Impact of GE14 on the e-commerce Industry
By Digital News Asia May 14, 2018
- On elections day, online traffic reached its peak at 5pm and steadily declined
- On election night, online traffic was 50.6% lower than usual
MAY 9, 2018 will go down in the history books as among the most significant days in the history of Malaysia. As the nation concluded the election period with the swearing-in of its seventh prime minister on May 10, e-commerce platforms experienced a significant dip in online traffic as Malaysians were focused on the elections.
In a bid to understand online consumers, iPrice conducted this brief study to find out how the elections period affected e-commerce platforms in the country.
Before elections day: Malaysians divert focus from online shopping to pre-election preparations.
The study shows that the elections affected online traffic from the afternoon onwards.
Online traffic remained normal in the morning but begins to decline steadily from 4pm onwards. This was evident when comparing to online traffic to the previous period (April 9, 2018).
Multiple Malaysian media reported traffic congestion on most major highways from 2pm onwards. This suggests that most Malaysians diverted their attention from online shopping to pre-election preparations such as travelling to their voting areas in the afternoon.
There was also a 34.8% decline in online traffic at 10pm when compared to the same time in the last period. This is significant as online traffic would reach its highest point around 10pm on regular days.
Elections day: Malaysian shoppers more focused on the elections than online shopping.
On usual weekdays, online traffic in Malaysia would reach its highest points at about 11am, 3pm and 10pm. On elections day, online traffic reached its peak at 5pm and steadily declined for the rest of the day.
This suggests that a small number of Malaysians returned to online shopping when the voting period ended at 5pm. As nightfall comes, online shoppers return their attention to the elections and its results.
On usual periods, Malaysians are actively shopping online in the evening till midnight. On election night, online traffic was 50.6% lower than usual as most Malaysians remained awake for the results.
After elections day: Online traffic improves but remains lower than usual.
On a regular Thursday, e-commerce platforms usually experience a steady increase in online traffic in the morning. However, online traffic at 9am (May 10, 2018) was 56.5% lower than usual as Malaysians awoke to the announcement of the elections results and public holidays.
As mentioned earlier, online shopping would reach its highest point at about 10pm on regular weekdays. However, this was not the case as Malaysia witnesses the swearing-in of its seventh prime minister close to 10pm. Online traffic was 39.7% lower than usual at 10pm.
Malaysians still shopping on mobile devices
Overall, there was a substantial decline in the number of online shoppers across all devices. However, the decline on desktop devices were slightly higher as compared to tablets and mobile devices.
This suggests that many Malaysians were still shopping online on their mobile devices as they wait for their turn to vote. A report by Daily Express stated that some Malaysians waited as long as three hours for their turn to vote. Hence, voters at the waiting line would most probably browsed or made purchase online through their mobile devices.
Data was obtained by comparing online sessions on iPrice Malaysia (http://iprice.my) between May 7 to 11, 2018 and April 9 to 13, 2018. Data was obtained through Google Analytics.