What are Malaysians Buying Online During Ramadan?

Amanda Lim
Most popular products Malaysians buy online during Ramadan - clothes, health and beauty products and consumer electronics

In a quiet neighbourhood in a Malaysian terrace house, the nearby mosques have put out a call to prayer. It is 4 in the morning. Hasnaa calls her kids to wake up and prepares for Sahur, the meal before sunrise and the first morning prayer, before fasting for the sacred month. Ramadan has begun.

During the month leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Muslims celebrate the Ramadan month by adjusting their habits to include more time for charitable and religious deeds as well as fasting. This 30-day period also sees more Malaysians visiting each other, so they would prepare their homes and families to receive guests in the upcoming celebrations by shopping for goods.

Malaysians typically receive their annual bonus before traditional celebrations like the Lunar New Year, Deepavali, or Ramadan. But when they receive their bonus would differ from one company to another. Nevertheless, this festive season will see an increase in spending, especially for those who do get a boost in income from their bonuses.

According to the latest Malaysian Census in 2011 (which is taken once every 10 years), approximately 61.3% of Malaysians practice Islam1. This means that the temporary lifestyle change will be significant enough to affect Malaysia’s economy and purchasing habits. With about 20.35 million online shoppers2 in Malaysia, this makes the Ramadan period a great time for promotions and discounts. Unlike Indonesians, Malaysians tend to shop much earlier during Ramadan, with the spike in purchases happening during the 1st week of Ramadan and then tapering off as the month rolls on.

So what would this mean for the eCommerce merchant? What kind of products do well during Malaysia’s Ramadan period?


Similar to the Lunar New Year period, many Malaysians shop during the Ramadan period to make a good impression when they are visiting friends and families.

With Ramadan being a sacred period, Malaysian Muslims will also tend to look for more conservative and modest clothes to wear. These include the likes of baju kurung, hijab, songkok and more. However, modest fashion also tends to do well during Ramadan.

Thinking about expanding your online store to Malaysia?

Get the latest tips and tricks in our latest Malaysian e-book!

2020 Guide to Entering Malaysia’s eCommerce Market

Modest fashion is a trend among Muslim women where they are able to express their religious virtues while still having fun through the outfits they wear. With influencers like Vivy Yusof coming up with brands like Fashion Valet and dUCK3, Malaysia is also shaping up to be a market leader in modest fashion. Modest fashion accounts for US$ 283 billion of the US$ 2.5 trillion global fashion market in 2018 according to the State of the Global Islamic Economy study4. Modest clothing tends to prioritise comfort and fit. So this allows for agnostic brands to do well in Malaysia too.

For example, Uniqlo partnered with Hana Tajima5 to release a line of modest wear which includes items ranging from long dresses to hijab headscarves. Malaysians also see international goods from Japan, Europe, and Korea6 as having higher quality, and are willing to spend more for these international items.

Health and Beauty

Health and beauty products like cosmetics also tend to do consistently well in the Ramadan shopping period for the same reasons that fashion items do too.

However, tapping into this vertical will be tricky because of halal requirements. Malaysia has recognised UAE’s Halal Products Control System7, which plays a part in 60 markets that have also accepted Malaysia’s own halal systems certification for these types of products.

With this in mind, it helps to carry brands that are Malaysian halal certified, as more international brands are also recognising the need to cater to this market like Shiseido’s Za cosmetics line8. Additionally, seeking out a Malaysian ambassador for your products could also increase trust from your Muslim customers, like how Neelofa, a Malaysian actress, became Lancôme’s hijab-wearing ambassador9.

Malaysian Muslims are more likely to buy halal products because it aligns with their values. Additionally, Muslim millennials are more likely to be conscious consumers, choosing brands that reflect the Islamic ethos4. The halal certification is one way of ensuring that your products also fall in line with their beliefs.

Consumer Electronics

Consumer electronics such as smartphones, tablets and cameras see increases in sales throughout the weeks leading up to Hari Raya Aidilfitri.

Malaysian Muslims change their usage of smart devices during the Ramadan period. Google’s study10revealed a 25% increase in watch time for spiritual content during the Ramadan month, even on mainstream online platforms like YouTube. These can come in the form of audio playlists and online videos which convey spiritual messages.

In cases like these, devices like smartphones and tablets might be worth promoting during the Ramadan period. You could also consider promoting electronic accessories and peripherals like power banks, earbuds, smart wearables, and the like.

Malaysian's Online Buying Activity During Ramadan
Source: Shopback Insights

As with most sensitive topics, it helps to play it safe when designing your marketing campaign’s message. To find out more about promotions and discounts you can run and more, have a look at our article on when major eCommerce shopping events take place in Malaysia.

The Ramadan period’s boost in commercial activity offers a great sales opportunity for eCommerce merchants looking to sell their products to Malaysia. If you’re fulfilling orders cross-border to Malaysia, it’s good to have an eCommerce logistics partner who is reliable and can clear customs for you smoothly.


Sign up for our newsletter to get our latest scoops and insights to Southeast Asian eCommerce and the latest logistics tips.

Looking to ship throughout Southeast Asia and beyond? Contact us to find out how.

Talk to Us


Want to find out more Ramadan eCommerce insights? Read on below!

Interested in eCommerce in Malaysia?

Find out more about Malaysian eCommerce here:



  1. Department of Statistics Malaysia: Population Distribution
  2. Statista: eCommerce in Malaysia
  3. Straits Times: Malaysia’s big market for modest wear
  4. Saalam Gateway: State of the Global Islamic Economy 2019/20
  5. Republika: Uniqlo Believes Its Best-Selling Muslim Clothing Collection
  6. Marketing Interactive: Young Muslim women and their love for Japanese brands
  7. Halal Focus: Malaysia officially recognises UAE halal products control systems
  8. News In Cosmetics: Halal Beauty
  9. New Straits Times: Neelofa is beauty brand Lancome’s first hijab-wearing ambassador
  10. Think With Google: Winning Ramadan in Malaysia with digital

You might also be interested in

Singapore Consumer Trends for Australian Consumer Brands
Benedict Leong
Singapore Consumer Trends for Australian Consumer Brands

Showing resilience in the face of 2020's challenges, here are Singaporean consumer trends that Australian brands can use when expanding into SG eCommerce

Cross-border Trucking from Malaysia to Singapore
Benedict Leong
Cross-border Trucking from Malaysia to Singapore

Find out how this transport mode which is faster than sea freight and cheaper than air freight works for deliveries from Malaysia to Singapore!

Cross-border Trucking from Singapore to Malaysia
Benedict Leong
Cross-border Trucking from Singapore to Malaysia

Looking for a shipping method from Singapore to Malaysia which is cheaper than air freight and faster than sea freight? Find out how cross-border trucking from SG to MY works here!

Air Freight vs Sea Freight: Pros and Cons in Southeast Asia
Air Freight vs Sea Freight: Pros and Cons in Southeast Asia

Which mode works best when budgets are tight? How about when timing is everything? Find out how air freight and sea freight stack up within Southeast Asia

Learn More
When Should You Use Cross-border Trucking?
When Should You Use Cross-border Trucking?

Comparatively easier to use and providing comparable delivery speed at an affordable rate, find out why you should be using cross-border trucking here!

Learn More
Shipping with Sea Freight from Indonesia to Malaysia
Shipping with Sea Freight from Indonesia to Malaysia

Can sea freight compete in speed and price with air freight? In some cases for sea freight from Indonesia to Singapore, yes! Find out why here

Learn More

Connect with us

Subscribe to our email newsletter and receive the latest news and insights into the world of
eCommerce and logistics in Southeast Asia.

Stay updated and follow us