China Singles Day vs. US Black Friday - What's the e-commerce difference?

China vs. US e-commerce – What’s the difference? Source: Shutterstock

Lion City’s e-commerce trends in a nutshell

IF YOU’RE THINKING about e-commerce in Asia, you can’t ignore Singapore. It’s one of the most valuable markets in the world with citizens having both, the desire to buy and the capacity to buy online.

However, to tailor your e-commerce strategy to suit the Singapore market accurately, you need to make sure you don’t treat it the way you do it’s Asian or even it’s Southeast Asian (SEA) counterparts.

Here are a few ways the country is different – and some trends you need to watch for when designing and fine-tuning your e-commerce strategy for the Lion City of Southeast Asia:

Singapore is the only country in Southeast Asia that shops more after working hours, others including Malaysia shop during working hours

Based on the data by iPrice’s latest report The State of E-Commerce, Singaporeans shop the most after working hours.

The number of orders placed by Singaporeans is the lowest among SEA countries during working hours. However, starting from 4pm, we observed the numbers increase gradually and eventually taking the first spot at 6pm.

Singaporeans continue to shop the most all night long until 2am and placed the highest amount of orders at 10pm. Except for 9pm, in which Thailand lead the numbers only by the difference of one percent.

Considering the largest group to shop online is between 25 to 54 years old, showing most of the shoppers are of working class, it is natural for them to go shopping only after working hours.

Also, Singaporeans are known for their workaholic nature based on a survey by TODAY and Robert Half’s Workplace Survey. It signifies their habit of shopping at the end of the day mainly after normal working hours

A credit card is a must-offered payment method for Singapore e-commerce websites

Data by iPrice showed credit card is being offered by all the merchants in Singapore at 100 percent.

The second payment method, bank transfers, is accepted by 38 percent of e-commerce websites.

This data correlates with the fact that Singapore is inching closer to becoming a cashless society every day. It’s a good indicator considering the government is pushing towards this movement as well.

The convenience of payment for online shopping ranks pretty high for Singaporeans, and therefore, it’s not surprising to see credit card top the list in payment method for Singapore.

Singaporeans are three times more likely to complete purchases on desktops rather than on mobiles, despite having the highest smartphone penetration globally

Data also suggest that Singaporeans are three times more inclined to complete their purchase on desktops rather than on mobile. Even for mobile conversion rates, it’s 10 percent lower than the average for SEA countries

This is not a trend seen only in Singapore but all around Southeast Asia.

Singaporeans are three times more inclined to complete their purchase on desktops rather than on mobile. Source: Shutterstock

According to KPMG insights on online purchase behavior, 57 percent of consumers still prefer to use desktop PCs or laptops for online shopping despite the increased usage of smartphones and tablets.

Only 17 percent state they prefer to use mobile devices. This may be caused by the app and mobile site transaction experiences which still need to be improved as shown from GfK study in general.

Number one in basket size, huge lead on GDP among SEA countries

Singapore is leading the way in term of basket size per country.

According to iPrice, Singapore claims the number one spot in term of GDP per capita at US$90,000, a major difference compares to Malaysia at the second spot with US$28,000.

Singapore also took the first place in terms of ‘basket size’ as the consumers are much better-off in general, thus allowing them to spend more online.