Online Shopping Trends In Singapore In 2020

what are the singapore online trends and habits

Think about Singaporean shoppers for a minute. How do they shop online, and what do they buy most of the time when they’re online shopping?

One thing you must have noticed is that most of the shopping that Singaporeans do online happen via mobile. But then again, that’s a global thing; or isn’t it the same case with the rest of the world?

Books, music, electronics, beauty products, and apparel are among the big product categories for online retailers and vendors.

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The bulk of the people who shop online in the region are young people. But over the recent past, the number of older demographics that are getting accustomed to e-commerce has been growing at a crazy rate.

In other words, the field of e-commerce is Singapore has been a sleeping giant, and which is now waking up and about to take over.

What do Singaporean Shoppers Buy Online most of the Time?

Top among the things that Singaporean shoppers spend their money online is travel. Goes to show that Singaporeans are big on travelling and this is one area that they’re NEVER shy to spend their hard-earned cash on.

Singaporeans are also considered top online shoppers in the whole of Southeast Asia, according to a recent study conducted by Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes.

In the study, it was further revealed that about 26 percent of Singaporeans make an online purchase at least once per week, while 58 percent will be making an online purchase at least once per month.

The most popular category among online vendors is travel, as already mentioned. In which case, more than 51 percent of all the people that buy flight tickets do it online, with 46% even going to the extent of booking for their travel accommodations online.

The next most popular categories among online vendors in Singapore are concert and sporting tickets. It’s somehow expected, considering the first place that people turn to when looking to buy tickets for concerts or games are the ticketing platforms.

Another survey even goes ahead to reveal that the most expensive items a Singaporean is likely to buy online costs about 3100 SGD.

The bulk of the people who shop online in Singapore fall between the age of 25 and 44 years old. Also, about 53 percent of the respondents between the age of 25 and 34, as well as 44 percent of those between the age of 34 and 44 shop online several times in a month, and not just once.

It’s also projected that online shopping is only bound to continue growing over the years, with the number expected to get even bigger with time. Another growing trend is the increase in the number of people that are spending both their time and money online.

And as technology continues to grow, it’s just a matter of time before the line distinguishing online and retail store shopping in the country is completely blurred.

There are so many reasons Singaporean shoppers prefer to shop online. Core among them is the convenience that the whole experience of shopping at the comfort of your home or office offers. Other reasons coming close are the relatively lower prices of items and the convenience of having an ordered item delivered right where you are.

The Average Spend

On average, an online shopper in Singapore will be spending about 440sgd shopping online. Usually, these payments are made via debit or credit card, which makes the two their most preferred method of payment.

It’s also suggested that one of the most effective ways to inspire loyalty among your customers and keep the bulk of them returning for more of your products and services is to organize a reward system.

A small section has even admitted to preferring to shop online because of the rewards they receive.

Singapore also boasts one of the largest consumer reward programmes in the world. This programme is comprised of 1.75 million members and about 1, 100 participating merchant outlets that reward its members for every single one of the purchases they make.

Examples include LinkPoint, which you can redeem for shopping and dining vouchers or by offsetting full of partial payments at Plus! Marketplace once accumulated.

Where do online shoppers in Singapore Begin researching?

To help you understand the research behaviour of online shoppers in Singapore, shoppers in the region are generally split into three distinct groups:

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The Speedy Shoppers

This group includes any shopper that has only a few minutes to spend on researching what to buy. It’s also presumed that this group is mostly comprised of frequent shoppers that are only returning to make a purchase having already saved their addresses, delivery option, and mode of payments with that particular vendor.Th

online shopping

The Meticulous Shoppers

This group is made up of shoppers that take weeks to research before deciding to buy anything. Shoppers in this group are always concerned about getting the most value for their bucks. They’re always looking for the best deals, and until they’ve gone through many of the options the market has to offer, don’t expect them to make the decision to purchase anything.

Some of them prefer hunting for promos or sales. So they’re better off targeted though wish list and email reminders of coupon codes and discounts.

The Slow and Steady

This one can spend months researching a product they wish to buy; it happens a whole lot where a new product is involved.

So the customers would want to spend the bulk of their time educating themselves about the product and how it works before making a purchase.

It may also happen when a customer or consumer is more interested in seasonal promos and fairs, such as airfares.

Which Device do they use to access the internet?

An overwhelming 60 percent of Singaporeans shop online via their mobile devices. This confirms the fact that Singapore has the highest mobile penetration rate in the world.

Desktop users, on the other hand, are nearly half the number of mobile users, at 34 percent. One plausible explanation for this is that a great majority of consumers prefer using their mobile devices to browse through the offers on the market, but when it comes to making the actual buying decision, they’ll still prefer doing it from their laptops or desktops.

That’s because computers make it a whole lot easier for them to double check their payment details.

The remaining 6 percent account for a group of shoppers that prefer using their tablets to shop online. However, there has been a sharp decline in the number of people shopping online via tablets. And that’s because many tablet shoppers are dropping them in favour of smartphones.

Where Do Singaporeans Find the Information to Buy?

The internet will never come short of places to find information. All you have to do is run a simple Google search, and you’ll be served with dozens of sources to harness information.

In Singapore, 60 percent of online shoppers have been reported to using Google and other search engines as their primary source of the information they need to make a buying decision. That goes to show that SEO still stands as one of the most effective ways of getting noticed by shoppers in Singapore.

The same report also goes to suggest that almost a third of shoppers rely on brand websites for information. This mostly applies to companies that have managed to establish themselves as authority voices in their industry while inspiring brand loyalty and raising awareness on their product and services.

Another 14 percent prefer using video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo to search for more information concerning a brand, product, or service. The number of people using YouTube is projected to get even bigger in the next few years, more so as the popularity of the platform increases in the region.

Worth noting is that about 45 percent of Singaporeans have also been reported to prefer YouTube over TV; that’s because most of them find it a whole lot easier to find the content they’re interested in watching on YouTube as opposed to TV.

Lastly, you might want to note that about 12 percent of the Singaporeans visit social media for information. Singaporeans are highly social, with 3 out of every four people you meet in the country being active on at least one social network. From the 12 percent, a good chunk of the users is thought to rely on the information they get from social influencers to make a buying decision.

Also worth noting is that there’s another 12 percent whose decision to buy will, for the most part, be skewed towards who has the best price on the market. So expect this lot to get their information from comparing different price offers for a particular product or service in the region.

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How do Singaporeans Use the Internet to Make a Buying Decision

This section of the post is more focused on how the shoppers use the information they find to decide on what they’ll be buying as opposed to where they get this information from.

In which case, a whopping 48 percent of all shoppers in the country use the internet to look for information on product features and prices. And once they find this information, they’ll be using it to make comparisons between different product options.

This is a common behaviour among online shoppers going through online stores trying to find which one among them has the best price for a particular product or service. Shoppers have also admitted to finding online options more convenient for making comparisons compared to offline retail stores.

And since online services tend to have lower overhead costs, their processes tend to be much cheaper compared to traditional brick and mortar retail stores.

Lastly, about 29 percent of all shoppers in the country agree to rely on the internet for reviews. That’s the first place they turn to if they want to find out how other customers or past clients feel about a product or the services they were once accorded.

With the information they get, they can easily answer whatever objection they had in mind concerning a product or service.

Lastly, 26 percent of the users will be using the internet to find undiscovered brands that are very similar to what they’re looking for but less expensive.

Which Browser do Singaporeans Mostly use to Shop Online

At 51 percent, the majority of online shoppers in Singapore use Google Chrome, which is closely followed by Safari (accounting for 37 percent of users).

Only a meager 4 percent browse using Internet Explorer, with the number of users browsing using firefox dropping even further to only account for 3 percent of all users.

What do the Shoppers do after they’ve Completed a Purchase?

After Singaporean shoppers complete a purchase, 16 percent of them are reported to head to different social media channels where they share their shopping experience with the rest of the world. This statement rings true when you consider the fact that 3 out of every 4 Singaporeans you meet are active on at least one social network.

Meanwhile, 14 percent of the users will visit different online platforms or the merchant site itself to rate the product or review it. Eleven percent of these shoppers will again return online to search for help on how to use the product or set it up.

What’s the Future on Online Shopping in Singapore

The future of online shopping is a bright one for both sellers and customers.

It’s also predicted that consumers in the region prefer using a more blended approach whenever they’re out shopping.

As you can see, shoppers in the country are already incorporating digital touch points with every step they making in their online purchasing journey. From reviewing the products on the marketing; to requesting for assistance on a product they’re interested in; to checking product prices and the rest, there’s a digital twist to the process employed which goes to prove that it’s just a matter of time before the whole practice of buying and selling manages to shift online fully.

The Takeaway

The secret to succeeding as an online retailer or service provider is to focus on providing an excellent shopping experience for every single one of the customers you manage to direct your way.

It’s also crucial that you understand the needs of your customers to the core if at all you want to satisfy them and keep them coming for more of what you’re offering. You have to start by ensuring your stock is comprised of the exact items that your customers want and need.

In other words, your customers must be able to see value in whatever you’re offering and at the same time feel like you understand their tastes and preferences to a T.

That said, you can talk to MediaOne Marketing today to fully understand how retailers and manufacturers in the country can stay relevant to address the ever-evolving consumers’ demands in the country.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.


Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

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