25 Jun 5 Ways Covid-19 Has Reshaped Consumer Behavior in Malaysia.
The lasting effects of Covid-19 can be felt across all spheres. As McKinsey put it, the pandemic has consolidated a decade’s worth of digitalisation progress into days.
Retailers who’ve been battling the good fight since day one are no stranger to the shifts in consumer behavior. But which changes are temporary, and which should we expect will stick in the long run?
5 ways Covid-19 has reshaped consumer behavior in Malaysia
- The new face of payments is contactless
- Surge in e-commerce, even more than before
- Health and wellness take centre stage
- Convenience the new currency
- Rise in conscious consumption
1. The new face of payments is contactless
6 in 10 Malaysians depend more heavily on contactless payments, while 9 in 10 are willing to go fully cashless if more initiatives are available to support digital payments. To be precise, the preferred contactless payment options include QR code payments, internet banking and mobile wallet debit/credit cards.
Surely, these findings by UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study aren’t shocking news. Malaysia’s contactless payments scene has always been on the rise, with Covid-19 merely boosting its adoption.
Where contactless payments were previously just a convenient option to have, the pandemic has translated it into a necessity. So retailers in Malaysia who haven’t already – it’s high time to hop onto the cashless society train.
2. Surge in e-commerce, even more than before
As one of ASEAN’s leaders in e-commerce, Malaysia was already seeing a rising trend in e-commerce before Covid-19. With the pandemic and movement control orders that were put in place, this merely added fuel to the fire – a pattern we can expect to see even after the economy begins to recover.
Lazada Malaysia managed to onboard over 17,000 new merchants last year when they launched the Pakej Kedai Pintar campaign to help local SMEs take their business online. Hopefully, this rapid trend will see reluctant SMEs embrace the move from brick-and-mortar to that of the digital landscape.
3. Health and wellness take centre stage
A survey by PwC found that as a result of Covid-19, consumers are more concerned with:
- Mental health and well-being (69%)
- Physical health (69%)
- Medical needs (64%)
- Diet (63%)
With general concerns having drastically shifted, retailers may have to pivot and diversify their offerings to include more relevant products/services in line with consumer needs.
4. Convenience is the new currency
Covid-19 opened Malaysians’ eyes towards newer, more disruptive concepts. From food deliveries to remote working from home, it’s likely these concepts will continue to stick in the long run.
For retailers, a convenient purchase is highlighted by:
- contactless payment
- product availability
- swift time-to-ownership
5. Rise in conscious consumption
Interestingly, retailers may have to look beyond just digitalisation.
Consumers aren’t just scrounging around for the cheapest price anymore. In tough times like these, Malaysians have become more mindful of where their money is going. They’re striving to reduce waste, support their community and explore local, more sustainable options.
Retailers may have to explore ways to connect with their consumers, whether that means highlighting relevant products or a change in brand positioning.
Planning ahead in a post-Covid world
As a result of the pandemic, Malaysians of all generations have seen heightened digital literacy. This will only accelerate the ongoing shift from brick-and-mortar to online e-commerce.
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