3 things you need to know about the digital consumption habits of Malaysians

The report found more than 69 per cent of Malaysians surveyed said they could not go a day without their mobile phones, topping the list among the ten countries surveyed.

It is no secret that we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology and our digital devices as a source of information, entertainment, and to simplify everyday tasks. Recently, Limelight Networks released its State of Digital Lifestyles 2018 report, based on market research conducted on 5,000 consumers in ten countries including Malaysia, Singapore and the United States. The report found more than 69 per cent of Malaysians surveyed said they could not go a day without their mobile phones, topping the list among the ten countries surveyed. This confirms the many traits of today's local consumers and their dependence on digital devices.

As digital devices become a more integral part of our lives, expectations and frustrations continue to rise. Here are three things about Malaysian consumers that businesses need to know to engage with them more effectively across platforms.

Digital consumption habits of Malaysians

1. Malaysians are technologically savvy, yet trust and security concerns deter adoption


Digital assistants, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo, have been increasing in popular in the last two years, however this might not be the case in Malaysia. According to our findings, 22 per cent of Malaysian respondents already own a digital assistant.

The main hurdle to adoption is not the lack of availability or awareness of its benefits, but that consumers' trust levels remain low - only 40 per cent of Malaysian consumers fully trust digital assistants to provide general information, and this figure is even lower when it comes to trusting assistants for online shopping and handling home automation. This study shows that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the security of their online environments, and this translates into a rising demand for businesses they engage with to be sufficiently prepared to thwart attacks.

Winning over and maintaining consumer trust is a constant challenge that businesses need to overcome. This is important, not only for technology providers. In the age of growing cyberthreats, businesses too need to diversify cybersecurity solutions to mitigate attacks of increased frequency, sophistication, and size. This could include adopting a multi-layered security approach and taking advantage of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) apart from having a cybersecurity solution to buffer volumetric attacks. Most importantly, these efforts will need to be communicated to customers to raise trust and eventually engagement levels.

2. Consumers get frustrated when they encounter disruptions in the digital experience


We found that 93 per cent of Malaysians find it frustrating to access digital content, especially when content stops playing and rebuffers, and when the experience is disrupted by errors. Younger consumers, in particular those between the ages of 18 to 45, are more likely to express frustration in these scenarios.

Taking this into consideration, businesses today need to deliver consistent, high-quality viewing and content experiences with low buffer rates across multiple digital devices to avoid consumers from getting too frustrated and eventually abandon the content. This can be mitigated by continuous monitoring of a user's connection and optimising how content is delivered based on real-time analysis. The use of a CDN can also help ensure a high-quality experience and would be especially useful when businesses require broadcast quality content to be delivered across global reach and scale.

3. Malaysians are among the least likely to pay for digital content, especially when it comes to movies and shows


According to the research, although consumer engagement with digital content is growing, most are unwilling to pay to access content. This is particularly true in Malaysia, where consumers are among the least likely to pay for content, primarily because they remain unconvinced that paid content provides them with a far superior level of quality. With a multitude of options available to consumers when it comes to streaming services, focusing on the content offering alone is no longer enough. Businesses need to do more to improve the quality of content, and the overall user experience to stand out from the competition and compel consumers to opt-in to their content.

Charting the way forward in digital for businesses


In conclusion, it is now more important than ever for businesses to provide the best possible online experiences to meet the growing expectations of consumers. This includes providing quality content delivery across as many mobile devices as possible, whilst ensuring security, thereby encouraging consumer confidence and their affinity with the business.


This article is written by Jaheer Abbas, Senior Director, SEA & India at Limelight Networks

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Silver Mouse: 3 things you need to know about the digital consumption habits of Malaysians
3 things you need to know about the digital consumption habits of Malaysians
The report found more than 69 per cent of Malaysians surveyed said they could not go a day without their mobile phones, topping the list among the ten countries surveyed.
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