Last year’s retail sales during the Hari Raya festivity jumped 30%
By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By TMR
As the month of Ramadhan approaches next week, online shopping transactions are expected to increase as high as 50% in activity and numbers as locals look forward to the celebration of Hari Raya.
iPay88 (M) Sdn Bhd co-founder and ED Chan Kok Long said sales growth is expected to rise for both online and mobile transactions.
“Transactions and purchases will definitely shoot up as many people will start online shopping for Raya. This is something expected, and growth is encouraging,” he told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) recently.
TMR reported that retail sales for the seasonal Hari Raya festivity jumped 30% last year, also driven by shoppers maximising the consumption levy absence following the general election conclusion.
An advertising platform, Criterio, last week stated that online retailers in Malaysia and Indonesia are set to enjoy a more than 50% increase in sales in the lead-up and during Ramadhan.
“Ramadhan represents a notable cultural shift in consumer behaviour, with the Middle East and South-East Asia (SE Asia) being key regions,” said Criteo SE Asia-Pacific MD Alban Villani said, adding that retailers should leverage on Ramadhan.
Last week, Boost, a homegrown e-wallet app announced that it is collaborating with 45 Ramadhan Bazaars nationwide including Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kelana Jaya, USJ 4 and Taman Melati, to offer cashless payment service for items and food at the bazaars.
Boost will offer cashback reward of up to RM25 and RM40 for food delivery via dahmakan and DeliverEat respectively.
The promotion is also extended to online fashion retailer Zalora where Boost has introduced the promo code “BOOSTGAYARAYA”, and also RM18 cashback when users shop on the website and use the e-wallet for payment.
Boost is also partnering several other brands, including MimpiKita, Doublewoot, Isetan and Watsons, and malls such as Tesco, Publika and Paradigm Mall in Johor Baru to offer more deals and cashback.
In addition, Boost is also introducing an in-app to convey the times for prayers and breaking of fast.
Tiara En Associates wealth planner Khalifatul Maria Mokhtar said because the fasting month keeps moving earlier by the years, she has lesser time to prepare and has to resort by buying and begin shopping during the month itself.
“We used to buy everything, especially in preparation for Raya before Ramadhan like the clothes. But this year, Ramadhan is earlier than the years before, so it has only been so soon since the start of the year.”
“Because of that, I think I’ll only start purchasing clothes for Raya in Ramadhan, but do it weekly, like the first week for my twins, the next week for my older children, and the third week for me and my husband,” she told TMR.
She added that in terms of budget, it would be the same as previous years.
“We’re not really too worried about the budget, or cautious, because I don’t buy clothes and kuihs that much throughout the year, it’s the same yearly allocation, where we buy everything during the same period.
“So, the idea is to just keep to the same budget, as always,” she said.
In Borneo, freelance artist Redha Abdullah said the expenses can be rather overwhelming, especially for food in Sarawak.
“Because my household doesn’t have a steady income stream, that may also mean problem for us during Raya.
“We’re already talking about cutting down on some costs for buka puasa and Raya preparations, or finding some other income streams to offset some costs,” he said.
He added that pre-Ramadhan, as well as Raya spending, has been difficult for his family as well.
“To be honest, it’s always been an expensive one for us because food alone costs us nearly RM1,000 every year. Because of this, we don’t buy baju Raya anymore,” he said.
Redha said due to the expensive food costs in Sarawak, his family is steadily growing and unable to accommodate for the guests during the festivities.
According to Trading Economics, food cost in Malaysia increased by 1.1% in March 2019 year-on-year from March 2018.