The Jakarta Post
With limited time but limitless Internet access, Jakartans have grown fond of online shopping. According to a Nielsen Indonesia study on online behavior in the country's big cities, travel services are the most commonly purchased items online in Indonesia.
'E-commerce retailers' product and service offerings have evolved significantly in recent years as the popularity of online shopping has increased. Consumers are going online and they are increasingly searching out online channels to research and purchase the products and services they need and want,' Anil Antony, executive director of Consumer Insights in Indonesia, said in a statement.
Here are Jakartans' favorite items to purchase online.
According to the study, around half of respondents plan to go online to purchase flights (55 percent) and make hotel and tour reservations (46 percent) within the next six months.
Promotional programs offered by airline operators and booking websites like agoda.com, airbnb.com and booking.com, as well as local versions of booking websites like rajakamar.com, also contributed to the growing trend for travel among the middle class in Jakarta.
Mother, baby products
Both stay-at-home and working mothers have found it convenient to browse mother-and-baby items online, click and pay and then just wait for a courier to send the purchased item to their mailing address.
Among the most popular online baby shops were littlehannah.com, bilna.com and asibayi.com, which offer a wide range of baby products at affordable prices. Mothers can also find rare baby products online.
'I finally found baby earmuffs on an online baby shop. I couldn't find them in offline stores,' Cut Devy, a mother of three, said.
While some find it risky to purchase gadgets online, others are not afraid of buying laptops or even the latest Apple products online. While some customers directly visit online shops that focus on computers and gadgets such as bhineka.com, others like to meet smaller-scale and individual sellers in the country's largest online community Kaskus, which records more than 15 million page views and is visited by at least 900,000 users daily.
Gadget freak Eko Lubis, a Kaskuser, or Kaskus forum member, said the online forum was the easiest way to buy or sell gadgets. 'But I prefer to pay cash on delivery to avoid fraud,' he said.
Fashion items may be strongly related to the comfort of the wearers and trying them on is an important step before deciding to make a purchase.
Today, many Jakartans have the flexibility to buy fashion items online. Cheaper prices and a wide variety of styles and brands that can be accessed in a few clicks have lured Jakartans to their computers or gadget screens.
Bags and clothes are the most popular items bought through online shops, followed by hats and shoes.
However, as every person has a different body shape, those who want to buy fashion items should choose carefully. It is important to get information on the sizes, fabrics as well as silhouettes that compliment your taste and needs.
Some shops facilitate a return policy, while sellers who use social media or Blackberry messenger to promote their goods are usually open to questions from customers.
Electronic books (e-books) are a good alternative for Jakartans who want to buy books that are not available in nearby bookstores and have considerably cheaper prices.
According to the Nielsen Global Survey of E-Commerce, 40 percent of online customers plan to buy an e-book in the next six months.
E-books can be purchased in many ways, depending on the gadget that a customer uses.
E-books for Kindle, for example, should be bought from amazon.com, while those who own Apple products or Android smartphones should buy them through iTunes and Play Store.
Readers should also install special applications to read the e-books like Adobe Digital Editions, Google Play Books, Kobo Readers and iBooks on their tablets or smartphones. ' JP
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