From the President’s Desk
Malaysia’s Digital Consumer Behaviour Post-MCO 2020/21 Continues to Evolve
Forgive me, but when 2022 rolled around, I was experiencing a bit of a déjà vu. As you may recall, things started to open up in January 2021 but we were left disappointed when the nation went into another Movement Control Order (MCO)!
But of course, unlike last year, most of us are now fully vaccinated. With this in mind, I believe consumers and businesses are becoming more confident as we see the market buzzing over the last few months. Malls are packed, hotels are fully booked, and normal life (with SOPs, of course) has been restored.
But, on the digital front, nothing is normal anymore following the acceleration of consumer and digital businesses. Digital has in many ways transformed our lives and many companies in the last 24 months. Digital consumption continues to grow significantly towards late 2021, even after movement restrictions were relaxed. Many thought that the hyper-growth of digital would stagnate after MCO was lifted, especially since consumers had more options to choose from.
However, Similarweb reported that since 2019, Malaysia’s digital traffic grew 26.8% over the last two years versus the single-digit growth we saw pre-pandemic. Unsurprisingly, the e-commerce segment contributed the most to digital traffic after recording a 76% growth and a cumulative 34 million visits within a span of two years.
Meanwhile, news sites chalked up 40 million unique visits from Malaysians who wanted to get the latest updates on MCO, change of government, and the latest updates on COVID-19 statistics.
Consumer behaviours have also changed over time, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this change on the digital front. For example, Google Meet and Zoom usage remains consistent at 13 million and 10 million visits, respectively, even though physical meetings are now allowed. Before the pandemic, both platforms only had an average of between 37,000 and 144,000 visits per month.
In its latest report, the consumer intelligence platform, Dattel, highlighted that 50% of consumers continue to adopt cashless payment methods to pay for their daily expenses. This is paving the way for the growth of e-wallet services and directly helping their merchants make more seamless transactions with their consumers whilst allowing them to manage their business operations efficiently through digital tools provided by the e-wallet companies.
So as we enter 2022, despite the many uncertainties due to COVID-19, I believe the digital economy will continue to benefit from the many positive changes we’ve seen in digital consumption, which are here to stay.