Online Shopping to surge by 15% during COVID-19 crisis?


As we grapple with 2nd wave of COVID-19, Malaysian business are moving into uncharted waters. We will attempt to bring forward some data-point to make some sense of direction and piece together an action plan to ride through this storm. Just over a week ago, I have received a piece of information from a well-known social listening tool depicting a 15% increase in Online Shopping based on social media sentiments. (Hwong, 2020). In an attempt to further understand this trend, I have reached out to Stratos Consulting Group ( to run a dipstick study in regards to this online shopping trend.

This survey ran across 14 March – 16 March 2020 and the results were as follows.

Figure 1

15% of the Respondents have indicated a likely behavioural inclination to purchase online.

17% indicated that are likely to go online to purchase due to COVID-19 outbreak

Figure 2

The biggest winners are likely from household goods & toiletries at 56.5%, pharmaceutical & healthcare products 52.2% and fashion, footwear & accessories at 52.2%.

Surprisingly we took these observations and correlated to some of the industry to ascertain or dismiss their observations. We decided to take a quick look in terms of 2 metrics. The metrics were the number of website visitors based on year to year comparison and the total value of transactions in the eCommerce stores. The data was extracted from 1 January – 12 March (2019 vs 2020) We will like the reading audience to note that these are as it is data which means we have not remove or scrub its activities of any promotions, paid ads or other variables that may have influence the data point. Nonetheless, it still provides us some earlier feelers on what we are observing. The data was sourced through respective google analytics panel and e-commerce transactions.

Figure 3: Garganto (Internal)

In year to year comparison in the medical industry, our partners appear to have registered a growth of eyeball traffic by +66% and revenue growth by +35% compared to same period a year ago

Figure 4: Garganto (Internal)

The electrical consumer partner registered a decline of website traffic by – 33%, however revenue grew by 31% in a direct year to year comparison.

Figure 5: Garganto (Internal)

The Fashion industry experienced website traffic growth of +31% but an astounding surge by more than 80% in revenue in same period.

Based on correlating 2 separate data points, there is a positive indicator that online sales are likely to be a new normal for the next few months in line with the dipstick study and our observations on online traffic and eCommerce sales. What the dipstick survey also highlighted that the top 3 likely industry to see growth was depicted closely to what our partners were going through.

So, what are the next physical steps we suggest?


  1. Re-look in your Adex spend
    Whether its an online or offline advertising spend, the natural thing we will do is cut spending. This is one of easiest to do with detrimental effect. Numerous researches have shown that if brands continue to maintain or increase their budget during difficult periods will often reap a stronger presence upon economic recovery. When we continue to maintain the baseline investments in advertising exposure, consumers heart and mind shown will be won. The famous quote is out of sight out of mind. Therefore, keep in consumer sight. (, 2020)
  2. Maintain or launch a stronger online presence
    The anticipated change in behavior moving to online sales should provide us a strong impetus to get our e-commerce store tune in. It is anticipated that people will be visiting less in malls and eating out less, make the best of efforts to prepare your online store presence. Drive digital traffic to your stores. Which simply said, serve paid ads. If you are not doing now, someone else will.
  3. Experiment new content
    Just re-imagine there will be more digital paid ads being served. You will need to cut through in messaging and differentiation. The beautiful element of digital marketing is that we can measure with better details your ads performance through various analytics dashboards. If you have never experimented with short 15 seconds videos, perhaps its time to do that. If you have never invested in good asset production, likely this is a golden opportunity to improve your storytelling by doing so.

In conclusion, we are in uncharted waters. Based on the data above, its not time to shrink back but rather take some bold initiative to sail through the storm. Physical stores visits are expected to dip but there is a light to grow your online presence. Once again, we would like to thank Stratos Consulting Group ( for their insightful cooperation. (Stratos Consulting Group, 2020)



Hwong, Y. H., 2020. What Public Fear About Covid-19 [Interview] (13 March 2020).

Stratos Consulting Group, 2020. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 16 March 2020]., 2020. Covid-19-outbreak-may-hit-ad-spending. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 16 march 2020].

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Doh Hau Goh
Goh Doh Hau is in the leadership team of Garganto, a boutique style digital marketing agency and ecommerce builder. He enjoys marrying evidence-based research with observation insights to curate gems of practical information. He is a MBA graduate from Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row equal_height=”yes” content_placement=”middle”][vc_column width=”1/6″ offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_single_image image=”1715″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_outline_circle”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”5/6″ offset=”vc_hidden-lg vc_hidden-md vc_hidden-sm”][vc_column_text]

Doh Hau Goh
Goh Doh Hau is in the leadership team of Garganto, a boutique style digital marketing agency and ecommerce builder. He enjoys marrying evidence-based research with observation insights to curate gems of practical information. He is a MBA graduate from Sydney Business School (University of Wollongong)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]