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MCO: Surge in online purchases of women's underwear and libido enhancers

A LUMPUR (April 18): Malaysian women are fighting back the blues of being stuck indoors and perhaps boosting self-love by buying new undies, as a survey shows that sales of women's underwear had spiked 900% just a month into the Movement Control Order (MCO).

Aside from ladies underwear, gelatine powder, libido enhancers and frying pans are among the products that had surged in online sales since the MCO began.

A research by the Commerce.Asia Group of Companies (Commerce.Asia), an eCommerce ecosystem of technology and big data solutions, saw Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) growth surging by 149% year-on-year in the first quarter (Q1 2020) since the MCO started.

In a statement yesterday, Commerce.Asia founder and executive chairman Ganesh Kumar Bangah said eCommerce continues to be one of few industries that thrive in such challenging circumstances, as the ecosystem is seeing a very encouraging spike in Q1 2020.

Commerce.Asia also foresees a permanent change in consumer behaviour, as many are expected to make their purchases via digital marketplaces even after the MCO is lifted.

"Online shopping is now the ‘new norm’ as the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in eCommerce businesses booming globally as people shift towards online platforms.

“We are seeing significant growth in our merchants’ sales across various product categories. This change in buying behaviour shows that Malaysians are adapting to the new living situations,” said Ganesh.

Commerce.Asia leveraged its database to analyse sales trends from 30 days before MCO versus 30 days of MCO across their merchants and compiled a list of the fastest growing eCommerce product categories with fascinating results.

Consumers’ purchasing behaviour appears to have embarked on a different curve since the MCO.

While some were practical purchases of essential items, other purchases were quite surprising, given that the country is undergoing MCO, said Ganesh.

Essential items such as food, toiletries and baby products surged in sales as expected, but surprisingly, sales of women’s underwear took the top spot.

With health being a major concern, it is no surprise that latex gloves saw a staggering 888% growth in sales as people try to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

Sales of home fitness equipment also rose by 200%.

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

“Logistics play a vital role in supporting eCommerce by ensuring efficient processing and delivery of orders. Additionally, 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.

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