Singapore shoppers spend $1.1B via mobile

Online shoppers are spending US$1,861 a year on their purchases with the bulk of their expenditure going toward travel bookings, according to figures released by PayPal.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Singapore shoppers are spending more online and via their mobile devices, with the average consumer forking out US$1,861 a year on purchases. 

The country's e-commerce market will hit US$2.99 billion while m-commerce will reach US$1.18 billion by end-2014, clocking an annual growth of 38 percent and 65 percent, respectively, between 2011 and 2014, according to the latest stats released by PayPal. 

Increased spending over the past three years was fueled by a larger online shopper population in Singapore, which currently stands at 2.7 million, as well as a 79 percent increase in the amount the average shopper spent — clocking US$1,861 each year. More than a quarter of this would go toward travel expenditure, with 75 percent going online to make their holiday bookings in the past year. Almost half of them did so via their mobile device, spending an average US$339. 

By 2018, Singapore's e-commerce sector will further increase by 13 percent annually while m-commerce will grow 15 percent. 

Travel service providers, though, are slow to tap this market with 49 percent of such businesses in the country lacking any mobile presence. The same was true for 46 percent and 29 percent of their counterparts in Malaysia and Thailand, respectively, which did not have online sites or apps optimized for mobile devices, according to PayPal. 

Some 95 percent of Malaysian consumers made travel bookings online in the past 12 months, the e-payment vendor said, noting that the Asia-Pacific region was home to 3.6 billion mobile subscribers. 

"Travelers in the region are increasingly spontaneous, mobile and on-the-go, demanding 24 by 7 access to travel-related goods and services and the ability to make bookings anytime, anywhere, and anyway. Businesses who ride on this emerging trend stand to gain from a billion-dollar global opportunity," it said in the report. 

Asked why they had yet to establish their mobile presence, travel businesses in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand cited a lack of resources and time, as well as the lack of suitable mobile tools. 

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