MCO influencing purchasing trends as more stock up on foods, essentials, and sanitation items, survey shows

Shoppers getting groceries at OTK hypermarket in Puchong April 1, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Shoppers getting groceries at OTK hypermarket in Puchong April 1, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — As Malaysians cope with the movement control order (MCO) that forced them indoors for most of the day, a research firm has revealed that remaining at home has also influenced the purchasing trend of local consumers.

A survey report released today by market research technology firm Vase.AI showed how the majority of purchases done by consumers during this period were for necessary essentials, food items or those related to personal hygiene.

The survey was conducted online with inputs from 1,082 respondents comprising of both men and women above 24-years old and includes representations from all ethnicities and religions.

“Since the Covid-19 outbreak, consumers are purchasing mostly groceries (97 per cent), personal hygiene items (91per cent), household items (88 per cent), and face masks, hand sanitisers or disinfectants,” read Vase.AI’s report.

The restrictive period has also led most consumers to frequent their local grocers or supermarkets, with these neighbourhood shops raking in 40 per cent of demand, with 39 per cent of consumers opting for the 99-Speedmart franchise, and the remaining 21 per cent still choosing the hypermarkets such as Tesco.

According to the survey, items most sought by consumers are eggs, dried, fresh and frozen foods, poultry and meats, cooking oils and beverages, or foods with a significant amount of shelf life.

Among the items least stocked up during the MCO includes seafood, pastries and cakes, alcohol, and cheese.

Despite the reservations of most, 23 per cent of respondents are subscribed to home delivery and installation services, with 14 per cent admitting to engaging technicians to service items such as their air purifier machines.

Other home services sought after by consumers during the MCO include plumbing and home cleaning services, and general repairs, caretakers for the elderly and children, and home pest control.

As for online purchases, the report revealed that the top two online stores used by consumers were Tesco Online (30pc), and 23 per cent opting for Mydin’s delivery service.

Additionally, the majority of respondents said they only purchased essential and household items during the MCO period, with only 27 per cent of those surveyed saying they also purchased non-food items from ongoing promotions and sales.

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