Despite many international retailers and brands reporting a decrease in sales on the back of the global Covid-19 pandemic, digital and online companies are set to benefit from an increase in e-commerce sales by shoppers.
And Singapore, one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in South East Asia, is predicted to hit almost S$10 billion (US$10 billion) in online sales for this year alone.
According to a recent report by GlobalData, Singapore has experienced a surge in e-commerce transactions post Covid-19, thanks to the current social distancing norms in place to halt the spread of the virus; prompting consumers to stay home and buy online.
In addition, the rise in consumer preference for online purchases during the pandemic should have a long-lasting impact on the nation’s e-commerce market, with the research data firm’s ‘e-commerce analytics’ revealing Singaporean online sales are set to reach S$9.5 billion in 2020. That comes after Singapore witnessed stellar e-commerce growth in the last five years, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15.4% between 2015 and 2019 to reach S$8.3bn (US$6.2bn) in 2019.
“The pandemic, which triggered fear of contamination, has resulted in change in consumer buying behaviour. Shopping centers/malls are now being avoided and consumers are choosing online platforms for their day-to-day purchases. The accessibility to products online, during the crisis, has not only increased the number of online shopping transactions but has also converted several offline shoppers to online,” said Sowmya Kulkarni, Banking and Payments Senior Analyst at GlobalData.
In April, Singapore’s government and its Enterprise Singapore (ESG) introduced E-commerce Booster Package to aid SME retailers in improving their offline business to online channel.
The package aims to support up to 90% of the total cost incurred by the SMEs to set-up their business online, according to a press release.
“The uptrend in online shopping is expected to continue even after the outbreak is controlled. The various benefits associated with e-commerce purchases like convenience, cost, rewards etc, will likely see online shopping becoming the new normal,” said Sowmya.