A recent report commissioned by Amazon and produced by leading data and analytics company GlobalData sheds light on the evolving shopping habits of consumers in Singapore. The study titled ‘Singapore Retail Trends’ reveals that Singaporean shoppers are increasingly turning to omnichannel retail, a trend where online and offline channels converge, to find the best value for their money.
The report highlights the growing importance of offering a seamless shopping experience and high-quality product information to win the trust of consumers. Moreover, it explores the impact of Singapore’s post-pandemic recovery on the retail sector and the rising concern of inflation among consumers.
Omnichannel Retail Dominates Singapore’s Retail Landscape
According to the report, Singaporean consumers are becoming more discerning and are willing to explore multiple online retailers before making a purchasing decision. On average, consumers visit more than five (5.4) online retailers before finalizing a purchase. This behavior emphasizes their price sensitivity and their desire to access a variety of shopping channels. Additionally, over two-thirds (68.3%) of Singaporean shoppers engage in both online and in-store research to find the best value for their money.
The study further reveals that omnichannel retail accounted for more than half (57.6%) of retail spending in 2022. This figure is expected to rise by an additional 21.2% over the next four years, highlighting the significant role that both online and offline channels play in Singapore’s retail landscape. The blurred lines between bricks-and-mortar stores and the online experience are reshaping consumer behavior and presenting new opportunities for businesses.
Online Channels for Comparison and Fun, Physical Stores for Social Connections
Although physical stores in Singapore are conveniently located within walking distance, consumers are increasingly turning to online platforms for product details, reviews, and inspiration. Half (50.2%) of online shoppers in Singapore consider price comparison a major driver, reflecting their price sensitivity and willingness to explore multiple shopping channels. Moreover, more than half (57.3%) of consumers rely on online reviews and comparison sites before making a purchase, emphasizing the need for businesses to offer a seamless shopping experience and high-quality product information.
Furthermore, almost one in three (29.3%) online shoppers in Singapore engage in “e-window shopping” for fun, surpassing other Southeast Asian countries. This behavior presents potential business opportunities for ad-hoc purchases and highlights the importance of creating engaging online experiences for consumers.
Benefits of Both Online and In-Store Shopping
The report also reveals that Singaporean consumers see benefits in both online and in-store shopping. Approximately half (48.2%) of shoppers visit physical stores for inspiration and ideas before making an online purchase, while the other half (48.8%) browse online first before heading to a shop. This behavior emphasizes the importance of a holistic omnichannel strategy that caters to customers’ preferences.
Leo Laforgia, Amazon Singapore Country Manager, emphasizes the importance of businesses investing in sustainable omnichannel strategies. He suggests that by prioritizing customer preferences, protecting their brand, and thinking long-term for international growth, businesses can offer unique and holistic value to customers, ensuring success in an evolving retail landscape.
Singapore’s Post-Pandemic Recovery Presents Opportunities
The retail sector in Singapore has exhibited a rapid recovery from the pandemic and is expected to continue growing until 2026. Factors such as the resumption of air travel and tourism, as well as major international events like the F1 Grand Prix, contribute to the sector’s growth. However, the report highlights that Singaporean consumers have expressed growing concern about inflation. An overwhelming majority (93%) of consumers are either concerned or very concerned as the cost of living rises.
Neil Saunders, Managing Director of GlobalData’s retail division, explains that Singaporean consumers are particularly worried about inflation compared to their counterparts in Southeast Asia. He emphasizes the importance of having access to multiple shopping channels, as the majority of Singaporean consumers already explore various online and offline retailers to find the best value for their money. As consumers become more astute in navigating a challenging economic environment, omnichannel experiences that encompass researching online before buying in-store or utilizing click-and-collect services are expected to gain further traction.
The ‘Singapore Retail Trends’ report commissioned by Amazon highlights the growing influence of omnichannel retail in Singapore. Consumers are increasingly turning to multiple online retailers and engaging in both online and in-store research to find the best value for their money. The report emphasizes the need for businesses to provide seamless shopping experiences, prioritize customer preferences, and invest in sustainable omnichannel strategies.
Singapore’s post-pandemic recovery presents opportunities for retailers, although consumer concerns about inflation underline the importance of offering value across various shopping channels. As Singaporean consumers become savvier in their discretionary spending, businesses that adapt to their evolving preferences and needs stand to succeed in this dynamic retail landscape.