Singapore’s e-commerce marketplace is among the fastest-growing globally, with fierce competition from both local and regional players. However, a recent study, conducted online in May 2023 across 300 retail business decision makers and 2000 consumers in Singapore, Mind the Gap: Consumer Expectation vs Retailer Reality survey by Primer, a payment and commerce automation platform, suggests that Singaporean online retailers might be inadvertently overlooking their customers’ primary pain points – delivery and payment issues – while pursuing growth strategies like product diversification and overseas expansion.
Consumer Expectations: Seamless Deliveries and Safe Payment Options
A high percentage of Singaporean consumers (over 60%) report abandoning their carts due to high delivery costs, delivery delays (56%), and lost packages (49%). Strikingly, only 24% of retailers have made improving fulfillment and shipping processes a priority.
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A smooth checkout process is of paramount importance to consumers, with 76% willing to abandon their purchase if their preferred payment option is unavailable. Yet, only one in four retailers deem payment process optimization a crucial concern. Payment security, regarded as essential by 70% of consumers, has seen less than 30% of retailers reinforcing their anti-fraud protections over the past year.
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.Kailash Madan, Head of APAC at Primer
Retailer Growth Strategies: The Lure of New Sales Channels
The Primer survey also reveals that 53% of Singaporean retailers view social sales as a significant growth opportunity, with a third of their revenue already originating from this channel. Retailers are also focusing on adding payment methods and accepting international currencies, with 41% acknowledging a revenue boost from accepting foreign payments. However, with one in three carts abandoned, Madan suggests that retailers must intensify their efforts to counteract the causes of lost sales.
Technical Debt: The Silent Culprit
“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,” shares Madan.
Automation: The Bridge Between Consumers and Retailers
Singaporean consumers are known for their digital savviness. More than three-quarters of online retailers are investing in automation to future-proof their businesses. Madan suggests that automation, with its minimal technical expertise and developmental cost requirements, could be the solution to the existing divide between consumer expectations and retailer strategies. “By allowing retailers to easily optimize their commerce and payment flows… automation could be the key to bridging the existing chasm between consumers and retailers,” he asserts.