Ian Ho says shopping activity usually peaks during periods leading up to festive occasions.

THE festive season is definitely a good reason for online shopping platforms to smile as more and more people, who do not want to brave the traffic and join the people at overcrowded malls, prefer to buy their needs at the tap of the phone screen.

Online marketplace Shopee, for instance, said its traffic increased 32 percent in volume when Malaysians searched for items online.

Since the launch of the Wang with Shopee campaign in mid January, which offers discounts of up to 90 percent and contest prizes worth more than RM1 million, the company said traffic to its site began to build up.

“Shopping activity usually peaks during periods leading up to festive occasions, and Chinese New Year is no exception. This year, we noticed a huge spike in the number of online searches on Shopee leading up to Chinese New Year, which indicates an increasing trend of consumers opting to shop online for their festive purchases," said Shopee's regional managing director Ian Ho.

"This is a good sign, and is in line with the government’s initiatives to drive forward e-commerce in Malaysia," he said.

Among the popular Chinese New Year searches this year include women’s clothing, mobile and gadgets, toys, kids and babies products, women’s shoes and bags.

Meanwhile, online marketplace ShopBack says Malaysians have received more than RM1 million in cashback from ShopBack during its Chinese New Year campaign period from Jan 15, 2018 to Feb 14, 2018.

"Consumers rushed to do their new year shopping at the end of January. Most sales were received by our merchants from Jan 29 to 31, after consumers received salary," said ShopBack Malaysia country general manager Alvin Gill.

"There was a spike in travel bookings on the second and third week of January. The strong performance was due to Malaysians' increased booking for Chinese New Year holiday," he says.

The top five merchants of ShopBack's Chinese New Year campaign include Lazada,11street, Booking.com, Zalora and Taobao.

Top three popular products during its Chinese New Year campaign period are petrol gift card, baby milk formula and mobile reloads. The additional purchases were expected in preparation for the festive travel and communication usage.

For marketplace 11street, it sees increasing demand of Malaysian consumers exploring shopping for groceries and other household items online.

The company said online grocery saw more than 30 percent increase in its gross merchandising value in 2017 as compared to 2016;

The company has reinforced its partnership with JOCOM, an online grocer app, to bring online grocery shopping to another level of convenience.

For the Chinese New Year, the company has come out with a 10-episode cooking show, called Cooking Up Prosperity to make this festive season preparation a much easier one.

The cooking show features Chef Cheah Kee Khiang, and is hosted by Wong Chui Ling. It will be streamed online via YouTube, with a brand new episode every Tuesday and Thursday.

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