Are Singaporeans Savvy e-Shoppers?

Ipsos survey finds Singaporeans, young and old are savvy e-shoppers.

Latest Ipsos survey takes a look at the shopping journey of the Singaporean shopper through the lens of 11.11 Singles Day.

Bargain hunting is perhaps not so much the result of the “kiasu” nature of a Singaporean, but maybe a strategy that is necessary for the urban dweller to still have the nicer things in a high-cost city life. In the interest to understand the Singaporean shopper better, global market research agency, Ipsos, conducted a survey among a population representative sample of 982 Singaporeans and PRs, aged 18 – 65 years old. The survey was conducted over 12 to 14 Nov 2018 immediately following the coveted 11.11 e-shopping event.

Online shopping a mainstay for Singaporeans

The survey found that 80% of Singaporeans have shopped online in the past 3 months.

Of these online shoppers, 50% had participated in an 11.11 Online sale event. The top 5 items purchased on 11.11 were Fashion (Clothing, Apparel & Footwear) at 59%, followed by Consumer Electronics (33%), Groceries, Food, Drink and alcohol (30%), Cosmetics & Beauty Products (29%) and Household Appliances & Furniture (27%).

If the Singles Day 11.11 online sale did not happen, 75% of the 11.11 online shoppers said they would wait for the next sale either online or in physical stores. The physical store is of particular choice among the younger shoppers with 37% of those below 25 years old say they would wait for a sale in a physical store. Most of the silver e-shoppers (55 years and older) however, say they will wait for another online
sale and buy it online (61%).

82% of 11.11 shoppers paid for their purchase with a credit or debit card. The next most used form of payment is PayPal (15%). Mobile wallet (eg.Apple Pay, Samsung Pay etc) and other payment app (eg. Singtel Dash, AliPay etc) options were not used in their 11.11 purchases.

Planning is Everything
4 out of 5 Singles Day Singapore online shoppers planned for their purchases prior to the event, indicating the anticipation of the sale day. This is mainly observed for big ticket items like Electronics, Household appliances & Furniture.

Leading up to the day, 11.11 shoppers (44%), both young and old, did their initial search on e-commerce websites or apps such as Lazada and Qoo10. Following this, these shoppers (32%) did their in-depth search on specific brand websites.

This is reflective in the shopper journey especially for fashion purchases, which were largely contributed to by women. Only 11% of fashion shoppers on 11.11 visited a physical store as part of their in-depth search process. 1 in 4 Fashion purchases were finally made on the brand websites directly.

For Consumer Electronics, which were largely contributed to by men, followed a fairly similar journey but with an additional reliance (27%) on Online Discussion Forums in their in-depth research. Close to 9 in 10 Consumer Electronic purchases were finally made on E-commerce websites or apps.

For Groceries, Food, Drink & Alcohol purchases, while most do their initial search on e-commerce websites or apps (37%), more than 1 in 5 shoppers do their first search on social media sites (22%). The physical store is probably most important for the Cosmetics and Beauty product purchases. 11% of Cosmetic/Beauty product buyers on 11.11 did their initial search in a physical store. 79% eventually make their final purchases on E-commerce websites and a further 21% of them on brand websites.

Anvaya Sharma, Director at Ipsos in Singapore comments, “During the initial search, that is when shoppers are considering their brand options. But going to the brand website for their in-depth search is indicative that the information or even peer reviews on e-commerce sites may not be sufficient for the Singaporean shoppers. Shoppers are also going to brand websites as a second stage search in order to validate authenticity of certain products and deals.”

Disrupted Planning
While most of the 11.11 Shoppers planned their purchases, 59% of respondents also reported they bought products they had not initially planned for. Of Consumer Electronics purchases, 27% were unplanned; Of Household appliances purchases, 30% were unplanned; And for Fashion purchases, 43% were unplanned.

Marketing Gimmick or the Real Deal?
Of the 11.11 shoppers, 38% of younger Singaporeans (18 – 24 years old) believe 11.11 to be a marketing gimmick. While only 16% of the silver shoppers (55+ years old) share this sentiment. 49% of these silver shoppers perceive Singles Day to offer the best discounts and is worth waiting for.

Sharma adds, “For many, 11.11 still holds its charm, and we might be too quick to pass off this sentiment as the usual cynicism observed of millennials. But our younger Singaporeans are more digitally savvy and
are likely more adept in searching for the best deals online regardless of time of the year.”


Technical note/About the Study:

  • The survey was conducted online between 12 Nov 2018 and 14 Nov 2018 among a nationally representative sample of n=982 Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 15 – 65 years old.
  • The data has been weighted by age, gender and ethnicity to reflect the population distribution.