29 November 2016

Criteo study uncovers evolving shopping practices in Singapore

· Singapore consumers are using multiple devices in the retail journey

· Brick-and-mortar retailers must respond to the local showrooming phenomenon and invest in multichannel integration

· Improving last-mile fulfilment will help local retailers compete more effectively with international e-commerce players

Criteo, the performance marketing technology company, has found that shopping patterns are changing among consumers in Singapore. Singaporeans now own or have access to an average of 4.72 devices, the research by Edelman Intelligence has found.

Source: Criteo. Profiling the mobile shopper in Singapore.
Source: Criteo. Profiling the mobile shopper in Singapore.

With three-quarters using these devices to purchase online at least once a month, cross-device usage, ‘showrooming’ and last-mile fulfilment are the three critical areas retailers must address. Showrooming refers to consumers treating a physical store as a showroom, trying on clothing or checking how an item looks and works in real life, before ordering the same item online.

Retailers which can successfully integrate the mobile web, apps and in-app targeting into their business operations and engagement strategies will set the stage for the seamless adoption of newer mobile technologies or add-ons, when required, Criteo said.
The research found:

· Six in 10 Singaporeans consider mobile devices to be their favourite shopping companion, with 95% having used their smartphones or tablets to browse online catalogues in the past month.

· More than half (54%) of consumers indicated that having the option to shop on their mobile devices has caused them to spend more than ever before, with four in five admitting to purchasing online on impulse.

· Travel-related products and apparel are the most popular online purchases, with each shopper purchasing across an average of 5.43 product categories.

· With nearly half of Singaporeans shopping on branded mobile apps at least once a week, and mobile shoppers likely to be heavy social media users in general, retailers must also become familiar with application-based advertising and messaging.

“Singapore is a truly cross-device market, where most consumers – especially Millennials – are using a combination of devices to shop. While a number still rely on PCs to make payments, mobile devices are always by our side as the one consistent factor in all elements of online and offline shopping,” said Alban Villani, Commercial Director, Southeast Asia, Criteo. “This reinforces what we’ve been telling retailers for some time – they can no longer target individuals on just one device. Rather, they will need to embrace technologies that deliver contextual creative experiences and messaging, to respond to individuals’ needs and desires in the moment, wherever they are and however they’re feeling.”

In Singapore, the high incidence of showrooming reinforces the importance of multichannel integration:

· To avoid crowds and queues, almost two-thirds of Singaporeans prefer to shop online during periods like the Great Singapore Sale.

· Half of local consumers also believe online deals during the Great Singapore Sale are better than in-store promotions.

· Even when visiting a physical store, six in 10 local shoppers are browsing similar products online and comparing prices to ensure they get the best deals.

· Seven in 10 (69%) consumers end up purchasing the same product or service online rather than offline.

· Physical stores still have an edge in engaging consumers who desire to touch or trial a product prior to purchase. However, this advantage is eroding as seven in 10 Singaporeans agree that augmented reality also allows them to ‘try’ an item and online players respond by adopting the technology to simulate real-world experiences.

“A few established online players are already using physical pop-up stores with exclusive collections and discounts to create a seamless online-to-offline customer experience. Conversely, physical retailers looking to retain and convert customers must start integrating online channels, especially mobile optimised sites or branded apps, and consider customer relationship management (CRM) data optimisation, to better engage customers before, during and after store visits,” said Villani.

To compete more effectively against international retailers, same-day or next-day order fulfilment should be a big focus for local retailers, who can work with specialised local last-mile delivery service providers.

· Singaporeans shop on both local and international sites. Seventy-eight percent buy from local sites because of delivery considerations – faster or cheaper domestic shipping and easier pickup of a locally-purchased product.

· Six in 10 would rather have their purchases delivered than collect them from a physical store.

“The research findings are pointing us to a future where offline and online shopping are no longer two separate business models. There will just be ‘shopping’ and it will be an integrated experience. If retailers turn to mobile as the chief enabler and successfully deliver such experiences, they will inevitably demand smaller stores as fulfilment gets facilitated directly from warehouses. Be it by offering better connectivity or relooking how retail space is allocated, local malls must also adjust to this new wave of change,” said Villani.


Browse the full Criteo-commissioned Edelman Intelligence 2H16 research findings and analysis (PDF)