Singaporeans are Southeast Asia’s top online shoppers: Visa Survey

Singapore, 20 November 2014

Study shows 26 per cent of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week, highest in the region and 50 per cent of Singaporeans would do all their shopping online if possible.

Singaporeans are Southeast Asia’s top online shoppers according to the Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014[1]. The findings showed that more than a quarter (26 per cent) of Singaporeans shop online at least once a week and more than half of them shop online (58 per cent ) at least once a month. When asked if they would conduct all their shopping online if it was practical to do so, 50 per cent of Singaporeans agreed that they would.

The age group that shops most frequently online is between the ages of 25-44 years old. 53 per cent of the respondents between ages 25-34 years old and 44 per cent between ages 34-44 years old shop online at least several times a month. In addition, the survey also showed that 30 per cent of Singaporeans who shop online use their mobiles to make purchases at least once a week.

Ooi Huey Tyng, Visa Country Manager for Singapore and Brunei said: “Online shopping continues to grow in popularity in Singapore with 19 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in eCommerce transactions performed by Singaporean Visa cardholders[2]. In comparison, domestic face-to-face Visa transactions for October grew at 6 per cent year-on-year[3].  There is a growing trend of consumers spending more time and money shopping online. As technology evolves, we see the blurring of lines between shopping at a retail store and online.”

“Fueled by this shift in behavior by consumers, we see more merchants developing apps and expanding their businesses to online platforms. This helps them to drive more business and also provides a better shopping experience for their targeted consumers,” added Ooi.

In the recent Single’s Day event, the single largest online shopping day in the world,  international Visa figures were up 450% on Singles Day 2014 in Asia. In Singapore, there was an increase of over 250% in authenticated purchases when compared to 2013 data[4].

Consumers prefer to shop online due to a number of reasons. According to the survey, 38 per cent of Singaporeans cite convenience as one of the factors when choosing to shop online. Other reasons for shopping online were because of cheaper prices and direct delivery.

Travel is the most popular category where Singaporeans make purchases online. The survey indicated that more than 51 per cent of the respondents bought all their flight tickets online and 46 per cent bought all their travel accommodation online. The next popular categories that Singaporeans make their entire purchases online are concert or sporting tickets and games. This is in line with VisaNet data, which shows that the top online spending categories for Visa cardholders are travel and entertainment[5]. Survey findings also showed that the average cost of the most expensive item that Singaporeans have purchased online is S$2,887.

Visa has been working closely with merchants to provide convenience to consumers who shop online for their day-to-day purchases. For example, Visa partnered with NTUC FairPrice to offer a tokenization service in August this year to enable consumers to enjoy a faster and more secure experience when shopping online. With tokenization, once consumers have registered their payment card details they no longer have to key in their 16 digit card number, which saves them time when they check out their online purchases. VisaNet data showed that there was an 85%[6] increase YoY in domestic eCommerce spending at supermarkets.

Based on the survey findings, Singaporeans enjoy shopping online as much as they do at physical stores and they expect a seamless payment process online as how they would at a physical store. The results also show that Singapore consumers are more likely (46 per cent) to shop again from an online store if the retailer retains their personal details to ensure a faster checkout. Throughout the Southeast Asia region, this figure stands at 61 per cent, indicating that consumers value convenience the most in their online shopping experiences.

“At Visa, we also believe it is important to also provide consumers with a peace of mind when it comes to shopping online. Visa introduced Verified by Visa (VbV), a free, online service designed to make internet transactions safer by authenticating the cardholder’s identity at the time of purchase. Visa uses multiple layers of security and fraud protection, and VbV provides a seamless additional layer of security for participating eCommerce merchants,” said Ooi.


[1]   The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014 was conducted in July 2014 by BlackBox Research on behalf of Visa. Demographics of the respondents were male and female credit card holders above the ages of 18 year olds and holders of at least one general purpose card (credit card). There were 500 respondents in each of the four markets and interviews were conducted online with representative quotas of gender and age. The study surveyed 2000 consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, The Philippines and Thailand.
[2]   Source: VisaNet Data (June 2014)
[3]   Source: VisaNet Data (June 2014)
[4]   Source: VisaNet Data (Nov 2014)
[5]   Source: VisaNet Data (June 2014)
[6]   Source: VisaNet Data (June 2014)

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.