Virtual carts get filled up as retail stores dry up their money.
What used to be Singapore’s most famous shopping center is now deserted. Orchard Road was the place busybodies would avoid every weekend due to throngs of shoppers bustling from one shop to another. Nowadays, though, shops permanently close one after the other.
Those who are left struggling hope to get the shoppers back into their brick-and-mortar shops. However, the thing of the past will never be the same considering the skyrocketing success of e-commerce.
The Sudden Shift
- More Singaporeans shop online
For the past five years, there is a massive shift in the buyer’s behavior. And despite the slow economic outlook, 78 percent are predicted to increase their online shopping activities. Since Singapore is on the rise to go cashless, cards have made online shopping more convenient than ever.
PayPal’s recent survey showed that 38% of adults interviewed in Singapore will still do online shopping in the future since it is more accessible.
- Singaporeans embrace cross-border online shopping
Compared to European and western countries, Singapore scores high with open attitudes to cross-border shopping.
The PayPal Cross-Border Consumer Research last 2016 revealed that Singaporeans are comfortable making purchases on foreign websites. The trust in online stores based abroad is the same as the trust they have with local shopping websites. It is no wonder that Singaporeans ranked as the most confident cross-border online shoppers in Asia Pacific.
This is especially true now that MasterCard’s Zero Liability campaign gives security against fraud to shoppers using their card. You will not be accountable for any “unauthorized transactions” provided that you promptly reported the loss of the card to your issue.
- Smartphones are made smarter with mobile shopping apps
Undeniably, a lot of Singaporeans have a fast-paced lifestyle. They would rather use mobile shopping since this will save them more time, energy, and effort to get down the store and pick what they need. Joining the crowd to shop for an item is a thing of the past.
There is no need to carry heavy shopping bags as they will be delivered right at your doorstep. From 2016, mobile shopping is expected to increase by 42% in just a year. Singaporeans’ forecasted total online spend is S$3.5 billion, and a third of it (S$1.2billion) is coming from mobile shopping.
There is no stopping Lazada, Qoo10, Carousell, Zalora, EZbuy, and Redmart from invading people’s shopping experience.
How Can Retail Stores Keep Up?
- Personalized web sites
Physical retail stores may seem traditional but what’s stopping them from using the internet to engage customers? A relevant website can help you track your customer’s digital journey. You can use this to give personalized services and assistance.
- Get up close with your clients through social media
The digital tools are right at your fingertips. Take advantage of social media and let people know that you have something great in store for them. Look for your target clients and engage them by showing what is uniquely sold in your shop.
You can use social media to reach your clients and get insights because people will definitely talk about customer service, products, usage, quality, and hours open.
- Show your merchandise
Singaporeans usually visit online stores to look for an item. Make them know that you offer something that they can’t buy anywhere else. Have limited edition designer collaboration. This is the reason people crazed about Hello Kitty outside McDonald’s in 2000. However, make sure that you can deliver what you have promised.
- Events and activities
Recreate your store as an event space. Have a meet-and-greet event, make a children’s day out activity, or have lounge areas in your shop. Make a reason why people should go down to your store and spend time there.
Co-host events, support charity works, and have giveaway promos which are worth their time.
Let people associate your store with the word “fun.” Let them enjoy the place even if they do not have to make a purchase because chances are they will buy something eventually.
- Award freebies and discounts for in-store purchases
Some online shoppers reveal that they shop online because a lot of items are cheaper. So aside from saving the effort of checking the store personally, they can also save their money. Everyone loves discounts and freebies. So make the promotion worthwhile.
Take the time to announce this promotion on your social media accounts and clarify your store location.
We are at a time when e-commerce can eat up the retail stores. Retail store owners must not let themselves get behind the ever changing marketing strategies. You may have the traditional brick-and-mortar shops, but you need to make a website and reach your customers the way e-commerce merchants does it.
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