updated 28 Dec 2013, 08:57
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Sat, Jun 15, 2013
Business Times
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Online shopping draws more Singaporeans
by Livia Yap

More Singaporeans are shopping online for its convenience and to get better value for their money, according to a poll by Master- Card.

The latest MasterCard Online Shopping Survey revealed that 65 per cent of the 500 respondents polled said they used the Internet to shop last year, compared to 57 per cent in 2011. The survey found that

91 per cent of Singaporeans had made at least one online purchase in the last three months - up from 80.6 per cent in 2011. Respondents said that they shopped online because it was more convenient to do so, and the goods they purchased also seemed cheaper online.

According to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), the Republic has a 71 per cent Internet penetration rate, a figure which suggests there is even more room for growth in the online shopping space.

But the survey also found that the top potential barriers to shopping online include concerns about the security of online transactions (40 per cent) as well as the additional administrative and delivery charges (40 per cent). Some 42 per cent also said they felt somewhat insecure about shopping online, an increase from 36 per cent in 2011.

According to the respondents, the sense of security while paying, the price of the item they are buying and a convenient payment method are their top considerations while buying online.

While 65 per cent of respondents still plan their online shopping in advance, this has steadily decreased from 69 per cent in 2011 and 75.5 per cent in 2010.

Among online shoppers in the past three months, there was also an increasing tendency to buy on impulse - where casual browsing led to an online purchase.

Some 12.5 per cent said that their browsing leads to a purchase "almost every time", an increase from 11.8 per cent in 2011 and 7.3 per cent in 2010.

About two-thirds of respondents said key triggers for such impulse purchases were price considerations, while 44 per cent cited the uniqueness of the offerings.

Julienne Loh, general manager of MasterCard Worldwide, Singapore, said the results of the survey were in line with what was noticeable in actual cardholder behaviour in Singapore.

"Cardholders are increasingly attracted to online stores outside Singapore - especially from the United States," she said.

"In the first quarter of this year, the growth of online transactions was the highest for international websites at 55 per cent, outpacing the rest of Asia by 15 per cent. This level of growth is also much higher than the 19 per cent growth recorded for domestic websites."

The survey was conducted in November and December last year among Singaporeans of both genders aged between 18 and 64 years.

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