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Going digital a must to stay in business

With more consumers operating online, retail businesses must develop a strategy to connect with them

Singapore has made the digital economy a priority as it takes the Asean chair this year.

With strong support from the Government, businesses that leverage digitisation have gained ground with consumers.

The Digital Landscape report, which tracks consumers' digital behaviour, shows 66 per cent of Singaporeans have accessed a shopping app or visited a shopping website at least once in the month of October alone.

In terms of e-commerce, the five most frequented apps/websites were Carousell, Qoo10, Lazada, Amazon and ezbuy.

Singaporeans are always on the lookout for good deals and discounts on flights and hotels.

In line with Singaporeans being known for planning their vacations in advance, our research shows 20 per cent of Singaporeans access travel websites/apps at least once a month to scour for deals.

On average, a person visits travel-related websites/apps five times monthly.

As shoppers evolve to be connected consumers, it is important for brands to interact with their target audience at every touchpoint to develop an emotional connection with them.

Food delivery services have been in Singapore for some time, but for years it was dominated by fast-food chains.

That is changing.

Despite a slow start for players such as FoodPanda, Deliveroo and UberEats , Singaporeans are beginning to warm up to the idea of food delivery apps.

According to our research, 18 per cent of Singaporeans access a food delivery website or app each month. They use the services about five times a month.

In October, the top services used were: FoodPanda (8 per cent), McDelivery (5 per cent) and Deliveroo and HonestBee (4 per cent each).

ONLINE BANKING

Snaking queues at banks are becoming a thing of the past as more turn to Internet banking.

Our research shows that 59 per cent of Singaporeans access banking apps monthly. On average, Singaporeans are involved in 23 online banking sessions lasting 3.5 minutes each.

As the time spent online is a fraction of what one can expect to spend at bank branches, it is indeed a natural process for people to opt for Internet banking, especially as more banks actively seek to provide a convenient and secure authentication service for transactions.

As consumers are spending more time online, it is vital for organisations in Singapore to have a solid digital strategy.

The brands that deliver simple, personalised and seamless experiences will enjoy customer engagement and loyalty.

With digitisation here to stay, retail businesses will need to leverage all digital tools to connect with customers and successfully convert their interest into purchases.

Brands that are equipped with research intelligence on the consumer journey and purchase path can adequately develop and channel strategies to optimise online and mobile experiences for their target audience.

tnp@sph.com.sg

The writer is the commercial director for media at GfK Asia.

BUSINESS & FINANCE