Retail in Asia


Study shows 61 percent of Singaporean consumers prefer in-store shopping

Sensormatic Solutions released findings from its second annual Singapore Year-End Consumer Sentiment Survey earlier, showing that 3 out of 4 (75 percent) of Singapore consumers enjoy shopping or browsing in a physical store.

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Additionally, about 3 out of 5 (61 percent) indicated that online shopping can never replace in-store experiences. This is a slight increase over 2021, where 59 percent of respondents felt that in-store shopping is irreplaceable. This year’s study also revealed that 4 out of 5 (80 percent) of consumers plan to shop in- store for future major sales events or holiday periods.

“The study finding shows that Singapore consumers are readily switching back to shopping in physical stores as the economy opens up and in-store shopping becomes accessible,” said Daren Ng, Vice President & General Manager, Asia Pacific, Sensormatic Solutions. “This shows that the in-store shopping experience continues to be appealing to consumers especially when they want to browse and try items or check product quality.”

What makes a great in-store shopping experience

The study findings revealed what consumers considered important for a great in-store shopping experience:

  • 46 percent of the respondents indicated that products being always in-stock and the ability to check if a product is in-stock at a physical store is important for a great experience.
  • 43 percent of the respondents indicated that not having to queue for long when making payment is important.

Technology is key for better in-store retail experiences

While 77 percent of respondents indicated that they are familiar with contactless payment, most were less so with other forms of retail technologies. For instance, less than 1 out of 5 were aware of augmented reality (18 percent) and autonomous delivery (17 percent).

Survey respondents also showed that they are keen to explore newer retail technologies:

  • Contactless payment (49 percent)
  • Virtual reality (35 percent)
  • Personalization (33 percent)

“There is a real opportunity for physical store retailers to leverage technology to engage with shoppers in more creative and immersive ways. They can also leverage data and analytics to deliver further enhanced and personalized shopper experiences to engage with their in-store customers,” Ng added.

Consumers are choosing to shop in-store

The study found that 40 percent of Singapore consumers still prefer to shop in a physical store, as compared to 38 percent in 2021. Not surprisingly, most of the respondents (60 percent) who prefer in-store shopping were from the 55 to 64-year-old age group.

The study looked at what items the respondents prefer to shop in-store as opposed to online. Interestingly, 31 percent said that they will only get fresh food and groceries in a physical store. Also, 24 percent of respondents would only get packaged food and groceries in-store, while 20 percent said they would only get luxury items in-store.

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Year-end and special occasion shopping

Additionally, 58 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that they plan their purchase around major sales events. Most said they choose to shop during 10.10 (49 percent), 11.11 or Singles Day (47 percent), and the third most popular was Black Friday and Cyber Monday (45 percent).