Consumers and the Internet

In a country where most of the population are internet users, the online shopping market in Singapore is booming.


Consumers are increasingly drawn to the convenience of online shopping, and are also getting more comfortable with both online and mobile payment mechanisms. According to PayPal’s Online and Mobile Shopping Insights Study conducted by Nielsen, Singapore's online shopping market reached S$1.1 billion in 2010, and is forecast to hit S$4.4 billion by 2015.

More new e-commerce firms are expected to emerge in Singapore, with new start-ups following the successes of major e-commerce businesses like Zalora, Qoo10, RedMart and Reebonz. One of the biggest e-commerce businesses in the region is Zalora, which has operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand and Vietnam. According to an infographic released in 2013, besides a record of 17.9 million visitors from the region, Zalora had over 20,000 square meters of warehouse space (equivalent to five football fields) and more than 23,000 new products added to their website each week. It also achieved another milestone in the same year when it delivered its one millionth order in May.

The online shopping phenomenon in Singapore and the region has become evident, with international e-commerce giants like Japan's Rakuten and China's Taobao expanding to Southeast Asia.

Mobile Shopping

According to a survey by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), Singapore’s mobile phone penetration rate was at 153.9 per cent by the second quarter of 2014. The total mobile subscriptions for 2G+3G+4G reached 8,310,600. With these numbers, it's little wonder that start-ups are jumping onto the mobile-commerce bandwagon too. In November 2014, the Adobe Digital Index Holiday Prediction predicted that mobile devices would play a key role in Singaporeans' shopping habits, and was expected to account for 17 per cent of online sales during the holiday season.

E-Commerce in Singapore

The IDA developed an e-commerce program to help retailers reach out to Singapore's rapidly expanding pool of online consumers. Through this programme, retailers will be able to complement their existing physical stores with e-commerce presence.

The e-Commerce & Operations Management programme will benefit a large group of businesses, including retailers and consumers. Retailers will be able to develop new and cost-effective channels to expand their market share, adopt infocomm technology (ICT) to improve in-store productivity, and also gain access to e-commerce capabilities. Consumers will then be able to enjoy the convenience that these retailers bring.

This is done through the Retail Services Framework (RSF), which aims to foster the adoption of e-commerce by lowering the barriers of entry and encouraging mass adoption of retail services. The programme also aims to increase workflow efficiency and accuracy through retailer, e-commerce and logistics systems.

For more information on the e-Commerce and Operations Management programme or RSF, visit

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