Waze shares Chinese New Year insights to help your business ride through the year of the rat

The year 2020 has only just begun and yet Malaysians are set to welcome the Lunar New Year once again. As the familiar sight of brilliant red, and ‘Dong Dong Chiang(s)’ echo through public spaces, Malaysians are already on the lookout for the best deals.

No matter the size of your business, whether it is a retail store, a restaurant or a refueling location, this is one of the best times to direct traffic to your store and have regulars coming back. Here are a few insights that might help you do just that:

Insight #1: The early bird gets the worm

Planning starts early for Malaysians as they start shopping at least 6 weeks prior. According to Google’s 2018/2019 Internal Data, Search Trends show that there is twice the increase in searches for stores and store locations leading up to Chinese New Year. The moment Christmas ends, and the world is in that limbo period heading towards New Year’s Day, you can already kick off your Chinese New Year (CNY) campaign and start grabbing the attention of your customers and even new prospects.  

Insight #2: New year, new stuff

There is just something about CNY that makes Malaysians much more prone to splurging and trying new things – we spend 9% more during this festive season and are 44% more likely to look for new brands. Based on an analysis done by Vision API on 10k hashtags that trended on Instagram and Twitter in Singapore last year, CNY appears to be the most emotionally resonant period of the year. Hence, most brands tend to release new products around this period, that resonate with the spirit of CNY and tap into that emotive side of the celebration. As a business, you will need to have a gameplan for tapping into people’s emotions during CNY, to better capture the hearts of customers.

Insight #3: With festivities comes refuelling 

A grand total of 2.1 million navigations were made to both fuel and auto locations on average each month, with 1.3 million to gas stations alone. According to insights from Waze’s data, traffic to gas stations in Malaysia are highest a week before CNY, with many out and about doing their festive shopping or driving back to their hometowns and returning after. Armed with this knowledge, your business can best strategize on how to steer potential customers to their locations while giving loyal customers a reason to return.

(Source: Waze Data, 2019)
The  primetime for refuelling is at 2pm on weekdays, and from 10am – 3pm on the weekend.

Insight #4: It’s Yee Sang season!

Malaysians and food have become synonymous, plus it’s CNY which means it’s Yee Sang season and many families gather for big reunion dinners! This explains the whopping 7.2 million navigations made to food locations: 4.4 million to restaurants, 800,000 to fast food joints and another 800,000 to coffee shops. This just goes to show that during this season, one key way to your potential customers’ hearts is through their stomachs! Think of how you can bring attention to your eatery with irresistible offers, and establish a satisfying relationship with your customers’ appetites.

(Source: Waze Data, 2019)
Restaurants are at their busiest during dinnertime, from 6pm on weekdays and weekends.

Insight #5: Retail therapy is real

Malaysians love something else more than food!? Really? Yes! The one thing Malaysians love more than food is shopping! A total of 8.75 million navigations were made to retail locations during last year’s CNY month. Online shopping, whether for clothes, make-up or groceries, is steadily gaining popularity but people still enjoy going to actual stores for the retail therapy experience, a wider selection and the ability to choose what they pay for, for maximum satisfaction. Take advantage of Malaysians’ love for shopping by strategizing how to make it worth their journey down to your store, with great deals to offer. 

(Source: Waze Data, 2019)

Malaysians tend to shop from 6pm on weekdays, and from 12pm – 3pm on the weekend.

Insight #6: Angpao all around!

A few trips to the bank or the ATM is the norm during celebrations like CNY, especially when red packets are a must – especially for children of family members and friends that come visiting. During 2019, Waze’s data indicated that there were a staggering 1.3 million navigations made to banks and ATMs, and that traffic to these locations start to peak 2 weeks before and after CNY – likely people withdrawing cash for red packets, and depositing collected Angpaos afterwards. With Malaysians out and about giving and receiving Angpaos, there is a golden opportunity to make your brand more discoverable, especially if you are located near ATMs and banks.

(Source: Waze Data, 2019)
Malaysians would visit banks and ATMs  on weekday mornings, and weekend afternoons during Chinese New Year.

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