Let’s explore emerging shopping trends in Singapore. What should you know when expanding your online business to this tech-savvy nation?
Let’s not beat around the bush – Singaporeans love to shop! Whether from physical stores or online, they love to get their hands on the latest products.
According to Hootsuite/We Are Social, 3 out of 4 Singaporeans users aged 16 and above have bought something online. Of this, 73% said they purchased something from an online store overseas.
Singapore’s Potential as An Emerging Ecommerce Market
According to the Index of Economic Freedom report, Singapore is ranked as the world’s freest economy, with an economic freedom score of 83.9 ((well above celebrated tax havens such as Switzerland (83.8), New Zealand (78.9), and the Netherlands (78.0))
Singapore is One of the World’s Most Prosperous Nations
Singapore is also one of the world’s most prosperous nations, with an average GDP per capita of $67,500 (projected to hit US$69,178 in 2024 and US$70848 in 2025).
It even surpassed China and Hong Kong in 2009 as the market with the highest potential for US companies in the new Market Potential Index.
Ranked Among the World’s Most Business-friendly Counties
World bank ranked Singapore second in 2022 (in the now discontinued “Doing Business Report) as one of the world’s most business-friendly countries.
To preserve its position as a business hub and further its economic prosperity, Singapore’s government has taken measures to protect innovation and encourage entrepreneurship and foreign investments.
Even for a small nation with a population of only 5.92 million, Singapore stands out as an economic giant with a vibrant and dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem.
E-commerce Statistics in Singapore 2023
The e-commerce market revenue in Singapore is projected to hit US$8.23 billion by the end of 2023.
With an internet penetration rate of 98% and nearly 98% of Singaporeans owning smartphones, it’s expected that 58% of the population will shop online in 2023 and the following years.
Singaporeans aged 25 and 34 accounts for about 46% of all online shoppers, followed by those aged 35 and 44 (22%).
Those aged between 18 and 24 account for 17% of online shoppers, while those aged 45 and above account for about 15%.
The male population (51%) has a slightly higher propensity to shop online than the female population (49%).
The Top 10 Ecommerce Platforms in Singapore (in 2023)
Shopee, Lazada, and Carousell are the top three ecommerce platforms in the country.
Shopee is by far the most popular platform, with an estimated online traffic of 14.4 million monthly visits.
It is followed by Carousell with 10.5 million visits and Lazada with 6.8 million visits.
Here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 list of Singapore’s most popular ecommerce platforms:
#1. Shopee: 14.4 million Monthly Visits
Store Link: http://shopee.sg/
Shopee enjoys the most significant market share, with 14.4 million visits monthly.
They have some of the best shopping deals for electronics, health & beauty products, fashion items, and even groceries.
They offer cashback deals, discount vouchers, and free shipping options.
#2. Carousell: 10.5 million Monthly Visits
Store Link: http://carousell.sg/
Carousell stands at number two, with an estimated 10.5 million visits monthly.
It’s the only home-grown ecommerce platform on the list.
You can read their startup story here.
Their simple user interface and range of affordable products from local sellers make them a consumer favourite. From fashion and electronics to used cars, handyperson services, and even pet supplies, Carousell has it all.
#3. Lazada: 6.8 million Visits per Month.
Store Link: http://lazada.sg/
Lazada comes in third with 6.8 million visits per month.
Founded in 2012 by Maximilian Bittner to establish an Amazon-like ecommerce platform in South East Asia, Lazada has grown to become one of the leading ecommerce sites in Singapore.
They have a wide range of products, from electronics and fashion items to home improvement items.
They’re best known for their fastest delivery option, free returns, and discounts for loyal shoppers.
#4. Amazon: 7.1 million Visits Per Month
Store Link: http://amazon.sg/
Amazon rounds off the top four with 7.1 million visits per month.
It comes as no surprise that this global giant is popular in Singapore, with its wide selection of products and convenient delivery options.
They offer the lowest prices around, a range of payment methods, including cash on delivery, and free shipping options.
#5. Qoo10.sg: 2.1 million Visits Per Month
Store Link: http://qoo10.sg/
Qoo10.sg is a shopping paradise for bargain hunters and discount shoppers.
They’re an incredible shopping destination for the newest products, latest trends, and bestselling items from Singapore, Korea, Japan, and the US.
They offer various payment options, free shipping for certain products, and a wide range of daily deals and discounts.
|eCommerce Store||Online Ttraffic Monthly (in 2023)|
|Shopee||14.4 million Monthly Visits|
|Carousell||10.5 million Monthly Visits|
|Lazada||6.8 million Monthly Visits|
|Amazon||7.1 million Monthly Visits|
|Qoo10||2.1 million Monthly Visits|
|Zalora||831K Monthly Visits|
|eBay||770K Monthly Visits|
|ezBuy||406K Million Monthly Visits|
#6. eZBuy: 1.04 million Visits Per Month
Store Link: https://ezbuy.sg/
eZBuy is an online platform for Singaporean shoppers looking for a good bargain.
It’s an ecommerce platform specializing in products from Taiwan, Korea, and the US. Plus, they can ship anywhere internationally.
They offer tons of discounts and affordable products from Adidas, Nike, Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Apple, and more, with up to 70% off on selected items.
#7. Zalora: 789K Visits Per Month
Store Link: http://zalora.sg/
Zalora is a leading online fashion retailer for Singapore’s women, men, and kids.
They have an impressive range of products, from clothing and accessories to bags, shoes, and beauty items.
They offer free shipping for orders above $40, free returns, and discounts for loyal shoppers.
They also have a 30-day return policy so that you can shop confidently.
#8. eBay: 586K Visits Per Month
Store Link: https://www.ebay.com.sg/
eBay is an American multinational consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer ecommerce platform that allows customers to purchase items from around the world.
They have an extensive range of products, from clothes and electronics to cars and real estate.
You can enjoy incredible discounts from trusted sellers.
The Current State of Online shopping in Singapore
#1. The Most Popular Product Category in Singapore is Food & Groceries
The most purchased product category in Singapore, according to Statista, is food and groceries, making up 52% of the total online purchases in Singapore.
That shows that Singaporeans are not only buying non-essentials online but also depend on eCommerce for their everyday needs.
According to Statista, the revenue generated through grocery delivery is expected to hit US$845.30 million by the end of the year (20230.
The Covid-19 pandemic catapulted the demand for online groceries, and it is expected to remain a key segment in Singapore’s eCommerce industry.
#2. Most Singaporeans Prefer Cashless Payments for Online Shopping
Most people cannot imagine life without cashless payments. Singapore is a leader in adopting digital payment solutions, and most people prefer to use their credit cards or e-wallets to pay for their purchases.
According to Strait Times, digital wallets will likely take over credit cards in the coming years, with 27% of Singaporeans forecasted to use digital wallets by 2024.
#3. Increase in the Number of Mobile Online shoppers
Singapore’s mobile internet users are expected to grow from 5.39 million in 2022 to about 5.68 million by 2025.
The mobile e-commerce market is growing rapidly in the country, with more and more people opting to shop using their smartphones or tablets.
Also, with the increasing adoption of mobile apps such as Lazada, Qoo10, and Shopee, more people turn to their smartphones for online shopping.
The increase in mobile internet users directly affects mobile eCommerce revenue. Based on Statista’s research, mobile commerce revenue in Singapore is forecasted to reach US$6 billion by 2024.
9 Online Shopping Trends in Singapore for 2023
As the eCommerce industry continues to grow, new trends are emerging and reshaping how people shop. Here are some of the top online Shopping trends in Singapore that you should look out for:
#1. Locals Brands Are Gaining Popularity
Online shopping has proven that online shopping is convenient and cheap for customers. Fortunately, local brands, especially fashion labels, are steadily gaining popularity.
It turns out that Singaporeans strongly prefer goods made and distributed by their fellow countrymen, and the trend seems to be gaining more traction in recent years.
Local brands aren’t just popular with Singaporeans but also with tourists and foreigners alike.
Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, more local brands are emerging and achieving success online.
#2. Increase in Voice Search
Voice-enabled search has taken off in the past few years, and there’s no sign of it slowing down.
Voice search is a powerful tool that lets customers quickly find what they’re looking for with a simple voice command.
Studies show 77% of consumers prefer voice search over typing, and according to Statista, its market is expected to hit US$27.16 billion by 2026.
That means ecommerce store owners must consider optimizing their websites for mobile voice searches. They must be ready to make the most of this trend by including voice-optimized content on their websites.
They must also add their contact details, business hours, and location to your website.
#3. The Prevalence of Video Marketing
High-quality commercials and videos are becoming a staple part of digital marketing.
Studies show that 78% of the world’s population watches online videos weekly, spending an average of 16 hours of screen time on video content.
Thus, it only makes sense to leverage this trend by creating high-quality videos.
Videos work for ecommerce stores because they provide customers with an immersive experience.
They can demonstrate the features of a product and showcase its uses in real-life scenarios, all while providing customers with helpful information about the product.
Videos can also be used to boost customer engagement and increase sales.
#4. The Rise of Augmented Reality (AR)
Augmented reality has quickly become a go-to marketing tool for ecommerce stores.
You can dictate how customers view your products using AR technology, giving them a realistic experience of what the product looks like and how it functions.
IKEA does this exceptionally well, allowing shoppers to virtually “try on” furniture pieces in their homes.
#5. Social Media Shopping
Online stores such as Lazada, Shopee, and Qoo10 might be Singapore’s most popular ecommerce platforms, but social media shopping is quickly catching up.
Social media shopping lets customers purchase products directly from their favourite brand’s social media profiles.
#6. Sustainable Shopping
The crusade for a greener and cleaner world is growing, and Singaporeans are joining.
Sustainable shopping is on the rise, with more people opting for eco-friendly products.
Brands focusing on sustainability are becoming increasingly popular, and customers are willing to pay a premium for products with eco-friendly labels.
In a report, 54% of Generation z shoppers are willing to spend 10% more on sustainable products.
In another report, 65% of Generation S shoppers purchase eco-friendly products yearly.
#7. Influencer Recommendations Matter
Influencer marketing has been a rising trend in Singapore for quite some time. And it’s only getting bigger.
In the past years, macro-influencers with millions of followers made the best choice for brands, but these days, micro-influencers with smaller following are becoming more popular.
In a report prepared by Influencer Marketing Hub, nano and micro-influencers have a better conversion rate than their larger counterparts.
That’s because they are more relatable and can connect intimately with their followers.
#8. New Payment Options
Singapore has been steadily transitioning to a cashless society, with more businesses and vendors adopting digital payment options.
That means shoppers can now access various payment methods such as credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets, and mobile wallets.
Credit card payments remain the most used in-store payment option (34%), but e-wallets are catching up quickly (14% from 4% in 2017).
Cash payments are sharply declining (from 40% in 2017 to 22% in 2023).
To keep up with the competition, online stores must embrace the changing payment landscape.
#9. Livestream Shopping
Video marketing has been a game-changer in the ecommerce industry.
But 2023 is where we take things to another level — livestream shopping.
Livestreaming lets brands show products in real-time, allowing shoppers to ask questions and gain further insight into products before purchasing.
According to a report by Klarna, 27% of Generation X and 28% of Baby Boomers have participated in livestream shopping.
It’s time for Singaporean ecommerce businesses to jump on this trend and start offering livestream shopping experiences as well.
Millennials and Generation Zs follow closely at 23% and 20%, respectively.
So, there you have it – the top 9 Singaporean online shopping trends for 2023.
As you can see, Singapore is heading into an exciting new era of ecommerce and digital marketing.
Online Shopping Demographics in Singapore
Millennials lead the way with a 67% online shopping rate, with Gen X coming in at a far second at 56%.
85% of the male population shop online compared to 77% for females.
However, while males only shop online five times a year, females shop seven times on average.
Female buyers are impulse buyers (at 30%), while male buyers have to do a lot of product research (at 70%) before making a purchase.
Women mostly buy fashion products, while men are likelier to purchase electronic products.
Age-specific Online Shopping Statistics for 2023
Generation X and Millennials spend an average of six hours shopping online. That’s nearly 50% more than the older generations, Baby Boomers and Gen Z.
67% of millennials and 56% of Gen X prefer shopping online.
58% of online shoppers aged between 26 and 41 do their shopping directly on social media platforms.
They’re closely followed by those between 18 and 25, with more than half saying they shop directly via social media.
So, direct social media shopping is the way to target younger audiences.
Location-specific Ecommerce Statistics
The ten largest ecommerce markets in the world, in their rightful order, are China, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, India, Canada, and Spain:
|Country||Annual Online Sales||The country’s eCommerce Share of the Total Retail Sales|
|United States||US$843 Billion||19%|
|United Kingdom||US169 Billion||4.8%|
|South Korea||US$120 Billion||2.5%|
The ecommerce market in Singapore is growing steadily, with a reported revenue of US$8.23 billion in 2023.
With the revenue expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 12.20%, the generated revenue of the industry is forecasted to reach US$10.45 billion by 2027.
The average revenue per user (ARPU) across all ecommerce sites in Singapore is US$1.79K.
The Number of Ecommerce Users in Singapore in 2023
The number of ecommerce users in Singapore is 3.68 million, according to Statista. That’s a massive 61.2% of the total population.
With that number forecasted to grow by 0.6 million users within the next two years (+17.1%) to reach 4.09 million users in 2025 (4.33 million users by 2027), the future of Singapore ecommerce is looking brighter than ever.
Covid-19’s Impact on eCommerce in Singapore
The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on retail sales in Singapore.
Retail generally fell from US$32 billion in 2019 to US$27 billion in 2020. However, online retail sales almost doubled, increasing from 1.6 billion in 2018 to 3.2 billion in 2020.
From this, it’s safe to say that the pandemic acted as a catalyst for digital shopping.
Things took an even better turn in 2021, with the ecommerce market growing to US$5.9 billion.
It’s expected to grow in the coming years, reaching US$10 billion by 2026.
The Singaporean government has also been rolling out initiatives to promote ecommerce growth.
First, the E-commerce Booster Package offered 80% (capped US$8,000) subsidies for merchants to set up their websites or move their products to eCommerce marketplaces such as Shopee, Zalora, and Lazada.
Mobile Commerce in Singapore
Mobile commerce is fast becoming the go-to platform for online shoppers in Singapore, and for a good reason.
The convenience it offers makes it ideal for busy lifestyles.
According to Insider Intelligence, mobile retail commerce is expected to account for about 43.4% of the total retail ecommerce sales worldwide, up from 41.8% in 2022.
Nearly 89% of the world’s population will have access to a smartphone by 2024, further cementing mobile commerce as the future of online shopping.
So, what does this mean for Singapore ecommerce businesses?
It’s time to optimize their websites and mobile applications for a seamless mobile shopping experience.
In Singapore, mobile phone owners spend an average of 45 hours per week online.
Mobile commerce is well-established, hitting a revenue of US$4 billion in 2021.
By 2025, it’s expected to reach US$11 billion, so there’s plenty of untapped potential for savvy online retailers.
Smartphone penetration in Singapore is around 88% — one of the world’s highest.
The country also boasts one of the highest social media use, with over 5.3 million active social media users (out of the total 5.92 million population).
These figures also tie in with the growth of social commerce, where users can shop directly from their favourite social media sites.
The Current State of Online Shopping in Singapore
Singapore is one of the most digitized countries in the world, and its ecommerce industry reflects that.
Food and Groceries Are the Most Popular Items Purchased Online
Gone are the days when food and groceries were only available in pantry supplies or from brick-and-mortar shops.
The rise of the internet has enabled many Singaporeans to purchase these items online at a much more convenient and cost-effective rate.
According to Statista, the revenue generated from grocery delivery in 2023 is estimated to reach US$845.3 million.
The generated is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 11.51 %, hitting a projected market volume of US$1.307 billion by 2027.
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a major contributing factor to the growth of this vertical, as more people turned to online shopping for their daily needs.
Singaporeans Prefer Cashless Payments
The rising popularity of cashless payments is revolutionizing the online shopping scene in Singapore.
Currently, the most popular payment methods include credit cards, debit cards, and e-wallets like PayPal and Apple Pay.
According to Strait Times, digital wallets will soon take over credit card payments. By 2024, digital wallets are forecasted to account for about 27% of total ecommerce payments in Singapore.