Online shopping still prevalent among Malaysians

Fashion items and groceries are most in high demand with 50% and 39% respectively

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by TMR FILE

MALAYSIANS are still turning to e-commerce for their daily needs, a habit picked up during the height of the Covid-19 period, according to an Ipsos study titled “E-Commerce landscape in a Reopened Economy”.

Ipsos Malaysia Public Affairs associate director Lars Erik Lie said the retail sector experienced a major shake-up when the Covid-19 pandemic emerged in March 2020.

“Consumers of all walks of life had to rely on online shopping as a necessity rather than a convenient option.

“After two years as the country reopens, the move towards online shopping looks to be structural and Malaysians have the same propensity to shop online as they had one year ago when the pandemic was at its height,” he said in a statement today.

The study found that the trend diverges among people in different age groups where 66% of online shoppers are between 18 and 34 years old while 15% are aged 50 years and above.

“For older people, the uptick in online shopping during the pandemic appears to be more cyclical — many are now returning to old habits,” Lars added.

The survey was conducted in April and represented 1,005 Malaysians aged 18 to 74 years.

It also discovered that fashion items and groceries are most in high demand with 50% and 39% respectively.

Meanwhile, Malaysians are less likely to buy more expensive specialist items like electronics and home appliances online — as stated by 13% of respondents — compared to the previous year.

“The drop in online purchases of electronic devices, home appliances and cosmetics may reflect a pivot back to physical retailers for pricier specialty items,” Lars said.

Out of 16 e-commerce platforms surveyed, the majority (79%) of respondents shop on Shopee, cementing its position as Malaysia’s largest e-commerce platform, bolstered by word of mouth.

This is followed by Lazada (21%), Facebook marketplace (18%), Grab (14%), Mudah.com (5%), Instagram (4%) and Taobao (3%).

The findings indicated that Malaysians are fairly loyal to their preferred platform, using only up to two online retailers on average.

Sixty-two percent of respondents agreed that Shopee delivers a good value for money product while 51% said Grab offers a product that is relevant to their lifestyle, and 53% chose Lazada for its customer-centric delivery services.

“Among the online retailers, Shopee maintains its dominant position in the Malaysian market, with good value for money as a major pull factor,” Lars concluded.