By Digital News Asia April 21, 2020

  • Over 800% sales increase in cooking appliances, undergarments and latex gloves
  • Merchants must be on top of logistic arrangements to win in the game

Online shopping is now the “new norm”. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in e-commerce businesses booming globally as people shift their spending habits towards online platforms.

The Commerce.Asia Group of Companies, an eCommerce ecosystem of technology and big data solutions, saw a surge of 149% year-on-year Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) growth in the first quarter since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was introduced. According to Commerce.Asia founder and executive chairman, Ganesh Kumar Bangah, eCommerce continues to be one of few industries that would thrive in such challenging circumstances.

The former National Tech Association of Malaysia (PIKOM) Chairman added that, despite the pandemic, Commerce.Asia’s ecosystem is seeing a very encouraging spike in this first quarter of the year. “We are seeing significant growth in our merchants’ sales across various product categories. While some were practical purchases of essential items, other purchases were complete surprises to us given that the country is undergoing MCO. This change in buying behaviour shows that Malaysians are adapting to the new living situations.”

“We foresee a permanent change in consumer behaviour with many opting to make their purchases via digital marketplaces even after the MCO is lifted,” said Ganesh (pic, right).

Even as e-commerce continues to catapult after the implementation of MCO and merchants work tirelessly to keep up with the demand, what were Malaysians really buying online? To answer this question, Commerce.Asia leveraged its database to analyse sales trends (30 days of MCO vs 30 days before MCO) across their merchants and compiled a list of the fastest growing eCommerce product categories with fascinating results.

From the list below, consumers’ purchasing behaviour appears to have embarked on a different curve since the MCO. With health being a major concern, it was no surprise that latex gloves saw staggering increased sales as people try to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

And while essential items such as food, toiletries and baby products surged in sales as expected, surprisingly, the fastest growing product transacted during the MCO was ladies underwear.

A summary of the study, “What Malaysians are shopping online 30 days on MCO vs 30 days before MCO?” is listed below:

NOPRODUCT CATEGORY% SALES GROWTH 30 days of MCO vs 30 days before MCO
1Ladies Underwear909%
2Latex Gloves888%
3Frying Pan & Woks880%
4Gelatine Powder347%
5Hair Shampoo325%
6Babies Blankets266%
8Black Seed Oil243%
9Home Fitness Equipment200%
10Apple Cider Vinegar200%
11House Carpets156%
13Libido Enhancers104%
14Babies Clothing83%

Given the unprecedented consumer demand via online platforms, merchants are not just fulfilling these orders, but must be on top of logistics arrangements to ensure on-time delivery.

“Logistics play a vital role in supporting e-commerce by ensuring efficient processing and delivery of orders. In addition, logistics and transport services support the supply chain of essentials which ensures continuity of daily supply to consumers. The Commerce.Asia ecosystem has been built with this in mind, which is to give a one stop solution to eCommerce merchants from onboarding to delivery which would enable merchants to sell quickly and effectively,” added Ganesh.

He also advised eCommerce businesses to equip themselves and their employees with the appropriate resources to manage operations remotely with little or no disruption.