Singapore m-commerce set for 33 per cent growth

Singapore m-commerce is set for 33 per cent growth in the next five years, according to a new report.

However, while it leads Southeast Asia in smartphone and mobile broadband use, Singapore is nearing saturation point for its e-commerce market, says Worldpay’s Global Payments Report.

Despite its modest population numbers, the city/state is the region’s third-largest e-commerce market with 73 per cent of internet users already shopping online. But this growth is set to slow with a modest 9 per cent expansion to reach US$6.5 billion by 2021 predicts Worldpay, which analysed e-commerce spending patterns across 36 markets on five continents.

In comparison, China’s e-commerce market is expected to grow by 11 per cent, South Korea should see 19 per cent growth and India is set for 24 per cent expansion.

Despite Singapore’s decelerating growth, there will be plentiful opportunities for capturing a new wave of mobile shoppers in Singapore, says the report.

Cross-border shopping is also increasingly popular, with more than half of Singapore’s online consumers buying from international merchants.

‘New set of demands’

“Retailers looking for a foothold to the future must prepare to deliver on a new set of demands in Singapore,” says Worldpay Asia Pacific GM Phil Pomford. “Online shoppers are moving beyond the desktop, and beyond country borders. Savvy and well-connected across multiple devices, they increasingly prefer to shop via mobile and want more opportunities to buy from merchants around Asia and the globe.

“To deliver on the demands of Singaporean shoppers who expect a convenient, seamless experience no matter how they shop, merchants need to create mobile-friendly payments.”

Pomford says merchants will be able to capture more cross-border trade by accepting a variety of currencies and payment options.

Worldpay also found that shoppers in Singapore still overwhelming prefer to pay with credit cards (66 per cent), but alternative payment methods are gaining a foothold. Bank transfers and e-wallets are both set to nearly double in share by 2021, increasing from 11 to 21 per cent and 13 to 21 per cent respectively.

“Our report also uncovered that 70 per cent of Singaporean internet users would shop online more if offered loyalty benefits – a great tip for e-commerce businesses looking to gain a competitive edge,” says Pomford.

Worldpay offers three main guidelines for merchants seeking to capitalise on the e-commerce and m-commerce opportunity in Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region:


1. One-click ordering: Consumers are more likely to shop more often with companies that save their payment details for one-click ordering. This makes online checkout as seamless as possible, especially via mobile apps.

2. Payment options: Merchants should look at the most popular payments methods in each territory, and prioritise those that complement their business model. There is no one size fits all in the Asia-Pacific region, so they need to understand their best options.

3. Cross-border trade: Merchants should ensure they have local acquiring capabilities wherever they have a legal entity. They should also offer a range of currencies at checkout, and consider local-language customer support.
Worldpay offers technology-led payment products and services to about 400,000 clients across 146 countries and 126 currencies.

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