile phone. The use of laptops or standard desktops saw a slight, 3% increase on 2014.  

Facebook remained the most popular type of social for media for the 87% of respondents who said they were on social media, followed by Instagram and LinkedIn. 

yannick_pace
Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...
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