Top ten benefits of online shopping

Online or Internet shopping is booming in Singapore. Check this out: A 2011 survey on online and mobile shopping by e-payment firm PayPal showed that Singapore’s online commerce grew 30 per cent, from S$1.1 billion in 2010 to S$1.4 billion in 2011 and is estimated to touch S$4.4 billion in 2015.

Shopping cardsConsider also these statistical nuggets from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore: In 2013, 87% of households in Singapore had broadband access; in 2012, more than 95% of individuals below 35 years had used the Internet; the proportion of online shoppers (to Internet users) had increased from 17% in 2003 to 52% in 2012, with the highest proportion of 72% belonging to those in the 25-34 years category. Currently more than 50% of ecommerce traffic arises from mobile phones.

A large young population (more than 50% of Singapore’s population is below 40), high percentage of Internet access that has increased due to increased smartphone usage have all driven Singapore’s online shopping industry. Currently 50% of ecommerce traffic originates from mobile phones.

This explosive growth in online shopping is largely due to the benefits conferred by online shopping. Lets examine a few main ones:

1. Save time and effort – No waiting for parking, no long searches across racks for brands / products, no waiting in queues for checkout and no carrying around large (and heavy) shopping bags.

2. Convenient – Searching for products, checking them out through 360 degree views or reviews, adding them to your cart and payouts – you can accomplish everything with a few clicks, wherever you are, whether in the office or on your favourite couch, at whatever time is agreeable for you.

3. Deals and discounts – Online shopping sites are fighting for your custom amongst themselves and with brick and mortar retailers. Which is why, you find yourself inundated by emails and alerts notifying you of the latest promotions. And, these are not merely generic promotions; based on your previous shopping record and the latest trends, e-tailers will send you personalised promotions.

4. Online-only deals – Brands are finding it profitable to partner with e-tailers; the increased volumes that they gain make up for any deals or discounts that they offer. This has even resulted in exclusive online launches of products.

5. Overseas purchases – With brands themselves venturing into cyberspace, their markets have  also expanded; so, those exclusive handbags or expensive watches that were spotted only in the salons of Europe are increasingly available to you, provided you can afford it!

6. The emergence of mobiles – Mobiles have become ubiquitous and have expanded access to the Internet; online shopping sites have used this ubiquitous technology to expand their reach by coming up with mobile versions of their websites and also through mobile apps making it even more convenient for you to shop online.

7. Discreet – Buy that piece of lingerie without embarrassment or having to bother about onlookers.

Online shopping with your credit card

Shopping online with your credit card brings further benefits:

8. Reward points – Shop online and gain reward points that can be redeemed against a catalogue of gifts from the card issuer. And, some, like the ANZ Platinum Card that gives you double rewards points for online shopping, give you additional rewards for online spends.

9. Cashback – Many credit cards also reward your online shopping with cashback. So you can go shop some more!

10. Online shopping cards – Made specifically for the online shoppers these, cards  provide a bouquet of online shopping benefits. The Citi Globeshopper service, for example, gives you 5% cashback of all your shipping, enables you to consolidate multiple merchant purchases for savings on shipping costs, free repacking services to reduce your shipping volume, free insurance coverage for certain shipments and more.