SINGAPORE: Shopping is almost a national pastime, but it is not limited to the malls.
Source : CNA – A recent survey of over 26,000 internet users showed that eight in ten Singaporeans shopped online. Among them, about 40 percent had done so in the last month.
The latest Nielsen Global Online Survey also showed that over 85 percent of the world’s online population made a purchase via the internet. This represents a 40 percent increase in the number of users in the online shopping market over the past two years.
South Korea was ranked top in the survey with the highest percentage of online shopping at 99 percent, followed by the UK, Germany, Japan and the US.
Singapore, being one of the most connected countries in the world with over 66 percent internet penetration, has contributed to the growth.
The survey showed that globally, the most popular items bought online included books, videos, airline tickets and clothing.
In Singapore, travel-related products came in tops, followed by clothing, event tickets and books.
The National Association of Travel Agents (NATAS) said it would explore ways to leverage on technology such as setting up an online portal where members can sell their tour packages.
In fact, travel business volume from the internet sales has risen from 5 percent in 2003 to about 20 percent now.
Robert Khoo, CEO of NATAS, said: “The outbound market is probably worth around S$5 billion or so, combining ticket sales and outbound baggage tours. So you’re looking at 20 percent or S$1 billion worth of business. More and more people want to book free-and-easy packages, internet seems to be a very convenient way to do so.”
Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice also has plans to beef up its online service. The company is expected to spend over S$1 million to improve its internet infrastructure and logistics within a year.
Seah Kian Peng, Managing Director of NTUC FairPrice, said: “We are also looking at increasing the range. Currently, it’s limited to the dry goods, the groceries. What we hope to do, going forward, is to increase and include our fresh food offerings as well.”
NTUC FairPrice raked in about S$1.6 billion in turnover last year. Without revealing the actual figures, the company said online business made up only a small portion of the revenue even though online shopping saw a growth of 80 percent.