KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 24 — Almost seven in 10 Malaysian consumers (69 percent) are buying more from local brands to help these businesses bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the UOB ASEAN Consumer Sentiment Study.
The survey has also found that 60 per cent of Malaysian consumers surveyed have spent more on businesses that support lives and livelihoods affected by the pandemic.
UOB Malaysia executive director and country head of business banking Raymond Chui said this positive sentiment reflected in the survey is a morale booster for Malaysia’s homegrown businesses impacted by measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Every ringgit spent to support local businesses can and does make a difference. The preference for local brands will potentially mean higher sales for Malaysian businesses, which will also help boost the confidence of the owners and employees,” he said.
This trend is stronger in Malaysia than in Thailand (67 per cent), Vietnam (58 per cent) and Singapore (51 per cent), according to the study. Only Indonesia, at 72 per cent, shows higher consumer preference for local products.
“Indeed, many consumers and businesses have been turning to the Internet to buy and to sell. This can be seen from the 41 per cent year-on-year increase in the online sales of the bank’s retail business customers since March to October this year,” Chui said in a statement today.
He also said that 53 per cent of the respondents had indicated they would stop buying from brands that are irresponsible or that take advantage of consumers during the health crisis.
“In line with the national #kitajagakita (we take care of each other) campaign, consumers are using their spending power to reward businesses that are making an effort to support the community as it battles COVID-19.
“This trend underscores the importance of businesses operating responsibly. Companies with responsible business practices are more likely to do better in the longer term,” he said.
Meanwhile, the survey found that due to the pandemic, Malaysian consumers have prioritised their online spending on food deliveries (91 per cent), groceries (89 per cent), health supplements (84 per cent), personal beauty products (85 per cent), and apparel (88 per cent).
UOB Malaysia recently launched Move Your Business Online (MYBO), an e-commerce solution that helps local small businesses in the retail sector to develop online sales capabilities.
Through MYBO, businesses can easily set up customised e-commerce websites within three days, complete with payment and delivery capabilities, so that they can reach out to more customers online.
“UOB Malaysia has also collaborated with StoreHub to address the needs of food and beverage (F&B) outlet operators,” Chui said.
The bank’s F&B business customers enjoy lower subscription fees for StoreHub’s tablet-based restaurant operating system and online food delivery feature, Beep Delivery, as well as longer-term cost-savings through the use of StoreHub’s all-in-one business management solution.