More consumers shopping online amid sluggish economy


THE current slowdown in the economy has led more consumers to shop for their daily necessities online, according to e-commerce platform Shopee.

In a recent industry report, Shopee said more consumers are relying on e-commerce to find and purchase essential products, after a spike in shopping activity was recorded on the platform.

Shopee regional MD Ian Ho (picture) said stronger demands across most retail categories are seen especially for fast-moving consumer goods such as household items and groceries.

“These products include instant noodles, canned food, detergent, diapers, baby milk formula, bath and body products, facial cleansers and more,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Ho also highlighted that the market is currently experiencing a slowdown, as Shopee’s partners in the service industry have cited a 30% dip in offline footfall.

“Many of our retailers in the service sectors have also expressed concerns as footfall has dipped between 15% and 30%. We are invested in helping them in any way we can to ensure the sustainability of their businesses,” he added.

In the statement, Shopee said the current market slowdown has caused retailers to feel the pinch in their businesses, especially with the high overhead and operational costs.

To help cushion the impact, retailers are now placing greater emphasis on e-commerce as an added channel to reach their consumers.

“As such, Shopee is working hard to connect brands and sellers with their consumers by developing initiatives to help them overcome current challenges and thrive in the digital ecosystem.

“These efforts include increasing reach and exposure, pricing strategies, stock allocations for their online channels and even improving speed and quality of deliveries,” Ho said.

In line with these efforts, Shopee is introducing the 3.3 Mega Sale from Feb 24 to March 3, 2020.

“Through this campaign, Shopee is working with brands and retailers to better reach customers and offer Malaysians a one-stop access to products they need.

“Prices are expected to be slashed by half through the 50% off shocking sale and 50% discount vouchers during the 3.3 Mega Sale,” Ho added.

Additional initiatives include offline deals on Shopee that currently feature over 110 retailers, offering vouchers with irresistible discounts up to 50%.

“We are working hand in hand with our retail partners to find new growth areas.

“Our efforts have been proven to be quite helpful as many of our retailers have since recorded higher sales, traffic and general brand visibility online, and we hope to continue this momentum with our 3.3 Mega Sale,” Ho said.

Shopee had recently launched S-Mart Sabah, a Sabah-based store to serve the local market with everyday goods available online, to help with high living costs and provide a platform for young Sabahan entrepreneurs to sell their goods.

The online store will be able to deliver everyday goods between one and three days, an improvement from five to seven days previously, when items were shipped from Peninsular Malaysia.

Shopee hosts about 7,000 sellers from the state, which is a good base for a thriving e-commerce industry.