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Online shopping in Singapore soars in Covid-19’s shadow

Online shopping in Singapore has surged since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Research from data and analytics firm GlobalData suggests the effect on the country’s e-commerce market will be long-lasting, estimated to reach US$9.5 billion this year. Previously, e-commerce grew at a compound annual growth rate of 15.4 per cent between 2015 and 2019 to reach $6.2 billion last year.

“The pandemic, which triggered fear of contamination, has resulted in change in consumer buying behaviour,” said GlobalData banking and payments senior analyst Sowmya Kulkarni. “Shopping centres are now being avoided and consumers are choosing online platforms for their day-to-day purchases.”

A separate data-driven analysis of Covid-19’s impact on the digital behaviour of Singapore consumers undertaken by multinational professional services firm Accenture predicts Singapore’s new digital economy will amass nearly $500 million. 

“The scale of the changes identified in our findings suggest a clear shift in Singapore’s consumer behaviour and consumption, impacted by Covid-19 measures,” said Lee Joon Seong, an Accenture MD. “There is a strong likelihood that the shift will persist into phase one of the post-Circuit Breaker period and beyond, as movement restrictions and consumers cautions remain.

“In the long run, he says, such shifts represent huge opportunities for online shopping in Singapore. “Companies that accelerate their digital capabilities to stay relevant to digital consumers will be able to seize opportunities and emerge victorious as we move into a post Covid-19 world.”

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