Singapore flag Singapore: Buying and Selling

E-commerce in Singapore


Internet access
Smartphones are ubiquitous in the country as Singaporeans use them to listen to music, connect with friends, find restaurants, get the latest news and shop online.  The country has one of the most developed ICT infrastructures in the world with a nation-wide super high-speed fiber optic broadband network. According to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), 86% of Singaporean households are connected to the internet. In December 2016, Singapore’s mobile penetration reached 149.8% with 3.4 million 3G subscriptions and 4.8 million 4G subscriptions. The most used search engines are Google (97.3%), Bing (1.25%), Yahoo! (0.9%), Yandex.Ru (0.33%), Baidu (0.09%) and DuckDuckGo (0.05%).
E-commerce market
Singapore’s e-commerce market is growing fast, helped by its pervasive, ultra‐high speed, and trusted ICT infrastructure, tech savvy population, and the government’s dedication to embracing the digital economy and achieving its goal of becoming a Smart Nation. Online shopping in Singapore tripled from S$1.1 billion in 2010 to S$ 3.5 billion in 2014 and is forecast to grow to as much as S$ 46.3 billion in 2020. Digital buyer penetration shows room for growth, given that in 2018 that rate was 68.6%, a number that is expected to hit 72.6% by 2022. In 2018, revenue in the e-commerce market amounted to US$3,968 million, and is expected to show an annual growth rate of 9.5%, resulting in a market volume of US$ 5,705 million by 2022. The average amount spent by digital buyers is US$ 1,390 and is expected to reach US$ 1,665 by 2020. The high adoption rate for mobile devices will drive mobile e-commerce, with 55% of online shoppers choosing to do their shopping using their mobile device, according to PayPal.
E-commerce sales and customers
A favourite pastime of Singaporeans is shopping, and online shopping is especially popular with young adults and higher income households. A study by Visa showed that 26% of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week – the highest in Southeast Asia. There is no gender bias between online shopping users; men and women engage in Singapore’s e-commerce equally except for those in the 45-54 age bracket where there are 50% more female buyers than male. Those in the 25 to 44 age group are the ones that most frequently shop online in Singapore, and 33.4% of shoppers in 2017 were aged between 25 and 34 years old. In 2018, the average revenue per user amounted to US$ 1,001. Singapore has the most mature e-commerce payment infrastructures in Southeast Asia. A survey by Payvision showed that most domestic e-commerce sales are paid by credit cards and bank transfers. Cash on delivery is not as commonly used in Singapore as in other countries in Southeast Asia. For cross-border purchases, Singapore’s preferred payment methods are credit cards and PayPal. 65% online shoppers said they bought shoes, clothes or accessories online. Clothing is the most popular e-commerce category for women, with men mostly buying technology and personal electronics.
Social media
Singaporeans are among the most active social media users in the world. According to We Are Social, 70% of Singaporeans are active social media users on the go, more than double the global average of 34%. The report also showed more than 3 in 4 Singaporeans now use social media, up 22 per cent from 2016, with 800,000 new users coming on board. The most popular social networks are Facebook (82.9%), YouTube (9.1%), Instagram (2.63%), Pinterest (2.42%), Twitter (1.74%) and Tumblr (0.51%).

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Latest Update: April 2023

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