Official – Singaporeans Are Biggest ASEAN Online Spenders

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Nov 20 2014
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Asians are perhaps the most conservative when come to e-commerce or simply online shopping. In the 1990s, before the dot com bubble burst, e-commerce was the buzzword that attracted tons of money, especially those companies listed on the Nasdaq. Today, such buzzword is as obsolete as dinosaurs. The so-called e-commerce has reached maturity. People simply do online shopping with their smartphones or tablets, whenever they like to.

Online Shopper Keyboard

In Southeast Asia, airline tickets and hotel reservations are the most commonly purchased items online, not to mention tickets for movies, live performances, exhibitions and Formula-1. Interestingly, while Filipinos, Vietnamese and Singaporeans are most inclined to purchase items online; Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand consumers are more likely to go online to browse.


Regardless of the reasons why Vietnamese tended to do online shopping more than Malaysians, all of them do reading online reviews and perform product research before purchase anything – either online or offline. Although consumers across Southeast Asia are going online in droves, credit card security remains a key concern for consumers across the region with respect to their concern in providing credit card information online.

ASEAN Countries Distrust Sharing Credit Card Info Online

According to a study done by “The Nielsen Global Survey of E-Commerce”, Filipinos are the most cautious when it comes to paying online by credit card – a staggering 67% do not trust giving their credit card information online. This follows by Indonesians (60%), Vietnamese (55%), Malaysians (52%) and Singaporeans (41%). In comparison, an average of 49% of global consumers do not trust about revealing their credit card information online.


Hence, when a study published by VISA today shows Singaporeans are Southeast Asia’s top online shoppers, it pretty much confirmed Nielsen’s research about Singaporeans exceptionally trust in sharing their credit card information online. Apparently, Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014 found that 58% of Singaporeans made online purchases at least once a month.

Singapore Flag on Face

The survey also reveals that 50% of Singaporeans said they would conduct all their shopping online if it was practical to do so, and 26% shopped online at least once a week. Also, Singaporeans between the ages of 25 to 44 were the ones who shopped the most frequently online. When dissected further, about 53% within the ages of 25 – 34 shopped online several times a month, while 44% within ages 34 – 44 did so.


Guess what was the most popular thing Singaporean spent their hard earned money on – it’s travel, of course. A whopping 51% Singaporean who conducted their e-commerce bought their flight tickets online, while 46% bought all their travel accommodation online. The second most popular categories for online purchases were for concert or sporting tickets and games. However, the survey didn’t specifically mention if online games or gambling was one of them.

Singaporean Shoppers

UBS researchers estimated there were close to 200 million internet users across the ASEAN region but “The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study 2014” which was conducted in July this year only covered Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, with 500 respondents surveyed in each of the four markets. The average cost of the most expensive item that Singaporeans have purchased online was S$2,887 (US$2,300; £1,412; RM7,470).


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