SINGAPORE – Online shoppers in Singapore who shop across borders carried clothing and beauty products most often during the pandemic.
This is revealed by a study on online shopping habits over the past year conducted by the electronic payment company PayPal between December and February.
The study was conducted in 13 international markets, including Singapore, the United States, India, China and France. He surveyed 1,000 consumers in each market who had purchased online in the past three months as well as 5,270 merchants.
In all markets, clothing and beauty products saw the largest increases in online shopping last year.
Singapore had the largest pool of cross-border buyers (78 percent). Of these, 41 percent spent on clothing, 22 percent on cosmetics and beauty products, and 21 percent on household appliances.
Work-at-home arrangements and a slight increase in home workouts over the past year have led to an increase in demand for comfort wear and athletic wear. And when beauty and barbershops were forced to shut down during last year’s breaker, many turned to grooming and personal grooming rituals at home.
The PayPal study also identified the top three avenues through which online shoppers in Singapore shop cross-border – online retailers like Shopee, retailer websites, and social media marketplaces.
Global online retail sales reached US $ 4.28 trillion (S $ 5.76 trillion) last year, up from US $ 3.35 trillion in 2019, according to the report.
Mr. Rakesh Krishnamuti, director of business sales in Southeast Asia at PayPal, told the Straits Times: âThe pandemic has really accelerated e-commerce. What we were trying to do incrementally over the past 10 years has been ramped up from three to five years, so businesses are seeing more than ever the need to go digital and have an omnichannel presence. “
It highlights some online shopping habits developed among Singaporean consumers during the pandemic that are likely to continue in the long term.
1. Fashion and beauty items will always be popular
As working from home remains the norm, comfort and sportswear will continue to fill the baskets.
A report by market research firm Technavio last November predicted that the sports leisure market will grow by US $ 80.74 billion from 2020 to 2024, as people turn to more versatile clothing for work and leisure. rest.
In an article published by e-commerce growth agency Common Thread Collective in March, the global beauty and personal care market was valued at US $ 483 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US $ 784.6 billion in 2020. ‘by 2025. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for almost half of the total market.
2. Shop cross-border for better deals
In the PayPal study, respondents in Singapore ranked among the most sensitive to consumer prices compared to other markets in the region, with more than half (56%) saying they buy in international markets for better prices.
Other common reasons included accessing products not available locally and making new and interesting discoveries.
Delivery charges were the main consideration for cross-border shopping, which Krishnamuti says domestic e-commerce players can take advantage of to attract buyers to Singapore.
He advises local businesses to improve online shopping experiences by offering faster delivery times and more personalized service.
3. Mobile is the way to go
According to the PayPal report, 83% of online consumers in Singapore shop through their mobile phones, making it essential for merchants to create a seamless mobile experience, from browsing to completing transactions.
Those who shop across borders pay with credit cards (67 percent), PayPal (31 percent), and debit cards (25 percent). Only 5% use the local electronic payment method PayNow.
As the e-commerce landscape grows alongside the e-payment economy, Mr Krishnamuti notes that it is increasingly important for merchants to offer an “invisible experience”, one that does not require buyers to repeatedly enter the details.
“They should prioritize an app or website that is optimized for mobile and offers a payment method that does not force consumers to search for their cards,” he adds.