What are the characteristics of the Singaporean consumers?
An average consumer in Singapore enjoys a modest income big enough to afford the basics and a number of luxurious products. Therefore, as you would expect from anyone in a developed country, consumers in Singapore enjoy a high standard of living compared to citizens in most of South East Asian countries.
Singaporeans have a sharp eye for foreign products and are highly brand conscious. Yet many Singaporeans are very loyal to local brands and are a bit cautious when exploring alternatives.
When faced with a challenge to look for alternatives, Singapore consumers turn out to be adventurous. They easily experiment with brand new products once they’ve been assured of impressive customer care and quality. In general, they are sensitive to such factors as price, service, and quality when making purchases. As a result, prices have to be competitive to augur with bargaining which is commonplace. High quality and satisfactory customer care too should be a priority for any brand keen of succeeding in Singapore.
In this age of e-commerce and social networking, more and more Singaporeans shopping online more than any other time ever recorded, thanks to the high population of tech-savvy citizens combing online malls for offers and great deals. In 2017 80% Singaporean millennial shopped online, slightly over 60% of them did cross-border online shopping.
The consumer goes after household goods and services more, thanks to the increased rate of home ownership among the young and moneyed first-time homeowners in the country.Singapore has a growing number of retirees as well. As a result, more consumers are starting to be keen on what they eat and how to lead healthy lifestyles. For that reason, the demand for sustainable products and health foods is on the rise.
How ZMOT comes into the mix
ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth) describes the fourth and last moment of the consumer’s journey which involves research about the product(s) on the web. Singaporeans are more likely to conduct exhaustive research online before buying a product partly because a huge part of the population is tech savvy. They are also known to do most of their shopping online, a characteristic that makes them more likely to read product reviews online before buying products. Here are examples of Zero Moment of Truth sources apparent among Singaporean consumers:
- Online search including organic and paid searches
- Comparison shopping websites such as PriceGrabber and Shopzilla
- E-commerce shops such as Qoo10 and Lazada Singapore
- Rebate, loyalty and cashback websites such as quidco.com
- Affiliate websites
Top e-commerce sites in Singapore
Most Singaporeans prefer shopping online in the comfort of their homes. This has led to saturation of Singaporean e-commerce sphere with small and big companies – both brick-and-mortar retailers and pure digital players – eager to reap big from it. Though the Singaporean e-commerce isn’t growing as fast as experienced elsewhere in the developed world, it is still the most sophisticated market in the whole of South East Asia region.
Here are the top e-commerce sites in Singapore – based on monthly traffic flow:
Qoo10 is renowned for selling fashion and women-oriented products, particularly with Korean origin. Qoo10 has an average of 11 million monthly visitors.
Lazada is the second largest e-commerce website in Singapore and the largest in South East Asia with a presence in Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. It is one of the few online departmental stores in the region that allows retailers to list and sell their own products. The average monthly traffic estimate of Lazada stands at 9.6 million visitors.
Carousell is a web shopping site that allows its users, brands, and individuals, to take photos of their products, post them on the site and sell them to their clients while engaging them through a chat service. Besides Singapore, it has operations in Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Australia. Carousell’smonthly traffic is estimated to be 4.4 million visitors.
eBay, the American e-commerce company, created a Singaporean local site in 2008 to foster consumer-to-consumer sales. It thereafter expanded into business-to-consumer sales and special deals. Today, eBay Singapore caters for all product categories. The site has a monthly traffic of 2 million visitors.
EZbuy is primarily involvedin home, clothing, beauty, automotive, electronics, and sports products. It mainly deals in Taiwanese, American, and Korean products. The site is renowned for its mantra of product affordability. This shopping platform has an estimated monthly traffic of 1.5 million visitors.
Difference between B2B and B2C marketing in Singapore
Business-to-customer (B2C) marketing refers to practices used to promote services and products among consumers. Unlike B2B marketing, it relies heavily on the ability of a campaign to invoke profound emotional responses instead of merely demonstrating value.
In the Singaporean perspective, B2B marketing would be effective if consumers were to be targeted across digital channels. Since Singapore has is a city-state with a large population of tech-savvy population connected to the internet, placing highly emotive ads on billboards, TV, online ads etc. would be impactful. However, B2B would come handy in situations requiring alignment of corporate brands, product/service brand, or divisional brand. It would also prove useful for applying brand standards an array of material considered to be “informal” such as electronic correspondence (including email). Instead of B2C marketing, B2B will be great for addressing Singapore’s population of 6 million en masse because it works well situations requiring large scale marketing.
Future trends of e-commerce in Singapore
The Singaporean e-commerce sphere is expected to change with technological advancements. Here are few predictions:
More focus on data analytics
Data is the lifeblood of e-commerce. More e-commerce companies in Singapore are expected to advance shoulder by shoulder alongside their global counterparts in the developed world to embrace the power of data analytics and rely on it to make critical market decisions.
The rise of the eWallet
The age of electronic wallets nigh. Besides Bitcoin wallets, wallets filled with Fiat currencies are starting to be the must-have for any online shopper. Singaporeans are expected to be part of the game.