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The women’s personal care market in Singapore’s eCommerce has been growing steadily in the past few years. Statista forecasts that the personal care industry will hit USD 54 million in 2020 and is predicted to grow to USD 64 million in 2024.1 However, these estimates might change with the coronavirus outbreak.
This growth is driven by factors like the increasing popularity of online shopping and a growing community of online reviewers from users and influencers alike. Additionally, more brands are springing within and into Singapore to try and capitalise on this affluent Southeast Asian city-state. After all, they have the highest average revenue generated per eCommerce user amongst Southeast Asian countries at USD 675.71 for 2020.2
If you think your women’s personal care products have what it takes to enter the Singaporean market, it’s good to dive into some key background information and insights before making the leap into Singapore’s competitive market.
This article will cover products under the bath & shower, hair care & removal, and feminine care products. If you’re looking for other product categories under beauty & personal care, we’ve covered them here:
For this developed nation, it should surprise no one that its population is 100% urbanised.3 Living in an urban environment comes with stressors that influence consumers’ lifestyles and the things they buy. On top of that, Singapore’s weather is hot and humid all year round, and this country also experiences the annual Southeast Asian haze around the July to October period. This environment causes some skin conditions that become concerning for the city-state’s residents.
With the rise of eCommerce in Singapore, Singaporeans can also tap onto more options online when it comes to shopping for women’s personal care products. According to Hootsuite/We are social, 74 per cent of all internet users in Singapore have bought at least one product online in 2019.4 For the personal care eCommerce market, the largest consumer base is in the 25-34 year old age group (29.7 per cent) based on Statista’s data for 2019.5 This is followed closely by the 35-44 year old age group (26.1 per cent), which is significant as these groups encapsulate the millennial generation.
Globally, the millennial segment tends to be open to trying new things and foreign products, and this behaviour extends towards millennial Singaporean consumers too.6 Over the long haul, consistent and reliable products will win over the Singaporean millennial.7
If you’re a brand that has yet to enter Singapore, you can capitalise on its consumers’ novelty-seeking behaviour. However, you’ll need to ensure that your product’s positioning is targeting the right concerns and the right consumers. You can find a more detailed breakdown of these factors in our Singapore eCommerce Overview and also our Singapore eCommerce insights and shipping guide.
However, COVID-19’s spread has led to many changes to consumer behaviour. For instance, travel advisories and bans led many to cut back on their travel plans, which may affect the demand of some personal care products. On top of that, more users are turning towards eCommerce to purchase their products as the country takes further precautionary measures to limit the spread of the disease.8 We also cover this impact in detail on our COVID-19 assessment on Singaporean eCommerce.
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Now that you have an idea of the average eCommerce shopper in Singapore, let’s learn about the trends that’s driving different product purchases in the women’s personal care category.
Even though living in an urban environment has its perks, its living conditions can cause excessive skin disorders. In fact, one in ten adults in Singapore suffer from eczema,9 a skin disorder that is triggered by stress, air pollution, and allergens. To combat this, consumers have turned to novel ways to treat eczema and rashes with various personal care products.
One such product as pointed out by Euromonitor is the scented water filter, a product that can be installed at the tap or between the shower head and hose. This product also filters out chlorine and harmful particles from the water, which can address the aforementioned eczema and rashes, along with dry skin and damaged hair that happens when showering.10 This new type of hygiene product is getting to the root of skin disorders and helps to be more preventative in nature.
Speaking of hair care issues, Singaporeans are also looking to get to the root cause of damaged hair. Euromonitor mentioned that hair care products are increasingly using terms related to skin care like “nourishing” and “protection”, which addresses environmental damage to their bodies. In wanting to feel beautiful from head to toe, the hair care routine extends beyond just the shower to include things like superfoods, conditioning masks, protein smoothing spray and more.11
These niche products that seek to address skin issues can be found via online channels. For instance, Refresh Wellness, a South Korean brand that sells scented water filters, has its own Brand.com that has strong promotional offerings to attract buyers that look for value for money.12 Additionally, their products are certified by the SGS Laboratory in Singapore, which helps to boost their products’ credibility.
In addition to seeking novel solutions for their personal care, Nielsen reports that Singaporeans tend to be brand disloyal for products in this category. This affects the likes of shampoo and conditioner products 49 per cent of the time, and skincare products including body wash 47 per cent of the time.13 What this means is that this is a good opportunity for you to enter Singapore’s women’s personal care market if you’re offering a novel new way to solve their personal hygiene concerns.
If your products are just entering the market, it helps to test the demand of your product with the cross-border shipping method before fully committing to the local distribution method. Cross-border shipping allows you to store your inventory in your centralised hub and fulfil your products only when an order is placed. Once you’re confident with the demand for your product, you can start setting up a local warehouse in Singapore to optimise your last mile delivery within the city-state.
According to YouGov’s survey in 2018, they found that 56 per cent of Singaporeans want their brands’ supply chain to not harm the environment.14 This is followed by concerns about ethical practices at 53 per cent. With increasing awareness about the cost of consuming certain products to the environment, Singaporeans are turning to greener, ethical options when it comes to their personal care.
In terms of feminine hygiene, Singaporeans are looking towards organic sanitary pads to address their monthly menstrual cycle. According to Euromonitor, one such product includes Natracare, which is plastic, perfume, and chlorine free to ensure that the products do not cause skin irritation while ensuring that plastic pollutants do not enter the environment.15
Even though eco-friendly alternatives like menstrual cups are available for purchase on sites like Qoo10 or Aliexpress, the demand for them isn’t as apparent as with sanitary pads which hold 95 per cent of the market share.16 This is due to the lack of education around the use of alternative means of feminine hygiene. Thus, organic brands for sanitary pads are a nice compromise for consumers who are concerned about the environment.
When it comes to products like deodorants, brands that position themselves as a natural alternative to conventional products will also do well. In Euromonitor’s report, they found that Singaporeans are able to look for niche brands like No Pong on eCommerce marketplaces like Qoo10. No Pong is an Australian brand that is “100% paraben, aluminium, cruelty and plastic free”.17 This promise ticks two boxes in the minds of the conscientious consumer – that of being environmentally friendly without the plastic packaging, and ethically manufactured in which the product testing process is animal cruelty free.
Niche brands who have yet to hit offline retailers’ shelves like No Pong can still leave their mark on Singaporean markets through online sales channels. Since the fulfilment portion of the eCommerce sale is the moment of truth for your consumers, it helps to have a reliable shipping partner who can ship your products cross-border without hassle.
With Singaporeans leading busy lives, it makes sense that they want to have minimal hassle with their personal hygiene routines. Additionally, Singapore’s fast paced lifestyle means that working women may see themselves traveling often. While traveling activity may slow down with the global spread of COVID-19, this does not stop these always-on consumers from buying products that help them to optimise their daily routines.
This can be found in the increasing popularity of multifunctional and easy to use razors. For example, Schick Intuition Sensitive Care razor will lather, shave and moisturise the skin during shaving, which gets rid of the need for any pre-shave or after care products. Another example can be found through Veet’s new product. Even though Veet is a well known brand for hair bleaching, they’ve developed an electric trimmer called the Sensitive Touch Electric Epilator. Epilators typically have interchangeable heads for portability, which addresses the need to be on-the-go. This is also reflected in the majority market share of Women’s Razors and Blades according to Euromonitor (93.9 per cent in 2018).18
With that said, easy to use shampoos are also seeing an increase in demand. These include the likes of dry shampoo, which can be applied quickly without wetting the hair.19 While dry shampoo can be found via online sales channels, they’re also increasingly being sold on omnichannel retailers like Sephora.20
In order to enter Singapore’s women’s personal care market, it helps to have good online marketing strategies and solid fulfilment operations.
One way of reaching your eCommerce consumers is through social media platforms. In terms of the number of active social media users, Hootsuite/We are social’s 2020 report on Singapore pegs that number at 79 per cent.21 In that same report, they also revealed the top social media platforms among Singaporean users:
Now that you know which platforms will help you get the most eyeballs, it helps to know what marketing tactics work to encourage potential consumers to buy your products. According to YouGov and PRCA Southeast Asia’s study in 2018, online reviews are able to influence purchases 70 per cent of the time, so it helps to encourage your users to leave reviews of your product on your social media channels.22
Although social media influencers only influence purchases 39 per cent of the time, it still helps to engage in the right ones to get your brand heard amongst influencer followers. In the same study, online users who follow influencers find that influencer endorsement for health and beauty products is important 76 per cent of the time.23 Thus, you could consider sponsoring a Youtube or Instagram influencer in order to market your product to the Singaporean audience.
To complete the eCommerce shopping experience, a reliable shipping partner is key. Whether you choose to fulfil via cross border or through local means, the shipping process can make or break your eCommerce experience for your consumers. According to iPrice and Parcel Perform’s survey in 2019, 90 per cent of Singaporean complaints on delivery companies are because there is a lack of communication on the status of delivery.24 So having a shipping partner with a reliable status tracking will help to ease their frustrations.
Entering Singapore’s growing personal care market for women is easier now that online sales channels are booming. With more people shopping online than ever, the time is ripe to make your move and grab a slice of Singapore’s eCommerce pie.
To ensure that your Brand.com or online listing doesn’t let your consumers down, it helps to have a seamless shopping experience once your customer makes their purchase. Since Singaporean consumers are vocal, you can turn their behaviour to your advantage by ensuring that your online shopfront is easy to use and the shipping process seamless. That way, you can win in this city-state’s competitive market landscape.
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