Online Shopping: Consumer Psychology during Coronavirus Epidemic

COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the application of e-commerce and contactless payments in Southeast Asia, opening up opportunities for businesses, especially online stores through online shopping.

Shopping cart with protective face mask on laptop computer. Online shopping in isolation or quarantine, Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic

State of Play

According to the most recent study by Mastercard Impact Studies, the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to boosting the digital economy in Southeast Asia by accelerating the application of e-commerce methods, home delivery, digital and contactless payments. The report points out that some of the psychological trends and habits that develop in the pandemic response are likely to continue over the long term.

According to Mastercard’s Study published late June 22, more than 40% of consumers surveyed in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand reported using home delivery services a lot in April than in March.
Nearly half of consumers surveyed in Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand also reported that during the same period, they made more online shopping.

Payment Method in Online Shopping

Alongside the changes in buying habits is a shift towards new payment methods across the region. Specifically, the majority of consumers in Southeast Asian markets surveyed said that since the COVID-19 outbreak started, the use of cash has decreased significantly with 67% in Singapore, 64% in Malaysia, the Philippines, and 59% in Thailand. With that, contactless payment methods are becoming more and more popular.

In Singapore, 31% of people surveyed said they tend to make contactless payments through credit cards
Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand recorded the strongest growth in e-wallets and mobile wallets compared to other contactless payments.

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According to this survey, most users are still cautious and concerned about the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic, so the general sentiment is quite wary of large-value purchases.
“The COVID-19 pandemic affected people and countries in different ways. Many consumers and businesses have quickly adapted to the digital world and cashless payment methods to ensure safety and maintain a normal attitude in unusual and uncertain times such as The current. Although organizations, businesses, and markets have developed plans for recovery, public health and safety concerns will always be a top priority in every strategy outlined. This is clearly reflected in the shopping and transaction methods of Southeast Asian consumers ”, said Mr. Safdar Khan – Chairman of Emerging Markets in Southeast Asia, Mastercard shared.

Positive Effects of the Pandemic on Us


In short, habits are often formed over a long period of time, through an epidemic, it is difficult to change fundamentally. However, for many people, it is this time that makes them more self-conscious and self-protective, initially create new habits. Not only that, through a difficult time, having to cope with many challenges, maybe some people will have a more positive attitude of life, care more about others, take care of themselves more, know how to avoid higher risks, etc.

No one wants epidemics to change bad habits, but over here, the adaptation has formed a new and better lifestyle, it should be recognized as a positive aspect of a risk.

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