It’s no secret that Singaporeans love to shop, be it during the annual Great Singapore Sale or not, as long as there’s great offers, you’ll find us there. In recent years, we’ve even taken our crazy shopping habits to the online stores.
With all the influx in mobile gadgets and electronics’ technology, we now live in a society where QR codes, contactless payments, and mobile online shopping are no longer stranger to us. As online purchases become more popular by day, the number of Singaporeans shopping online have also increased significantly, so much so that we’ve now found ourselves at the #1 spot for online shopping in Southeast Asia!
According to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014, the findings have shown that 50% of Singaporeans would do all their shopping online if possible, ranking highest in the region. We’ve always known that we Singaporeans take our shopping seriously, but now we even have proof!
Shoppers between the ages of 25-44 years old have been found to shop most frequently, with 53% of the respondents between ages 25-34 years old and 44% between ages 34-44 years old shop online at least several times a month. The survey also showed that 30% of Singaporeans who shop online use their mobiles to make purchases at least once a week.
During the recent Single’s Day event, the single largest online shopping day in the world, international Visa figures were reportedly up by 450% on Singles Day 2014 in Asia. In Singapore alone, there was an increase of over 250% in authenticated purchases as compared to 2013.
With retailers opening up more online store options, including mobile apps created just for it, and even Instagram releasing a “shoppable” feature, online shopping has become a widespread phenomenon. I mean, with all the convenience, enabling ourselves to avoid the hustle and bustle of our cosmopolitan city, who wouldn’t be attracted?
Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei said: “Online shopping continues to grow in popularity in Singapore with 19% year-on-year (YoY) growth in eCommerce transactions performed by Singaporean Visa cardholders. In comparison, domestic face-to-face Visa transactions for October grew at 6% year-on-year.”
She also shared that there is a growing trend of consumers spending more time and money shopping online. Due to the evolution of technology, we have begun to see the blurring of lines between shopping at a retail store and online.
“Fueled by this shift in behavior by consumers, we see more merchants developing apps and expanding their businesses to online platforms. This helps them to drive more business and also provides a better shopping experience for their targeted consumers,” added Ooi.
For those of us who are quick to pounce on timely offers, online shopping might have just become your daily routine. With apps like Line Shopping, Groupon and Qoo10 that feature different deals daily, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see the high percentages. Convenience, cheaper prices and direct delivery are the factors cited by Singaporeans as their main reasons for choosing to shop online.
Singaporeans Love Their Travel Online
By far, travel is the most popular category where Singaporeans make purchases online. The survey indicated that more than 51% of respondents bought all their flight tickets online and 46% bought all their travel accommodation online. Tickets to concerts, sports and games are next in line in terms of popularity. This is in line with VisaNet data, which shows that the top online spending categories for Visa cardholders are travel and entertainment.
The increase in airlines’ marketing tactics of posting offers on social media to attract customers, and various credit cards linking up with entertainment sites for promotions, are also the reasons why Singaporeans choose to purchase tickets online; usually for the cheaper prices and priority sales.
Based on the survey findings, Singaporeans enjoy shopping online as much as they do at physical stores, but they expect a seamless payment process online as how they would at a physical store. If online retailers manage to retain the consumers’ personal details and ensure a faster checkout, 46% of Singaporean consumers are more likely to shop from their site next time. In the entire Southeast Asia region, the overall figure stands at 61%, further confirming the fact that consumers really value convenience in their online shopping experiences.
To enhance the level of security when shopping online, and to give consumers a peace of mind, Visa introduced “Verified by Visa” (VbV), a free online service designed to make Internet transactions safer by authenticating the cardholder’s identity at the time of purchase.
As mentioned by Ooi, “Visa uses multiple layers of security and fraud protection, and VbV provides a seamless additional layer of security for participating eCommerce merchants.”
So, for those who are careful with their purchases online, wondering about the genuinity of the product or a suspicious seller, making payments using Visa might be a wiser choice! After all, in today’s world, it does pay to double-check.