Singapore’s e-commerce consumers: 5 insights for cross-border growth

29 November, 2022

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Small in size but mighty in economic terms, Singapore is one APAC’s most lucrative territories for ambitious online retailers. If you are interested in expanding your e-commerce brand on this Southeast Asian island, you can discover more about its consumers’ habits here.

Following its independent sovereignty in 1965, international trade and rapid industrialisation allowed the island nation of Singapore to establish itself as one of the ‘Four Asian Tigers’ along with fellow economic powerhouses Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.

Attracted by minimal trade barriers and tariffs, foreign investment has flooded into Singapore for decades and today the country boasts the second highest relative GDP per capita in the world. It is no surprise therefore that this hub for shipping and aviation is a priority focal-point for e-commerce brands looking to expand into the fast-growing APAC (Asia Pacific) region.

But to succeed in Singapore, retailers need to develop a solid understanding of Singaporean shoppers. Here, we reveal a selection of must-know facts that can help you do just that.

Singaporean shoppers are digitally savvy

With 84% internet penetration and the fastest network speeds on the planet, there are very few barriers to digital adoption for Singaporean shoppers. 67.2% of the population are predicted to engage in e-commerce by 2025 (Statista) and, of those already buying online, 60% purchase at least one or more products each month (Ipsos).

Online shoppers in Singapore love to buy cross border

A PayPal report published in 2021 states that an incredible 78% of Singaporean e-commerce users purchase from international websites. The same report claims that 56% shop cross-border to find better deals, 45% to acquire items that are not available locally, while 37% do so to discover new and interesting products.

Flexible payment options are important to e-commerce consumers in Singapore

Research shows that if you want to appeal to Singaporean consumers, a wide range of payment options at check out are essential. Local shoppers show a preference for cashless transactions with 63.3% paying on card and another 16.5% using alternative electronic methods. Although mobile banking apps are undergoing rapid adoption in the region, many shoppers still opt for traditional methods, with a 11.3% choosing to pay in cash.

Singapore’s e-commerce market is strongly linked to social media

If you want to boost sales for your retail brand in Singapore then you would do well to focus on how you implement social media. A whopping 79% of Singaporeans are active social media users (Hootsuite/We Are Social) and figures suggest that engaging with these consumers on their preferred platforms could encourage them to spend between 20 and 40% more on your brand.

Customer experience is crucial for Singapore’s e-commerce consumers

34% of online shoppers in Singapore will complain if something goes wrong or if a product is received that does not meet their expectations. However, by the same token, Singaporean consumers are likely to sing your brand’s praises if you deliver great service. Research suggests that an impressive 75% will leave a positive review if they receive quick delivery of their order (Hootsuite/We Are Social).

Grow your e-commerce business in Singapore with Asendia

If you’re keen to learn more about Singapore’s e-commerce market, Asendia can help. We are experts in global e-commerce logistics, have strong partnerships with the region’s leading last mile delivery companies, possess a state-of-the-art logistics centre on the island and provide a range of products to meet the needs of you and your customers.

Our e-book, Why is Singapore a top international e-commerce destination? is free to download and contains more insights and guidance on this promising market. Read it today.


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