A shopper make her purchases from the comfort of her own home. Source: Shutterstock.com

60pc of Singaporeans now prefer to shop on mobile devices

SINGAPOREANS love to shop – and they are turning to their mobile devices in overwhelming numbers to do so.

A recent study by iPrice Group looked into how consumers in Singapore are using the powers of the Internet, social media and digital devices to enhance their online shopping experience.

As the leader in e-commerce within the region, Singapore is creating the perfect environment for a virtual shopping paradise.

But who are the keenest users of this hassle free, door-to-door service – and how are they utilising it?

iPrice’s data found that millennials (25-34) are the most prolific online shoppers, totalling 38 percent, while 45-54s make up only 13 percent.

The fierce competition, rapid technological change, pay increases and the ease of multiple channel shopping has seen the high street take a hit. Even Orchard Road – the self-styled ‘most famous shopping street in Asia’ – has seen a decline in footfall.

But with the demise of the high-street retailer, comes the expansion of Internet stores: faster fashion, quicker deliveries, tempting offers and complying with the demands of a tech-savvy society.

Singapore has the world’s highest mobile penetration rate at 149.8 percent (as of December 2016), fitting accordingly with the overwhelming statistic that 60 percent of online shoppers favor making purchases on their mobiles.

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While shopping malls face criticism for being too similar, users have flocked to shop online, where they are met with differentiation and constant promotions.

The study found that 25 percent of Singaporeans shop online because the lure of promotions and discount is most appealing, meaning they can gift themselves without receiving pangs of guilt.

Meanwhile 18 percent of shoppers buy online to alleviate tricky situations, be it last-minute anniversary gifts or urgent office supplies – or even office supplies as anniversary gifts.

The frequent online purchaser will know that research is key to getting the best your budget can buy. Shoppers often go from store-to-store to compare products and Singaporeans apply this practice to the cyber world too.

Google is the most popular tool to compare products, with a 51 percent user rate. However, where brand awareness and customer loyalty prevail, a third of customers reported going direct to the website.

A market filled with choice

Despite the competence of online shoppers, knowledge of their desired items and virtual marketplaces becoming easy-to-use, influencer marketing is becoming more prolific in the online-buying realm.

Ninety-six percent of Singaporeans have at least one social media account and 12 percent of users reported getting their information this way.

However, the real influence of social media happens after the purchase has been made. The study found that 16 percent of shoppers post about their experience, to either help other shoppers, or simply to keep their followers informed.

Singaporeans are certainly embracing the online world – and so are retailers. Through creating enticing offers such as free shipping and using social media to promote coupons and loyalty schemes, the retailer is giving the control to the customer, something that is valuable in a market filled with choice.