17 Shopping Habits in Indonesia – Attitudes

We can not deny that shopping has been becoming one of the most inseparable things for people nowadays, including Indonesian people. Shopping is for sure a very important aspect in people’s life, because in order to fulfill all the needs, people have to buy certain products and some people also need to sell products to earn the money. Recently, traditional shopping where people directly go into the market or store is becoming rare since online shopping was highly developed in all over the world. Yet, here in Indonesia, traditional markets, stores and groceries fortunately still exist.

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There are some shopping habits which usually done by Indonesia, as follows:

Visit every stores if possible in certain mall or market to compare the price and the quality

Amazingly, since in other countries, people usually plan and make a lists of what will they buy before they go shopping. Therefore, they already know which store they will visit and after they buy things, they will go home right after that. It is so different with Indonesia, most Indonesian people do not make list for what they want to buy. Even though they make one, they will not limit themselves to visit only one or two stores. They will visit almost all the stores in the same mall, comparing prices for the same stuffs. Some Indonesian people perhaps also compare the quality and product brand.

2. Buy the stuff from only one store that they think has the lowest price, or with lower price but high quality

Indonesian shoppers (especially women) will not be satisfied until they already know that the stuffs they buy are the best in their opinion for three aspects; price, quality and brand. They will only buy the stuff which is lower (or if possible, the lowest) in price, medium-to-high in quality and (once again, if possible) from the well-known brand. Indonesian people are very critical about this.

3. Shopping until forget the spent time and skip lunch

Perhaps you will find Indonesian people take more time to shop than foreign people, because they have to go surrounding the mall. Therefore in Indonesia, shoppers especially women, will regret if they do not have plenty time to go shopping.

4. Bargaining is a must

In Indonesia, Bargaining is such the first rule of shopping, especially in traditional markets or stores by the side of the road. The shoppers, who are mostly women, usually are not satisfied by promo or discounts that are already given by the sellers. The price that is offered by the shoppers even less than the half of the original price.

5. Ask for a discount or promo first if there is no reference board at all

Certainly stores will put the reference board if there is a discount or promo for any item in the stores. However, in some conditions, the shopper will ask anyway if there is a discount for the item even though there is no reference board. This happens not only in traditional markets and stores, but also stores in the mall.

6. Count the discounts silently in their head (or even use the calculator in their cellphone)

This point refers to number 1 point above. The shoppers who are mostly women in comparing the prices surely need to know the prices of the stuffs after any discount or promo. Therefore, Indonesian women usually are really smart in calculating. Moreover, some women even use a real calculator (which is already prepared from home) or use the calculation application in their cellphone to calculate the discounts. Therefore, do not get confused if you see any woman in a certain store looks like she is thinking, she probably is calculating the discount in her head.

7. Go to fitting room by bringing many clothes

Many Indonesian shoppers in clothing stores will choose many clothes in the same type with different colours or perhaps even different kinds of clothes and bring those all to the fitting room. In the fitting room, they will try it all one by one and also take the photos of them wearing the clothes at once. Afterwards, they will compare which one fits them the most and also check the price as well. Some shoppers will also show the pictures of they wear the clothe to their friend and ask for their friend’s opinion.

8. Some people have high confidence to leave the stores even if they cancel to buy, by saying to the sellers, “I will come back later”

Because the habit of Indonesian shoppers by visiting every stores in a mall for comparison, this results in they surely will pass a moment when they have to cancel the purchase. Normally, Indonesian people will try to look very sorry when they want to cancel the purchase or they simply say “I will come back later” to the sellers.

9. Other people will still buy especially when they are already spend too much time in one store

Meanwhile, there are also people who feel sorry if they do not buy the stuffs they already tried fitting on. Otherwise, they already spent too much time in the store. So, they buy it anyway, with or without regret.

10. Make the clothing boxes get all messed up, especially on midnight sale

Indonesian people especially women are very agressive for any big sales. Some clothes in Indonesian stores are packed in clothing boxes. So, on midnight sale, many shoppers will struggle for getting the best stuff with the very low price. Then, the clothing boxes will be messed up.

11. For people that go shopping with children, the children will eventually find some places to sit

Many Indonesian women go shopping with their children as well. Most children will eventually get bored when their mother go around in stores. So, these children will somehow manage to find some places to sit, whether the chair or even a clothe shelf that is placed lower. Years ago, we still able to find this kind of customs. Nowadays, there is almost none.

12. Purchase more stuffs than they were planning to

Since the income per capita in Indonesia is not very high, Indonesian people are truly strict about their expenses. So, most of them will choose stuff that has the cheapest price with medium quality. Nevertheless, Indonesian people still have high consumptive attitudes. So, many Indonesian people will buy other stuffs that they do not plan to buy, but they are tempted and purchase the extra stuffs in the end.

13. Shopper nowadays : Purchase the stuff that they already know in online shopping

Recently, online shopping has been developed pretty well and Indonesian people are getting used to it slowly. Yet, some people do not want to order via online because sometimes the size and the design of clothes they want to buy are not suitable as written on the details in online shopping. So, people usually find out about the clothes and which stores provide the same clothes. After that, they will go shopping to those kind of stores.

14. Ask for a lower total price for more than 2 stuffs they purchase

When go shopping in traditional stores or markets, Indonesian people always ask for a lower total price for more than 2 stuffs they purchase, whether food or clothes. For example, in a store, one shirt costs Rp35,000. So, they will ask the seller if the price for 3 of the same kind of shirts with different design or colour can be only Rp100,000. They will persist to can pay only Rp100,000 until the seller agrees.

15. Hide the stuff they really want to buy in certain place at the store or entrust the stuff into the seller if they forget to bring cash money

At some events, shoppers do forget to bring some cash money with them when they are shopping. Not all stores in Indonesia are provided with payment with debit or credit card. If this is happening, then the shoppers will hide the stuff they really want to buy or entrust it into the seller for a moment, especially when they know that the stock of that good stuff is limited. They will immediately take the cash money from the closest ATM and go back to the store.

16. Pretending will go to another store if the bargain still does not accepted by the seller

The rules of bargaining in traditional market or store is, at first, the seller put the highest price possibly for the item. Then, the customer (shopper) will ask to lowered the price as low as possible. If until a while, the price which is asked by the shopper does not accepted by the seller, usually the shopper will pretend to go to another store for purchasing the same stuff. Next, either the seller will finally accept the price or let the customer go, this happens if the offered price from customer is extremely low.

17. Dressed modestly and politely when go shopping

Customers or shoppers in Indonesia normally dressed modestly and politely when go shopping. This is because of some factors. First, the customers do not want to get attention especially in traditional store or market. Second, the customers will be easier to bargain when they are not wearing any expensive jewelry or dress.

All in all, these are 17 shopping habits in Indonesia. Some of them emphasize on the bargaining customs between Indonesian customers and sellers. Still, even though every stores in Indonesia have the motto of “Customer is King”, the customers need to think that every sellers also sell the products to earn money for living. Therefore, in bargaining, the customers have to bargain for the price that actually still makes sense. So, the bargain will work pretty well.