Twenty-first-century technology has brought about a revolutionary change in the way Singaporeans buy their day-to-day commodities. Aside from the fact that they are socially distancing from one another because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, there must be a reason why the eCommerce industry is currently on an upward spike.
Even before there was a global health crisis, the retail industry in Singapore had been losing its charm. According to iPrice, a Southeast Asian online aggregator, taking their place are the hottest eCommerce platforms, which include Shopee, Lazada, Qoo10, Amazon, and EZBuy based on the customer traffic they have received over the last few quarters.
So that means that the reason behind the sudden boom in Singapore’s eCommerce industry cannot be directly associated with the pandemic, although the bleak circumstances have certainly helped. This growing preference for eCommerce is even being felt by the small businesses who have jumped on board the trend.
There are many reasons people have grown fonder of shopping on the Internet instead of physically going to brick-and-mortar stores. This population of people isn’t limited to the tech-savvy and younger demographics because anyone with an Internet connection can buy what they need hassle-free. And here are the top three factors behind the rapidly-growing eCommerce industry:
Arguably the biggest advantage of eCommerce over retail stores is because it’s more convenient than physically going to and from their house to the store to buy what they need. Plus, it can save more time, money, and energy, which the users can then put toward their other responsibilities.
Through eCommerce platforms, people can simply make a few taps on their phones and have their packages delivered straight to their homes. This eliminates the need to travel to the store’s location, stand in long lines, and manually push a shopping cart to hold everything they need while buying.
If you belong to the generation of people who have demanding jobs and work long hours, then the only time you’ll have to shop is after work or on weekends. By then, you might not have enough energy to walk through the mall for much-needed retail therapy, but a quick scroll on your phone would take minimal effort and even less time.
The presence of eCommerce platforms has made the boundaries between different countries almost non-existent because it’s easy to purchase imported goods without having to worry about immigration fees. For instance, you can directly order items from foreign sellers through Shopee, and you will only need to pay the shipping fee.
Through international eCommerce platforms, buying overseas goods can be as easy as taking candy from a baby. Gone are the days when people’s options were limited by their geography because eCommerce has made cross-border shopping more accessible.
There was a time when the only opportunity people had to buy goods from other countries was if they were imported and sold by a local brick-and-mortar merchant. The kids today will never know the burdens of the generations before them, especially once they start ordering their goods through the virtual assistants inside their mobile devices.
One of the pillars of the eCommerce industry is digital marketing, which has allowed eCommerce merchants everywhere to advertise their products through channels like social media platforms and websites. That means they can target their ads towards the consumers based on where they frequent.
Traditional brick-and-mortar shops that don’t advertise online can only give away flyers or hang banners for passersby to see when they hold sales. eCommerce stores, on the other hand, can engage their audience with flash deals and discounts by simply posting announcements on their social media platforms.
Through digital marketing, eCommerce shops with a huge following can also immediately notify their followers whenever they have promotional offers. This allows the consumers to maximize every opportunity to take advantage of the countless deals, discounts, and free shipping offers made available to them.
As a consumer, being bombarded by ads and promos when you don’t want them can prove to be an annoyance. However, it can also work in your favor because you are given an option to forego the promo, unlike the minimal to no chance of being exposed to the promos held by brick-and-mortar shops.
Of course, there are also downsides to the eCommerce industry, like not being able to see the products first-hand before spending your money. But it’s safe to say that the pros of eCommerce certainly outweigh the cons. So even if the world returns to the pre-pandemic normal, the revolutionary impact of eCommerce on consumer behavior will never go away because it has truly become a game-changer.