Malaysia’s retail sales soared 20.9 per cent in April to reach US$12.18 billion – and there are signs that the shift by consumers to shopping online during Covid restrictions is being sustained.
Department of Statistics Malaysia’s (DOSM) chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said April’s retail boom was largely driven by Hari Raya celebrations.
“Motor vehicles and wholesale trade also recorded positive growth with 7.2 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively,“ he added.
Meanwhile, an Ipsos Malaysia study has found an increased reliance on online shopping now since the start of the pandemic.
“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,” Lars Erik Lie, Ipsos Malaysia public affairs associate director, said.
“For older people, the uptick in online shopping during the pandemic appears to be more cyclical. Many are now returning to old habits.”
The study of the shopping behaviour of 1005 Malaysians aged between 18 and 74 found fashion is the most popular category to shop online attracting 50 per cent of those polled, with groceries next at 39 per cent.
It confirmed that e-commerce is more popular among younger consumers: about 66 per cent of online shoppers were aged between 18 and 34 years with only 15 per cent aged above 50.
Shopee is the most preferred e-commerce website for Malaysians with 79 per cent of respondents having bought products there, followed by 21 per cent on Lazada and 18 per cent on Facebook Marketplace.