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7 in 10 Singaporean consumers are 'overwhelmed' with online shopping

They also get frustrated with the various choices.

Havas Worldwide teamed up with Market Probe International to survey 10,219 adults in 31 countries, including Singapore. The purpose of the survey was to explore the challenges facing traditional brick-and-mortar stores and the influence of e-commerce on consumer behavior.

The study showed that Asian consumers are amongst the leaders in online shopping, especially on mobile devices. 16 percent of US online consumers have used a mobile device to shop compared to 50 percent in China, 48 percent in Singapore and 42 percent in India.

A brief of the report included key observations made on the purchasing attitudes of Singaporeans, such as:

  • On average, more Singaporeans shop online (94 percent) compared to their global counterparts (88 percent), using their mobile devices/smart phones (48 percent) and tablets (26 percent) almost twice as much as their global counterparts (25 percent Mobile vs. 14 percent Tablets).
  • The standout categories for Singaporeans when it comes to online shopping include clothing/shoes/accessories (65 percent vs. 49 percent globally), travel (56 percent vs. 40 percent globally) and technology products/personal electronics (54 percent vs. 52 percent globally). Interestingly, when we quizzed Prosumers – men and women who give a good indication of what the mainstream will be thinking and doing in the near future, we found that these categories are likely to see even more growth locally – clothing/shoes/accessories (73 percent Prosumers vs. 63 percent Mainstream), travel (79 percent Prosumers vs. 51 percent Mainstream) and technology products/personal electronics (75 percent Prosumers vs. 49 percent Mainstream).
  • That said, there is still a role for physical stores – 84 percent of survey respondents prefer to buy certain products in person. The top reasons for this include the tangible benefits of touching and trying on the product (64 percent), using a salesperson’s advice (34 percent) and getting hold of their items faster (32 percent). However, the demand for online shopping is only bound to increase. Shoppers are frustrated by retailers that don’t have an online presence (60% Prosumers, 46% Mainstream), and predict that more of their shopping will take place online (72% of local respondents).
  • At the same time, online shopping is far from perfect. Singaporeans are finding themselves increasingly frustrated with the amount of choices and information available online, causing them to feel overwhelmed (73 percent Prosumers vs. 69 percent Mainstream).
  • Overall, more Singaporeans are likely to share both good and bad experiences online (63 percent) versus solely sharing only the good (22 percent) or the bad (5 percent).
  • Two thirds of Singaporeans trust peer reviews above expert reviews (67 percent). And as consumers become more adept at shopping online, negative comments are less likely to affect their decisions (37 percent Prosumers vs. 51 percent Mainstream).
  • Security when making a purchase online also proves to be a rather small concern, with close to two-thirds (61 percent) of online shoppers worrying about fraud only occasionally or never at all.

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