Not enough done to address Singapore online consumers’ concerns

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Singaporean consumers cite delivery and payment issues as top concerns when shopping online, but retailers could be doing more to address these concerns, according to a recent survey by payments and commerce automation platform Primer.

Conducted online in May 2023 across 300 retail business decision makers and 2000 consumers in Singapore, the Mind the Gap: Consumer Expectation vs Retailer Reality survey reveals that Singaporean online retailers could be leaving money on the table by focusing on expanding product lines, forming brand partnerships, and entering international markets instead of addressing common payment and delivery woes.

The ecommerce market in Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing in the world, and Singaporean retailers face stiff competition from regional players. Primer’s recent research reveals that they could be missing an opportunity to optimize business growth by not prioritizing key consumer concerns.     

Consumers demand seamless deliveries and safe payments with preferred payment methods

Singaporean consumers cite delivery and logistics issues as the biggest reason for abandoning their carts, with more than 60% identifying high delivery costs as their top pain point. This is followed by fulfillment issues like delivery delays (56%) and lost packages (49%). Despite this, only a quarter of retailers (24%) are focused on improving fulfillment and shipping processes.

Moreover, nearly half of consumers report that a quick and simple checkout process is crucialwhile a staggering 76% would abandon a cart if their preferred payment method is not offered. Despite this, optimizing payment processes is cited as a priority by only one in four retailers (25%).

Similarly, while payment security measures are identified by seven in ten consumers as essential for a good shopping experience, less than 30% of retailers report strengthening their anti-fraud protection within the past year. 

Kailash Madan, Head of APAC at Primer said: “While Singaporean retailers may be aware of the importance of maintaining their payment process, with 99% making improvements to payments over the past year, they need to ensure that the changes they’re making reflect the demands of consumers.”       

Retailers are focused on growth through new sales channels

The study reports that more than half (53%) of Singaporean retailers see social sales as a big opportunity for growth, and for those retailers who are selling via social media, a third of their revenue is coming through the channel. 

When it comes to payments, retailers are focused on increasing payment methods and currencies, with 41% revealing that taking foreign payments has seen a boost to revenue. But with one in three carts abandoned, Singaporean retailers must also dial up efforts to tackle the cause of lost sales.

“Although prioritizing product and market expansion is fundamental to business growth, retailers are perhaps missing out on consumer retention by not focusing on concerns driving cart abandonment, like security, payment failures and fulfillment issues.” shares Madan. 

“Technical debt is a common challenge and could be a key factor in shaping businesses’ focus areas, as they struggle to locate the right technical resources and expertise to optimize checkout flows, for instance.”

He continues, “Singaporean consumers are some of the most connected and digitally-savvy in the world. Online retailers are looking to automation to future-proof their businesses with more than three in four retailers investing as part of their business plan. By allowing retailers to easily optimize their commerce and payment flows with minimal technical expertise and developmental costs, automation could be the key to bridging the existing chasm between consumers and retailers,” he says.