Is Ecommerce in Malaysia Stagnating in this Post-Pandemic World?
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of ecommerce as more and more consumers have turned to online shopping due to the closure of physical stores during lockdowns and concerns about crowded public spaces. This shift in consumer behaviour has led to a surge in demand for ecommerce platforms and services, as businesses scramble to adapt to the new reality of a more digital marketplace.
Ecommerce has become increasingly popular in Malaysia, with many consumers enjoying the advantages it offers. These benefits include a wider variety of options, the ability to easily compare prices, as well as the convenience of shopping from home. However, there are some drawbacks to online shopping, such as the inability to physically try out a product before purchasing it. Additionally, there may be a delay in receiving the product, which can be frustrating for those who want immediate gratification.
As Malaysia emerges from the pandemic, the ecommerce industry faces a new set of challenges, including rising costs and supply chain disruptions. The big question on everyone's mind is whether Malaysians will continue to embrace online shopping or return to traditional brick-and-mortar stores.
To assist brands in developing effective sales channel strategies for 2023, Vodus conducted a consumer pulse survey during Q1 of this year. The survey focused on exploring the shopping channels preferred by post-pandemic consumers in Malaysia for various product categories. By analyzing the results of the survey, Vodus aims to help brands maximize their market capture in the region.
The Consumer Pulse Survey gathered data from a diverse sample of 2285 individuals in Malaysia, including East Malaysia, to gain insight into the consumer sentiment and purchasing habits of Malaysians across various product categories. The sample was carefully selected to ensure it accurately represents the population of Malaysia as a whole.
According to our survey, the majority of Malaysian consumers, around 70%, still prefer to purchase their non-durable fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) through traditional offline channels like supermarkets and sundry shops. These products include carbonated soft drinks, dairy drinks, dry groceries such as canned food, fresh groceries, ready-to-drink coffee/tea, ready-to-drink juices and popular snacks such as chips.
A small percentage of consumers who typically purchase non-durable FMCG offline are open to the idea of incorporating online shopping into their routine. Specifically, 4% of these consumers would be willing to switch from purely offline to a mixed approach of both offline and online shopping channels. This is particularly true for purchases of dry groceries, fresh groceries, RTD coffee/tea, RTD juices and snacks.
When it comes to purchasing non-durable FMCG products online, only a small percentage, around 11%, currently rely solely on online channels for their grocery needs. However, there is one product type where consumer purchasing trends are moving in the opposite direction. Carbonated soft drinks are seeing a shift from online purchases back to offline shopping. This may be due to factors such as convenience, the availability of certain brands in physical stores, and the revisiting of F&B outlets.