We’re currently right smack in the middle of the Great Singapore Sale, and let’s be honest – it doesn’t feel like it at all.
When we were younger, the Great Singapore Sale meant massive discounts in retail stores, as we followed our moms from shop to shop looking for the best deals.
Those days are long gone, and the atriums where these sales were held are now mostly devoid of people as shoppers head online for discounts.
The GoSpree App
In May, it was announced that the Singapore Retailers Association will be launching an app for this year’s Great Singapore Sale.
Called GoSpree, it’s a free app that was unveiled alongside the start of the GSS (complete with a flashmob) and is available for both iOS and Android.
On the app, you will gain access to a “super mall” which encompasses 100 retailers across malls in Singapore who will be offering 47,000 eCoupons during the sale.
In it, you have a choice of retailers ranging from fashion to electronics, right down to dining and entertainment options.
The app features a directory of brands that you can look up to find specific discount coupons which you can download and keep in your account’s digital wallet.
Alternatively, if you happen to be at a participating store, you can just use the app to scan its designated QR code using your phone’s camera, and you will be directly linked to any coupons from the store that are available for use.
Your account is also where you can keep track of coupons you have downloaded, redeemed, and those that have expired.
The (Not So) Great Singapore Sale App
The GSS, while still remaining the marquee retail event of the year, has lost much of its shimmer and the retail scene going on a downward spiral might have also contributed to it.
This past weekend, roving promoters were even deployed to ‘encourage’ shoppers to use the app.
Looking at Play Store figures, the install base for the GoSpree on Android is in the region of 10,000 – 50,000. Assuming the App Store figures are similar, that puts total app downloads at about 100,000 at most.
Commendable figures if you are a startup releasing a new app, but this is a shopping extravaganza that’s held in a nation with one the world’s highest internet and smartphone penetration in the world.
In the app’s defence though, they’ve mentioned that the app is not just for the GSS and they are looking to add on features in the near future so that it will be more than just a rewards app.
There Are Just Too Many Strings Attached
Perhaps the most glaring thing about the discounts in the app is the need for a Union Pay card for quite a number of the coupons. This is understandable though, seeing as they are the official card partners for the app.
Even then, the terms and conditions attached to the coupons are never-ending.
Most notably, these discounts are stipulated with dates and/or are only available to the first ‘x’ number of customers.
Don’t get me wrong, the app is a commendable attempt, but for most people, a trip down to the mall is not something that they will embark on as often as before.
It’s still the early days for the app and as with any other new products, there’s bound to be something lacking at the start.
Here’s to hoping that the developers make good on their word to add more features into the app and turn it into something useful in malls all year round.