A food delivery worker was riding a motorbike on a street

There are more Singaporeans using online marketplaces for services like food delivery than anywhere else in the world. Source: Shutterstock

Online marketplaces are driving the Singaporean economy

Up until a few years ago, people who spent money online did so on Amazon or ebay. They bought clothes, groceries, and other products for their home and office, helping fuel the growth (and profits) of some of today’s e-commerce giants.

Today, people have more choices. On digital platforms, they can buy more than just clothes and groceries.

Through online marketplaces, today’s consumers are able to order food from a restaurant, book a ride, make a reservation in a hotel, and even hire the services of specialists a

These online platforms have made it convenient for consumers to find any products and services all with a few clicks on their smartphones.

In fact, it is driving the economy. According to a recent report by online payment processing company Stripe, more than 80 percent of Singaporeans believe that online marketplaces are beneficial to the economy.

Amongst all countries surveyed, Singapore has the highest percentage of consumers using ridesharing and food delivery platforms, both at 52 percent. This is way higher than the total global average, which was only around 20 percent for both categories.

Most respondents agreed that online marketplaces provide consumers with more choices. This is driven predominantly by a mobile-first experience, as the majority of Singaporeans prefer to access the platforms via mobile phones.

One of the most important aspects of a mobile-first experience is having fast, secure and frictionless payments. Most consumers said they will abandon a website if it takes too long to enter payment information at checkout.

The report found that designing a secure, yet personalized mobile payment experience is key. Most users don’t want to key in credit card details every time they make a purchase, but also want to know that their details are safe.

In Singapore, more than 80 percent of users believe marketplaces allow them to find products and services that they otherwise have found. The most frequented services in the country being e-commerce, ride-hailing, and food delivery.

“These marketplaces aren’t just changing the way we travel, shop and commute, they are fundamentally changing the internet economy, creating new commercial experiences that cannot exist in the offline world and driving the next wave of growth online,” said Piruze Sabuncu, Head of Southeast Asia and Hong Kong, Stripe.

Globally, other commonly accessed services include hotel and restaurant bookings, with the highest percentage of users found in Hong Kong.

Online marketplaces not only transform how consumers buy online, it is also an avenue for users to create an additional source of income. Many also noted that marketplaces create more jobs, as well as provide more flexibility to part-time workers.

In fact, nearly a quarter of Singaporean users visiting e-commerce marketplaces are sellers as well as buyers.

“Sellers will always want a larger potential customer base, while buyers want added value and options tailored to their needs,” said Chris Urban, Managing Director for Singapore, honestbee.

In terms of driving economy, online marketplaces increase competition between businesses, while helping small businesses reach more consumers.

Considering that SMEs account for over 97 percent of all enterprises in APAC, online marketplaces help build communities that are more inclusive to businesses of all sizes.