More than 2 in 5 Singaporean shoppers have purchased shoes and clothing online
Physical stores still appeal to those who enjoy actual the experience of browsing
SINGAPOREANS are well known to be avid shoppers and with the proliferation of the Internet and deepening penetration of smart mobile devices, online shopping has become a viable and popular option for many.
According to the latest Shopper study by GfK, fashion and shoes are the most frequently purchased items over the Internet, with the average Singaporean shopper spending over S$250 and S$180 on these two categories respectively in the last three months. [S$1 = US$0.80]
GfK conducted the online shopper study at the beginning of the year among more than 1,500 individuals aged 18-65 who are representative of the Singapore population, the market research firm said in a statement.
Respondents were chosen based on the compulsory criterion of having visited and made at least a purchase in a physical department store.
Although fashion items and shoes are the most common items purchased in the last three months, others like bags, toys, babycare and sports equipment are also products which are attracting shoppers to spend a significant amount over the Internet, although frequency may be less.
“Our study has revealed some interesting insights to how consumers in Singapore are doing their shopping, allowing us to observe some behaviours specific to the online and offline platforms,” said Lawrence Yeow, Asia Pacific retail director at GfK.
“While online retailers enjoy high sales volume for the lower value items, it is the more expensive products, and items that are pegged to quality authenticity which consumers prefer to purchase at a physical store,” he added.
Respondents indicated a low incidence of Internet purchase for watches, optical products, consumer electronics and sports equipment, although the total value spend may still be significantly more than the other more commonly purchased items.
Average online spend on watches and consumer electronics reached over S$1,000 and S$700 respectively.
In spite of the convenience offered by online shopping, physical stores still appeal to those who enjoy the actual experience of browsing and touching physical products. Findings indicated that shoppers especially like going to departmental stores that have well-displayed and wide product range, as well as offer trendy and sophisticated items.
The study also revealed that while slightly over half of shopping trips to departmental stores in Singapore are planned (55%), almost as many occasions are impromptu – highlighting the need for departmental stores to focus on how to attract customers to plan their shopping trips there.
Nearly seven in 10 if respondents said they went shopping alone, while almost half (48%) went with their spouse/ partner.
“Considering the inroads that online stores are already making in Singapore, it is imperative for physical stores to put in extra emphasis on strengthening the in-store experience they provide their customers,” said Yeow.
“Not only is this vital to stay in the competition against the e-tailers, it is just as relevant to keep them in the race with other stores in the brick and mortar space,” he added.
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