The largest surge in demand recorded on online shopping sites since the movement control order (MCO) began is for computing items.
The spike in demand for computer-related items is likely due to people setting up workstations at home.
Other items that are seeing an unusual increase in demand include kitchen appliances, inflatable pools, board games and exercise equipment.
Two online shopping platforms in Malaysia recorded a sharp increase in both expressed interest and purchases of electronic devices since mid-March.
Shopee Malaysia regional managing director Ian Ho said the purchasing trend showed a spike in electronic items, including laptops, desktops, webcams and Bluetooth headphones, as well as foldable laptop tables, work desks and ergonomic office chairs, which showed that Malaysians were preparing to work from home.
“We saw a significant surge in coffee-related products too. Daily average sales of milk frother gadgets doubled by more than 200%, followed by coffee machines, coffee and tea.
“Many seem to have started cooking at home as well, as we are seeing a demand in more specialised kitchen appliances, such as baking items, electric ovens, pressure cookers, air fryers, bread makers and juice blenders,” he said.
Ho said staying at home had encouraged people to spend quality time with their family indoors.
“We see items like inflatable swimming pools, congkak, Uno cards, board games and video game consoles being crowd favourites.“Malaysians are also making sure they do not fall into a sedentary lifestyle or grow physically inactive.
“Sports equipment such as dumb-bells, yoga mats and skipping ropes too are very much sought-after now for home workouts,” he said.A Lazada spokesman said its statistics showed increase in demand for teleconferencing equipment and computer accessories.
“It seems like Malaysians want to create a more conducive and productive working environment at home.
“Another rising purchasing trend was related to baking and bread-making. Bakeware purchases have increased by more than 50%,” the spokesman revealed.
It was also interesting to know that during the company’s birthday sale on March 27, more than 4,000 inflatable swimming pools, 3,000 board games, 3,000 yoga mats and 4,000 pieces of loungewear were sold.
Falling into the statistics is project planner Mohd Shahrul Azhary Mohamad, 35, from Sepang who purchased an ergonomic gaming chair.
“I needed to work from home, so I was sitting and facing my computers for eight hours daily. I have a regular office chair, which is rather low.
“Without a proper chair, prolonged poor sitting posture may cause back pain because of my slipped disc.
“I heard that a gaming chair was good as it was built for people sitting for long periods at a stretch. So, I searched online and found one that I liked and that fitted my budget. Since the item was in stock and immediate delivery possible, I bought it,” he said.
An information technology specialist Ray Wee, 34, from Kuala Lumpur bought a network attached storage (NAS) device to be used at home for work.
“The NAS device will help me a lot in terms of data-saving and file-sharing as it is cloud-based. It is safer and more efficient compared to common cloud storage drives.
“With this new device, I have an option for file-sharing and data-saving, in case something goes wrong with any equipment in the office server room, which will be an inconvenience.
“It can also be for personal use, to back up data from mobile equipment daily or weekly,” he said.
Online entrepreneur Noor Iqtiyani Abdul Karim, 35, bought an inflatable pool for her children to use on the weekends.
“My children love to play in the water and it is a great way for them to expend their energy. The previous inflatable pool got punctured, so I bought a new one online during MCO.
“My husband and I are both required to work from home. We have three children. They are nine and six years old and one 22 months old.
“It is a challenge to keep the children occupied daily.“I need to think of ways to keep them entertained, otherwise they will be glued to the TV or gadgets for long periods which is not healthy,” she said.”On weekdays, once I finish work, I play games like hopscotch or just kick the ball around the porch with my children.”
Noor Iqtiyani said the pool would be inflated on Friday evenings for her children to play in it throughout the weekend.
“They will play from Saturday morning to Sunday evening. They take a break in between and I change the water if it gets dirty.
“I can also hear my neighbour’s children splashing in their inflatable pools.
“I think many parents are keeping their children entertained with these inflatable pools,” she added.