1. Consumer electronics
Singapore’s goal of becoming a Smart Nation isn’t just a government initiative, it’s a lifestyle embraced by Singaporeans, right down to their shopping habits. This is a country that’s crazy about technology, as seen in the consumer electronics and media sector’s valuation of US$1.23 billion in 2019—up by 15 per cent from the previous year.
We Are Social and Hootsuite’s findings are a bit more conservative, estimating electronics and physical media to account for US$1.08 billion in annual spending, edging out the fashion and beauty sector by a narrow margin.
Source: Hootsuite/ We Are Social
Among the most popular consumer electronics products sold online in 2018 were wireless/Bluetooth speakers, smart wearables, activity watches (analogue), and OLED TVs. Meanwhile, Lazada’s best selling products in Singapore during its 11.11 Shopping Festival were the Logitech M220 wireless mouse, the Nintendo Switch, and the Xiaomi MI Roborock 2.
If consumer electronics happen to be one of your product verticals, it helps to pay attention to what Singaporean brands are doing on the eCommerce front in order to learn how you can take your slice of Singapore’s eCommerce pie. Local brands like Razer and Creative, along with resellers like Courts and Qisahn, are opting for an omnichannel retail strategy in order to capture a bigger market share.
Singaporean shoppers may either window shop offline before buying online, or click and collect with the option to try the product first before buying. This provides consumers in Singapore more ways to shop, meeting various needs like verifying the products’ quality or having various convenient ways to have their products sent to them.
The key takeaway from the omnichannel strategy is that these stores take into account the customer’s ability to try an item before committing to the purchase. So if you are running a purely online store, it helps to have a return policy for defective items. On top of this, established brands can also afford to provide deep discounts on platforms like Lazada, so this discount campaign may be something you can look into once your brand is established.
With that said, you may be hard-pressed to win over Singaporean customers easily. News about fraudulent sales of electronics via eCommerce are widely covered, which means Singaporean shoppers will be sceptical when an unknown brand or seller is introduced to the market. Because of this, you may need some time to establish your brand and earn your shopper’s trust.
Additionally, consumer electronics tend to be quite fragile. Nothing is worse than having your items damaged during transit before it arrives at your customer’s doorstep. Having theright packaging and the right shipping partner could help minimise the chances of these things happening, and ensures a good purchase experience for your Singaporean customer.
4. Personal Care and Food
Singapore’s online food and personal care sector is still the smallest vertical in terms of revenue, but it is also the fastest growing e-commerce segment in Singapore, growing by 47 per cent in annual spending from the previous year.
Source: Hootsuite/ We Are Social
In 2016, the U.S. International Trade Administration (ITA) also highlighted the potential of Singapore’s cosmetics and skincare retail sector for international brands, citing the presence of an affluent local population and a large concentration of expats who possess knowledge of international personal care products.
For instance, brands like Shiseido, SK-II, Timeless, and Colourpop are quite popular. Some of these are available in Singapore. For those that don’t have local sellers, consumers in Singapore are willing to have them shipped internationally into Singapore.
This means that if you’re able to build a following for your brand, you’ll be able to serve the Singaporean personal care market through cross-border shipping. By extension, if you brand becomes successful in Singapore, this can act as a launching pad to enter other markets in Southeast Asia.
Surprisingly, men are one of the key drivers of this growth, which should be another sign for your business to look into catering to male customers in the country.
According to a Shopee study that surveyed more than 3,000 male Shopee users in Singapore, an increasing number of men are turning to online shopping to purchase beauty and personal care products, including pomades, toothbrushes, and acne patches. Of those surveyed, 70 per cent said they shopped online more than they did the previous year due to convenience, better prices, and product variety.
This means that if you’re not currently selling to this customer segment, you could consider having a section in your online and/or offline store that caters to them.