PETALING JAYA: From baju raya to air fryers, Malaysians’ shopping habits amid the Covid-19 pandemic have led to an accelerated growth of the e-commerce and digital economy.
During Ramadan 2020 and also this year, baju raya was the top search on e-commerce sites as Malaysians shop online to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the second year in a row in a pandemic.
Statistics Department chief statistician Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Uzir Mahidin said the online retail sales index, which portrays e-commerce activity, saw growth in 2020 compared to 2019 and has continued to surge in 2021.
This year, the online retail sales index recorded a 28.7% growth year-on-year for January and 23.1% growth year-on-year for February.
“For March 2021, the online retail sales index continued to surge to record 18.3% growth year-on-year, ” he said. Data for April and May 2021 is not yet available.
Year-on-year compares results from one time period with the same period from the previous year.
May 2020, which was the Ramadan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri period, recorded the highest online retail sales index, with 39.3% growth year-on-year and a 9.3% growth month-on-month.
Shopee regional managing director Ian Ho said with the movement control order during Ramadan 2020, Malaysians searched for apparel such as baju kurung, baju Melayu and blouses as shopping malls and boutiques were not allowed to operate.
“This year, Malaysians continued to search for new Raya attire online as they are able to make price comparisons from the comfort of their homes.
Hygiene products also continued to see high demand as Malaysians took precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 as offices and businesses reopened, he said.
For Ramadan 2020, Raya clothes, air fryers and wallpapers were among the top searches, said Ho.
“The ban on interstate travel during that period triggered Malaysians to look for home improvement products like wallpaper to spruce up their homes for the upcoming festive celebration, ” he said.
As for cookware, he said many people searched for cooking appliances and one of the most searched items by Malaysians was air fryers, he said.
According to Lazada, throughout Ramadan 2020, the most searched Raya items were baju raya, modern baju kurung and telekung (female prayer garb).
During the first week of Ramadan this year, the most searched Raya items on Lazada were modern baju kurung, women’s baju raya and men’s baju Melayu.