M-commerce in Singapore set for explosive growth in next five years: report

Singapore leads the pack with its burgeoning m-commerce and cross-border e-commerce.

Singapore has outpaced its neighbours to become the third largest e-commerce market in South-east Asia but a saturation point may be on its way, according to Worldpay’s annual Global Payments Report.

The report found that the growth rate for Singapore’s e-commerce market is set to slow, as 73% of Singapore’s internet users already shop online.

Worldpay’s research, which analysed e-commerce spending patterns across 36 different markets on five continents, predicts moderate expectations for growth in Singapore’s e-commerce market, which is set to expand by 9% to reach US$6.5 billion by 2021. In comparison, China’s e-commerce market is expected to grow by 11%; South Korea should see 19% growth and India is set to experience a 24% expansion in its e-commerce market.

Despite decelerating growth for e-commerce in Singapore, opportunities will abound for capturing a new wave of mobile shoppers. Already leading South-east Asia in smartphone and mobile broadband penetration, Singapore’s mobile commerce (m-commerce) market is set to grow 33% in the next five years, according to the report. Cross-border shopping is also becoming more and more popular, with more than half of Singapore’s online consumers buying from international merchants.

Phil Pomford, general manager for Asia-Pacific at Worldpay, commented: “Retailers looking for a foothold to the future must prepare to deliver on a new set of demands in Singapore. 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 purchase from merchants around Asia, and the globe.

In order to deliver on the demands of Singaporean shoppers who expect a convenient, seamless experience no matter how they shop, he advised merchants must create mobile-friendly payments so that shoppers always get a simple and secure checkout experience. “To capture more cross-border trade, merchants should offer a variety of currencies and payment options to help online shoppers feel comfortable and confident during the checkout process.”

In Singapore, shoppers still overwhelming prefer to pay with credit cards (66%) but alternative payment methods are gaining some share of the payments market. Bank transfers and e-wallets are both set to nearly double in share by 2021, increasing from 11% to 21% and 13% to 21% respectively, according to Worldpay.

Pomford added: “Merchants should offer a variety of payment choices to capture Singapore’s voracious online shoppers, as alternative payments like e-wallets are set to win more market share. Our report also uncovered that 70% 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 in the fight for share-of-wallet amongst Singaporean shoppers.”

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