With 82 per cent of Singapore’s population now online, the internet has had a significant influence on the ways people communicate, consume content and shop nowadays.
Around 60 per cent of people in Singapore bought something online in the last month, data compiled by online saving platform Flipit Singapore shows. This makes the active e-commerce penetration as high as in Canada or Australia, but not as in the UK, where more than three-fourths of people shop online. The average e-commerce revenue per user is also significant in the Singapore, reaching USD 1,022 in 2017.
Internet also acts as a tool for research before purchase as 60 per cent of consumers in Singapore get information on the products on the internet first. When people discover a product via advertising, 35 per cent do so online, followed by 16 per cent in magazines and 15 per cent on TV. Only a little over one-sixth of consumers do their product research solely offline.
Singaporeans’ love for online shopping can be seen from the fact that online retailers like Qoo10, Amazon and Lazada are among the top 30 most visited websites in Singapore.
One of the growth drivers for the extensive use of the internet for shopping can be the internet speed, which is by far the highest in the Southeast Asia region – 18.2 mbps on average.
Cross-screening is popular among Singaporeans as almost a third of consumers use multiple devices during product research. However, even though nearly half of the people use smartphone for product research; and there is a growth of 36 per cent year-on-year in mcommerce, a majority still use computer to make purchases. This is why there is a need for marketers and retailers to target consumers across screens.
Search engines drive visibility for retailers, which is another challenge for them as they need to make sure they have good visibility on search. Ninety-one per cent of consumers use search engines to discover local businesses. Furthermore, 60 per cent of them use search engines during their online research, apart from brand websites (33 per cent) and retailer websites (26 per cent).
Over the past few year, the online environment in Singapore has become more dynamic. Big shopping events such as 11.11, Black Friday or Great Singapore Sale attract more and more shoppers, get longer and offer more aggressive promotions. Retailers have become more educated about the online game, but they have also got to know their audience better, allowing them to build stronger and more effective strategies.
Although the Singapore e-commerce market is mature compared to other Southeast Asian countries, its annual growth is estimated at 11.2 per cent until 2021. This figure shows that there is still potential for growth, as well as the fact that each year, consumers plan to spend more, appreciating the convenience of online shopping.