As ecosystem of e-marketplaces, fulfilment companies, merchants and online shoppers develop
e-Commerce is often touted as the future of retail – a limitless catalogue of goods easily accessed and purchased through the internet and then delivered right to the customer’s doorstep. A seamless shopping experience without the physical hassle, the digital experience of online shopping seemed tailor-made for tech-savvy millennials who prefer convenience and speed.
Brick-and-mortar brands, on the other hand, either shun the idea completely or embrace it reluctantly. Self-cannibalism or new, unchartered grounds – retail companies seem uncertain about the impact of e-commerce on their businesses.
Plotting the growth trajectory of e-Commerce in Singapore
According to PayPal, the size of Singapore’s online shopping market is forecasted to have reached S$4.4 billion in 2015, citing a shift in consumer spending from physical stores to online stores because of lower prices, greater convenience and a broader selection.1
Mastercard also saw a 27 per cent year-on-year increase in Black Friday transactions made by Singapore cardholders on local e-commerce sites. The amount spent in Singapore dollars on these sites also increased by 17 per cent, while the total number of transactions on Black Friday was 47 per cent higher than an average Friday.2
For its Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaign, local e-commerce platform Qoo10 saw more than half a million unique visitors to the site daily, proving that the online sales season is no longer just a Western trend.
Indeed, UBS reported that Singapore’s e-commerce sector accounts for around 1% of the retail pie and looks set to grow to be on par with mature e-commerce markets like the US and China, where online sales account for around 8% of the total retail pie.3
Entering the Fray
Sensing the growth potential of the sector, a number of regional e-marketplaces and local upstarts have entered the market in the last few years, along with fulfilment players.
SingPost, the nation’s postal services company, is also leading the charge, pursuing a slice of the e-commerce pie with its unique retail mall concept combining brick-and-mortar shopfronts and online shopping under one roof.4 Its recent launch of SP Commerce division to become an omni-channel enabler for global brands and retailers across China and the rest of Asia Pacific also points to signs of emerging growth.5
In the physical retail space, rents have dipped by more than 0.7% across prime and suburban areas, with islandwide retail space occupancy rates hitting a four-year low of 92.6%6 while retail giants are facing lower sales and tourist numbers.7
Necessity of omni-channel retail strategy
Playing catch-up, established department stores like Metro, Tangs, Isetan and Robinsons are beefing up or revamping their online services.8 Unlike their capital-rich counterparts, smaller companies may find it expensive, time-consuming and technically challenging to develop a robust e-commerce platform of their own.
Leading e-commerce marketplaces provide an integrated one-stop solution covering digital infrastructure, logistics and payments. Also, pureplay e-tailers garner an average of 41 times more traffic than that of individual brands’.9
Thus, this may be a speedier and more cost-efficient approach to e-commerce, allowing merchants to gain access to a large database of customers already primed to make purchases online.
190 products by 40 established merchants on sale in one-day online extravaganza
Doing some last-minute shopping for the Lunar New Year?
E-marketplace Qoo10 is holding a one-day festive online sale (http://qoo10.sg/sp/3554) on 26 January 2016, with up to 85% discount off popular Lunar New Year treats such as bak kwa, mandarin oranges, frozen seafood, steamboat delights, abalone, pen cai, pineapple tarts and love letters snacks.
A curated list of more than 40 established merchants are participating in the Qoo10 CNY Food Expo 2016, including Fragrance Foods, Big Box, Kuriya Japanese Market, CP Foods, Dodo, CS Tay, DoDo, AllBig, Saybons, Emperor Brand and New Moon.
Flash sales will also take place every two hours, unveiling unbeatable deals which are available for a limited time. Snag freebies such as a WMF Casserole pot and Takahi Electric Crockery pot when you purchase selected items from New Moon and Emperor Brand.
Another feather in the cap for the e-commerce platform named Best Online Retailer in AsiaOne People’s Choice Awards 2015
E-commerce platform Qoo10 has been named one of the top ten brands with the best brand image in Singapore – it is the only online retailer to make the cut. The e-marketplace had the fourth most positive brand image1 in Singapore with a score of 34.9, trailing behind Singapore Airlines, the Apple iPhone and Whatsapp mobile app respectively.
Conducted in 2015 by Hong Kong-based market research firm YouGov, BrandIndex Buzz surveyed 200 respondents daily about the perceived image of 259 local and global brands. The respondents were then asked to give a score between -100 to 100 to indicate if they heard anything negative or positive about the respective brands in the previous two weeks.
In a separate survey2 conducted recently by Singapore Polytechnic’s Diploma in Media & Communication students, 816 respondents aged 15 to 35 picked Qoo10 as the most popular online retailer among respondents, with 52.1% of respondents citing it as a retailer they have shopped at.
Celebrating its 5th anniversary in Singapore this year, the e-commerce platform has found a winning formula with a seemingly endless catalogue of products across 7 broad categories, appealing to young and tech savvy shoppers. Popular items purchased on the platform include fashion apparel, beauty products, digital devices and health supplements. Qoo10 has more than 2 million users and on average, 50,000 – 60,000 orders are made daily.
Last year, it clinched the inaugural “Best Online Retailer” award3 at the AsiaOne People’s Choice Awards – a new award category introduced to reflect changes in consumer trends.
Mr Hyun Wook Cho, Country Manager for Qoo10 Singapore, said: “Online shopping has really taken off in recent years and we are encouraged to hear that consumers have a great experience shopping on our platform. In the coming year, we are looking to improve our service offerings to bring an even wider smile to our customers.”
1. “SIA tops YouGov brand perception survey for Singapore” http://www.mumbrella.asia/2016/01/singapore-airlines-tops-yougov-brand-perception-survey-for-singapore/
2. “Singaporean youth prefer affordability over quality: Survey”
3. “Qoo10 named best online retailer at AsiaOne PCA 2015” http://women.asiaone.com/women/shopping/qoo10-named-best-online-retailer-asiaone-pca-2015
Australian natural health brand Blackmores newest to join growing list of health brand merchants on Qoo10, Singapore’s largest e-tailer
Among the list: regional and international players Kinohimitsu, NANO JAPAN, BRANDS, New Moon & Emperor Brand
Australia’s leading natural health brand, Blackmores, has launched its e-store (http://www.qoo10.sg/shop/Blackmores) on Qoo10, offering a holistic range of health supplements such as multi-vitamins, probiotics, Omega-3, CoQ10, evening primrose oil and glucosamine.
Founded by Maurice Blackmore in 1938, Blackmores became Australia’s first health food store, situated in Brisbane. With a retail presence in Singapore, the brand recently decided to capitalise on online sales channels to gain much-needed leverage in the crowded health supplement industry.
The brand isn’t alone in its shift to online sales channels – industry stalwarts in Singapore like BRANDS & New Moon are raking in five-figure sales every month on Qoo10. In particular, local retailer Emperor Brand, which has more than 100 products listed on Qoo10 including bird’s nest, abalone, chicken essence and other Chinese herbal products are recording six-figures in sales every month.
“The clear advantage of online marketplaces, in particular Qoo10, is that we have a large and loyal user base which is accustomed to shopping online. This helps to level the playing field between veteran and new industry players, which may not be able to afford to maintain a prominent physical retail presence in Singapore,” said James Lin, Public Relations Manager for Qoo10 Singapore.
Distributors of Japanese health supplements NANO Japan and Kinohimitsu have also embraced Qoo10’s online marketplace as part of a sound multi-channel retail strategy.
NANO Japan, which currently sells four products on Qoo10 including its popular line of Hyaluron Collagen and Royal Jelly, makes six-figures sales every month.
KODZ, a clothing line collaboration between Taiwan fashion house Toki Choi and CatWalk Modeling Agency, has launched its Lunar New Year collection exclusively in Singapore on Qoo10.sg, Singapore’s No. 1 e-commerce platform with 2.2 million members.
The 20-piece line comes in hues of red and pink and comprises of versatile pieces like blouses, skater dresses, crop tops, cardigans, overcoats and sweaters. The easy-to-match pieces are ideal for both celebrations and daily wear.
Silhouettes are kept slim cut and embroidery details are added in to give an aura of feminine playfulness and charm. From floral to Aztec, express your personality with unique prints that catch the eye with understated elegance.
Established in 2014, KODZ aims to create luxurious yet affordable apparel for the discerning fashionista. Every small detail matters - each piece is crafted with excellent workmanship after thorough research and product development.
KODZ recently worked with Samsung and SINTEX to further push its boundaries – meshing fashion with technology, defying all notions of what fashion is thought to be. To invigorate the collections, new styles are introduced weekly.
“We are excited to retail our collections on Qoo10 because they have a growing member base of young females who believe in expressing their own unique individuality through fashion. KODZ fashion is about exquisite apparel which look good on you anywhere, from the runway to high street,” said Yan Ng, Regional Operations Manager for KODZ Southeast Asia.
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