Shopee Malaysia has observed new shopping preferences as e-commerce becomes more important in their everyday lives with consumers. – FILEpic

KUALA LUMPUR: With consumers fully embracing e-commerce due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) to stop the spread of COVID-19, businesses across industries are seen to be pushing boundaries and accelerating their digital presence.

Shopee Malaysia has observed new shopping preferences as e-commerce becomes more important in their everyday lives with consumers spending an average of 20 per cent more time on the platform a week, reflecting an increasing reliance on e-commerce.

“Brands and sellers have benefited from this increased demand, with those offering instant food and baking supplies recording 60 times more orders respectively than the same period last year,” the e-commerce platform said in a statement today.

Shopee's regional managing director Ian Ho said the way people live, work and shop online has changed this year.

“As such, brands and sellers across the region are stepping up their digitalisation efforts, especially now, as e-commerce has taken on a greater role in people’s lives seeing as more consumers are going online to fulfil their everyday needs.

This has resulted in changes in the way businesses view and approach e-commerce as a viable trade channel,” he said.

Ho said the current situation has also compelled businesses to explore new strategies to engage with consumers and continue facilitating trade.

This has not only led to strong e-commerce adoption amongst local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) but has also unlocked new market segments for the e-commerce industry.

For instance, selling and buying fresh produce such as fish, chicken, beef and even durians on e-commerce platforms was almost non-existent just as recent as last year.

“However, in April alone, some 1,000 fresh and frozen sellers, including farmers and fishermen, started selling on Shopee and we found that many of the sellers that offer a strong enough assortment of more than 20 types of products in their stores could generate monthly sales of up to RM100,000,” he said.

On the other development, the cancellation of Ramadan bazaars has affected the income of thousands of micro-traders who depend on these bazaars to make a living.

To help them sustain their incomes and livelihoods, several state governments such as Selangor and Perak have commissioned Shopee to bring these sellers online to market their products including Raya cookies and snacks, baju raya and home decoration items via dedicated microsites.

These initiatives include the Selangor E-Bazar Raya and “Raya Bersama PKNS”, as well as the S.M.A.R.T Niaga@Perak.

Additionally, Shopee Seller Support Package amounting to RM15 million provides support in funding, subsidies, education and marketing to boost sales, reduce operational costs as well as facilitating sustainable growth which benefitted the business community.

Ho said the package has attracted the participation of more than 70,000 local businesses from micro, small and medium to even large enterprises and corporations.