The 14th Malaysian General Election or #GE14 will go down as one of the most significant events in the history of Malaysia. As revealed in a brief study by iPrice Malaysia, Malaysians diverted their attention to the elections and subsequently caused a huge dip in online traffic on ecommerce platforms.
On the day before the elections, online traffic remained normal in the morning but began to decline steadily from 4.00PM onwards. This is compared to data from previous month’s (9 April). Several Malaysian media reported traffic congestion on major highways from 2.00PM onwards, suggesting many Malaysians diverted their focus to pre-election preparations such as traveling back to their voting areas.
iPrice recorded a 34.8 percent decline in online traffic across ecommerce platforms at 10.00PM, as compared to the same time in the previous period. This is a significant change as online traffic usually reaches its highest point around 10.00PM on regular days.
On weekdays, online traffic in Malaysia would usually peak at around 11.00AM, 3.00PM and 10.00PM. On Wednesday, 9th May Election Day, however, online traffic reached its peak at 5.00PM then steadily declined for the rest of the day.
This suggests some Malaysians briefly return to online shopping after the voting period ended at 5.00PM. At night, Malaysians then return their attention to the elections and its results.
iPrice reveals that on usual periods, Malaysians actively shop online in the evening until 12 midnight. Not the case on election night, as online traffic was an astounding 50.6 percent lower than usual. Needless to say, most Malaysians were up late to keep up to date with the results.
On regular Thursdays, ecommerce platforms usually experience a steady rise in traffic in the morning. With the Pakatan Harapan alliance achieving a shocking victory and subsequent declaration of a celebratory public holiday on Thursday and Friday, the unexpected chain of events again impacted online traffic in a big way.
Traffic dipped 56.5 percent lower than usual as Malaysians awake to the announcement of the official election results and the public holidays.
With the delayed swearing-in of Malaysia’s seventh prime minister which finally happened around 10.00PM, online traffic was 39.7 percent lower than usual.
Overall, there was a substantial decline in the number of online shoppers across all devices. Drilling down, the decline on desktop devices were a fraction higher than tablets and mobile devices.
This shows that many Malaysians were still shopping on their mobile devices while they waited for their turn to vote. With a reported wait time of as long as three hours, voters waiting in line most likely browsed and made purchases online via their mobile devices.
iPrice’s study used Google Analytics data obtained by comparing online sessions on iprice.my between 7-11 May 2018 and 9-13 April 2018.
For the uninitiated, iPrice is a meta-search engine for shopping that categorises millions of products and thousands of stores across Southeast Asia. It offers unbiased and independent information about products, comparing deals from leading e-commerce platforms like Lazada, 11street, Shopee, Gearbest, Amazon and more.
Source: iPrice Malaysia