Singapore's Digital Shoppers Swayed Primarily by Price

Promotions like Singles Day propelling ecommerce's share of retail sales

Ecommerce represents a small but growing portion of retail sales in Singapore. According to eMarketer’s latest forecast on the topic, ecommerce will account for 4.5% of all retail sales in the city-state in 2016, a 15.2% gain over 2015. As Singapore’s ecommerce sector continues to grow, what are the most important criteria influencing digital buyers’ shopping decisions? Based on recent research, it’s low prices. 

A September 2016 survey by SingSaver and ShopBack, which investigated the factors that lead Singapore’s digital buyers to make purchases, found that low prices and deals were the two most important considerations driving such purchases. Approximately 72% of shoppers in Singapore polled said lower prices compared to offline stores was one key reason, followed by 71.2% saying online deals and promotions were a primary influence. 

The growing popularity of Singles Day in Singapore is further evidence of the country’s price-focused online shopping habits. Held on November 11 each year, the event has become one of the largest online shopping days of the year for retailers in China due largely to the discounts and offers stores roll out that day. Now it’s spreading abroad. According to SingSaver and ShopBack research, 47.3% of digital buyers polled in Singapore planned to shop on Singles Day this year. 

Consumers’ price-hunting mentality is also reflected in June 2015 research from Singapore Polytechnic, which looked at the frequency with digital buyers in Singapore ages 15 to 35 browsed vs. purchased products. It found that more than 50% of respondents browsed for products either daily or between one and six times per week, but more than 45% limited purchases to between one and three times a month. The discrepancy seems to suggest online shoppers may be looking for the best price before making a commitment.