Online shopping has caught on in Singapore, especially during one of its major shopping seasons -- the Great Singapore Sale (GSS) happening from May to July each year.
Statistics released by Singapore PayPal show that online shopping during the GSS was up 236 percent from last year, with daily transaction volume growing by 29 percent compared to pre-GSS, which was from January to end-May 2011.
PayPal said GSS shoppers snapped online deals and discounts to boost daily transaction count by 53 percent.
The top three shopping categories favoured by online shoppers during the shopping sale were "Fashion and Accessories", "Computers and Electronics", and "Travel".
PayPal also noted that the GSS shoppers preferred shopping online from local stores than overseas stores, a trend that was already noted since last year. In 2010, Singapore online shoppers spent nearly 40 percent, or about S$420 million (US$347 million) on local websites.
But the number one fastest-growing merchant was a restaurant famous for one of Singapore's famous delicacies - chilli crabs.
JUMBO Seafood, a restaurant serving chilli crabs, gained additional revenues of S$550,000 (US$413,573) by launching an online promotion during the sale season. 'The Great JUMBO Voucher Sale 2011' online promotion offered discount vouchers exclusively to the 23,000-strong JUMBO Rewards card members during the GSS, and generated a lot of interest.
The company behind the restaurant called the online campaign a success because of its partnership with PayPal.
"We know Singaporeans love shopping for deals online so we came up with an indulgent virtual campaign to reward our loyalty dining programme members by offering them an opportunity to purchase dining vouchers online via PayPal at a 25 percent discount. The success of our campaign was definitely a result of the notable cost savings as well as the relative ease of paying with PayPal," said Ringo Chew, group marketing manager, JUMBO Group of Restaurants that manages JUMBO Seafood and JPOT - the two dining brands where the vouchers could be redeemed.
"The online results for this year's Great Singapore Sale period show that there are no limits for Singaporean shopaholics as they are looking for great deals in stores and on the Web all the time. Fashion, electronics and travel are the top three online shopping categories and the greater variety of items being sold online, especially with the explosive growth of daily deal sites, has contributed to the online shopping boom," said Elias Ghanem, managing director and general manager, PayPal Southeast Asia and India.
PayPal estimates that the online shopping market in Singapore reached S$1.1 billion (US$909.8 million) last year with 1.2 million online shoppers who are above the age of 18. The market is expected to grow by 32 per cent by 2015 to reach S$4.4 billion (US$3.6 billion).
"Traditional retailers should quickly adopt a multi-channel sales approach to capitalise on the high growth of online commerce," said PayPal.
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