January 10, 2011
Singapore, 10 Jan 2011: Online shopping has gained popularity in Singapore, as nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents in a MasterCard survey said they now access the internet for online shopping. This represents a ten percent increase in just two years, with 56% and 54% of the respondents shopping online in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
This is the fourth MasterCard survey on online shopping habits and was conducted from 3 September to 1 October 2010. The survey covered 8,500 respondents across 15 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and the UAE. The inaugural survey was conducted in December 2007. The survey does not represent MasterCard financial performance.
Singaporean women continue to out-shop their male counterparts with 68% of female respondents surveyed shopping online, compared to only 60% of males. Female online shoppers also tend to be more active as they purchased an average of 5 items online in the last three months, whereas male shoppers purchased an average of 4.2 items each in the same period.
Overall satisfaction with online shopping remains high as 83% of respondents in Singapore who made a purchase in the last three months were satisfied with their experience. This is a small drop from previous years’ scores though as satisfaction levels were at 86% in 2009 and 84% in 2008. Three-quarters of those surveyed in this category also stated that they are likely to make another purchase in the next six months.
At the other end of the spectrum, consumers in Singapore who did not make any purchases online in the last three months cited a preference to shop in-store (59%) with physical products as the primary reason for not shopping online.
The availability of convenient payment methods (92%), secure payment facilities (91%) and price and value (91%) of the items being purchased are the top three most important factors influencing Singaporean respondents’ online shopping experience.
For the first time, respondents were also surveyed on their online shopping habits through mobile phones. Only 12% of respondents in Singapore made purchases on their mobile phones in the last three months. Of the rest, 80% also indicated that they were unlikely to do so in the next six months.
“The steady increase in the popularity of online shopping is backed by high levels of broadband and mobile connectivity in Singapore as consumers proactively seek more personal and convenient ways to shop," said Julienne Loh, vice president and country manager, Singapore, MasterCard Worldwide. “As the use of smart phones proliferates in Singapore, there will be more opportunities in the mobile space for retailers who can offer customers a fast, convenient and safe way to make purchases through smart phones.”
The most common items purchased online remained the same as previous years and they include airline tickets (52%), hotel accommodations (43%), movie or concert tickets (41%), ladies’ clothing and accessories (36%) and books & art (25%).
Singaporeans tend to plan their online purchases in advance with nearly 80% of respondents doing research before making a purchase. Research methods included browsing the internet in general as well as specific merchants’ websites.
The most common items that trigger impulse shopping online though are ladies’ clothing or accessories and airline tickets. Medical or pharmaceutical and insurance products were the least likely to sway customers to buy impulsively.
This year MasterCard has released the first Index on Online Shopping. The Index serves as a benchmark (including scores from 2009 and 2008) that measures consumers’ propensity to shop online, and based on the following factors and questions:
- For what purposes do you usually use the Internet?
- How likely is it that you will make an online purchase in the next 6 months?
- Proportion of those who did not state ‘prefer to shop in-store, to look at the physical product’ as a reason for not purchasing anything online in the past 3 months.
- To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements:
(1) It is convenient to shop online
(2) I do not feel secure shopping online
The scores are compiled based on the factors or questions listed above, offering a regional Index ranking of markets with consumers who are most likely to shop online. According to the scores from the 2010 MasterCard Index on Online Shopping, South Korea tops the Index rankings with a score of 63 in 2010 (compared to 65 in 2009 where South Korea also ranked number one on the Index). Japan is ranked second this year with a score of 57, followed by New Zealand (54), Australia (52) and Taiwan (51). Emerging markets have also gained ground with the U.A.E. coming in at 6th with a score of 47 then Malaysia (44), Singapore (40) and China (38). Thailand is closely on par with India with scores of 34 and 32, respectively, ahead of Hong Kong (29). Indonesia rounds the bottom three markets on the Index with a score of 17, Philippines (12) and South Africa (8).
NOTE TO EDITORS: More information and previously released MasterCard survey results can be found at www.masterintelligence.com.
MasterCard puts out a series of ongoing consumer surveys and research Indices in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa. These include the MasterCard Survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Purchasing Resilience, the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Consumer Confidence and MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement.
Besides these, MasterCard also regularly releases its Insights reports; the series is part of its ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa region. Over 70 Insights reports have been produced since 2004. MasterCard has also released a series of four books on Asian consumer insights, authored by its Asia/Pacific economist, Dr. Yuwa Hedrick-Wong and published by John Wiley & Sons.
The MasterCard Indexes and Insights reports are available at www.masterintelligence.com
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.