Thinking of starting an e-commerce business? Here's what you need to know

Michelle Zhu

SINGAPORE (Mar 26): Despite being a population of active mobile users, more Singaporeans are still preferring to shop online using desktops rather than their smartphones, according to a new report released by Picodi.

Based on the global e-commerce platform’s internal data for 2018, just one out of three (35%) online retail transactions made in Singapore was made with the use of a mobile device last year, with the remaining using desktops to make their purchases instead.

This makes Singapore among the countries where desktop shopping takes the lead out of the 35 countries which Picodi analysed data from, as opposed to Peru, which tops the ranking of the other spectrum of the other spectrum with 76% of online smartphone purchases.

Singaporeans also had a tendency to spend less when shopping with their smartphones, with the $96 average order value of a phone user being less than those using desktops ($104) and tablets ($25).

Unsurprisingly, nearly half or 46% of all Picodi shoppers in Singapore fell within the 35-34 age range, followed by those aged 35-44 (22%) and 18-24 (17%). The remaining 15% were consumers over 45 years old.

There were also slightly more purchases made by Singaporean women than those made by men at 57% and 43%, respectively.

Timing also proves to be a crucial factor when catering to the city state’s e-commerce consumers.

Despite smaller baskets with a modest average order value of $125 for the month, November 2018 enjoyed the highest proportion of the year’s online shopping transactions (16.9%) made on Picodi, presumably because of sale events taking place worldwide on occasions such as Black Friday and 11.11.

The second busiest month in terms of transactions was October (10%), followed by December (8.6%).

Meanwhile, August saw the lowest number of transactions at just 5.6%.

Picodi also notes that while mobile shoppers were the most active between 6pm to 12 midnight and especially on Sunday, desktop shoppers spiked in activity between noon to 6pm and throughout the weekends.

The most popular categories for e-commerce among Singaporean consumers were, in order of preference: food on delivery, clothing, and travel.

Elsewhere, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were the world’s highest online spenders with an average order value of US$200 ($267) for 2018 as compared to Singapore’s average order value of just US$60 over the year.