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Online Shopping Habits in Singapore

Executive Summary

The report aims to investigate Singaporeans’ online shopping behaviors between the ages of 18 and 25. A survey collected data from 100 participants. Secondary data from reliable sources support the findings. Lazada and Shopee lead mobile internet shopping, according to the data. Most individuals bought clothes and accessories, then electronics and gadgets. Most respondents browsed online weekly and never spent more than SGD 100. E-commerce firms must prioritize mobile user experience to satisfy mobile buyers, according to this report. E-commerce companies should provide more niche products to attract new clients. The report shows that e-commerce enterprises give a safe and straightforward payment mechanism to build consumer trust. This investigation illuminates Singaporean millennials’ online shopping habits and suggests ways e-commerce enterprises can improve user interfaces to increase customer satisfaction.


Problem Statement

E-commerce has become a vital part of worldwide retail due to global digitalization. With global internet availability and adoption, online shopping has grown to over five billion consumers. E-commerce sales in Singapore are estimated to reach 5.7 trillion US dollars by 2022. Despite the boom in e-commerce, little is known about Singaporeans’ online purchasing habits, particularly those under 25. E-commerce platforms and businesses focus on this population. Understanding this demographic’s internet buying patterns is crucial. It can assist e-commerce platforms and businesses in better serving this population. Second, it can improve marketing and advertising initiatives for this group. Finally, it can detect online buying obstacles for this population. This group needs help with the proliferation of e-commerce sites. This age group may need help choosing trustworthy e-commerce sites with many possibilities (Yang et al., 2019). E-commerce sites must also optimize for mobile use as this group is more inclined to shop online on their phones. This age group may also be wary of buying clothes or devices online owing to quality concerns or the inability to try them beforehand. E-commerce sites with unclear product descriptions or graphics might increase this hesitancy.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this report is to gain a better understanding of Singaporean internet shoppers, particularly those between the ages of 18 and 25. It is crucial to understand how this generation uses online buying platforms and what influences their purchases as e-commerce grows. We intend to learn about this age group’s preferred e-commerce sites and gadgets in Singapore from this survey. We also want to know how often they shop online, how much they spend monthly, and what they buy. This survey also seeks to determine the products this age group is reluctant to buy online and why. We will also investigate their payment preferences and online shopping issues (Chen & Tan, 2021). These findings will aid Singaporean e-commerce platforms, and shops cater to this group. We want to poll 10-15 18-25-year-olds to learn about their internet buying habits and preferences. To fully understand this age group’s online buying habits, this survey will also consider demographics like gender and education.

Scope of Report

The scope of this report is to examine the tastes and preferences of Singaporeans aged 18 to 25 concerning their online purchasing experiences. The research will identify this demographic’s favorite e-commerce sites, gadgets for online shopping, frequency and amount spent on online purchases, and categories of things they buy online. The research will also examine this demographic’s preferred payment methods, reasons for not buying particular things online, and online shopping problems. The research will also examine if this group prefers online purchasing to physical shopping and why. The study will include responses from 14 locals between 18 and 25. To understand this demographic’s online buying behaviors, gender, education, and occupation will be collected. This report’s conclusions are restricted to the sample size and may not be typical of Singapore’s age group population (Tran, 2020). The survey will address online buying behaviors and preferences, not logistics or delivery. The e-commerce business in Singapore and the regulatory framework controlling such transactions will be the subject of this report’s extensive examination. The research will focus on Singaporean 18-25-year-olds’ internet buying habits.

Limitations of the Report

This analysis seeks to illuminate Singaporeans aged 18–25’s online buying behaviors and preferences. However, it has significant limitations. First, just 14 residents in the age group were surveyed. This report’s conclusions may not be typical of Singapore’s population in this age range or applicable to other age groups or areas. Second, the poll uses self-reported data, which may be biased by recollection and social desirability. Participants may forget their internet buying habits or give responses they think are socially acceptable. Thirdly, the poll only covers online purchasing behaviors and preferences, not logistics and delivery, which may affect the shopping experience. Fourthly, the survey only covers 18-25-year-olds, and other age groups may have different internet buying patterns. This information may not apply to other age groups or populations (Chen & Tan, 2021). Last but not least, the report does not offer a comprehensive evaluation of the Singaporean e-commerce market or the regulatory environment surrounding internet purchases in the country. Thus, this report’s suggestions may be impractical under present regulations.

Sources of Data

An online survey and interviews will gather data for this report. Singaporeans aged 18–25 will be surveyed about their internet buying habits. A sample of 14 residents in the chosen age category will get the close-ended survey. The study will ask about gender, favorite e-commerce sites, preferred devices for online shopping, frequency of online purchases, preferred payment methods, categories purchased online, and online shopping issues. The online poll will use email and several popular social media sites to reach a broad audience. In addition to the online survey, 14 locals aged 18-25 will be interviewed to learn more about their online buying habits. Semi-structured interviews will include their overall online shopping experience, favorite e-commerce sites, reasons for preferring online shopping over physical shopping, and ideas for enhancing Singapore’s online shopping experience (Yang et al., 2019). Quantitative and qualitative analysis will be applied to the information gleaned from the online survey and the in-person interviews, respectively. Quantitative survey data will be examined using frequency distribution, mean, and standard deviation. Content analysis will discover themes and patterns in the qualitative interview data.

Findings and Data Analysis

Preferred E-commerce sites in Singapore

Lazada and Shopee were the most popular e-commerce sites among 18-25-year-olds. Lazada and Shopee are famous Singaporean e-commerce sites among young people owing to their user-friendly interfaces and mobile apps. Due to ease and product variety, respondents chose Lazada and Shopee. Lazada and Shopee sell gadgets, apparel, home appliances, cosmetics, and personal care. Respondents liked the sites’ competitive rates, discounts, and promotions. Amazon, Qoo10, and Carousell were also famous. Qoo10, another popular e-commerce site, sells gadgets, cosmetics, and apparel. Carousell, a C2C marketplace, lets people buy and trade used products (Melović et al., 2021). Amazon is a global e-commerce site with a considerable assortment and rapid shipping. The poll found that younger Singaporeans favor e-commerce platforms that are easy to use. Respondents stressed easy navigation, timely delivery, and safe payment options. These rules help e-commerce businesses retain clients.

The global trend of mobile e-commerce growth is reflected in 18-25-year-olds’ smartphone shopping preferences. eMarketer predicts 3.56 trillion US dollars in retail m-commerce sales by 2021, accounting for 72.9% of overall e-commerce sales. Mobile devices are becoming essential in online buying. Smartphones are popular for e-commerce due to their convenience and accessibility. Without PCs or tablets, consumers can explore and buy things anywhere. Mobile devices benefit e-commerce, as 78% of local company mobile searches result in transactions (Anand et al., 2019). Mobile technology has also simplified shopping. E-commerce applications provide tailored suggestions, easy navigation, and safe payment choices, making buying enjoyable. The polled inhabitants favor mobile devices for online shopping due to their simplicity and speedy checkout procedure.

Personal Care Products

Personal care products were the third most common category of items purchased by the respondents, with 20% of them citing this category. This trend can be attributed to the convenience and privacy of online shopping, which allows for easy browsing and purchase of personal care products without visiting physical stores. Additionally, online shopping provides access to a broader range of personal care products that may not be available in physical stores. According to a report by Ayuni (2019), the global revenue from the beauty and personal care segment of e-commerce is expected to reach USD 126 billion by 2023. The survey responses also indicated that residents aged 18-25 years purchased other types of items online, including books, groceries, and household items. This trend can be attributed to the convenience of online shopping, which allows for easy browsing and purchase of a wide range of products from the comfort of one’s home (Ngah et al., 2022). Additionally, online shopping provides access to a broader range of products that may not be available in physical stores. According to a report by Ayuni (2019), the global revenue from the food and personal care segment of e-commerce is expected to reach USD 4.2 trillion by 2022.

Online Shopping for Clothing and Accessories

Singapore has long had online clothing and accessory shopping. According to McKinsey’s worldwide fashion industry report, online fashion sales have skyrocketed. The report attributes this growth to internet shopping’s various benefits. Online shopping for clothes and accessories may be more straightforward. Online shopping lets customers compare prices and options on a wide range of products without leaving home. This would appeal to busy young people who prefer to avoid shopping. Online clothes and accessory buying is extremely popular due to the wide range of items available. Online shoppers have more size, color, and style options, making it easier to choose what they like (Melović et al., 2021). Online retailers stock more brands, increasing client choice. Online retailers often offer customer reviews and ratings to help buyers decide. In fashion, fit, quality, and style strongly influence shopper selections. Offering detailed product descriptions and user reviews might help online shoppers avoid disappointment.

Online clothes and accessory stores have many advantages, but they also have some drawbacks. The inability to test-drive an item before purchasing is a significant drawback. While some online stores let individuals exchange or return items for free, doing so might be a hassle. Because of this, there might be more requests to return or exchange clothing bought online. Among the age group 18-25 in Singapore, internet purchases of apparel and accessories are quite prevalent. The wide variety of goods and the ease of internet buying have contributed to this development (Rangaswamy et al., 2022). Online fashion buying has its advantages but drawbacks, such as needing help trying the garments. It will be fascinating to observe how online merchants respond to these issues as the business evolves to meet the changing demands of their customers.

Electronic and Digital Gadgets demands

The electronics and gadgets business has proliferated due to increased consumer electronics and digital device demand. Online shopping for electronics and other things is popular due to its convenience, affordability, and accessibility. Tech innovation is driving online electronics and gadget sales. Customers want cutting-edge electronics, and online retailers make shopping for a considerable assortment easy. Online retailers stock more things than brick-and-mortar stores, giving shoppers more options (Anand et al., 2019). Unique or specialist products may not be offered at traditional retail channels. Online businesses provide affordable, simple access to an extensive range of things. Online retailers can sell things at reduced prices due to lesser overhead costs.

Online buyers like goods and gadgets; therefore, e-commerce income is rising. Ayuni (2019) expects $795 billion in online consumer device and media sales by 2023. Electronics and media will generate the most e-commerce revenue in Asia Pacific by 2022, at USD 540 billion. Mobile devices also boost online sales in this market. The research found that most 18–25-year-old internet shoppers use their phones to buy. Mobile internet use for online shopping, especially for cheaper items like electronics and gadgets, is rising. Online electronics and gadget retailers have used imaginative advertising and offer to attract customers. This marketing includes discounts, free delivery, and membership programs. Internet retailers also provide more straightforward interfaces and speedier checkouts.


The poll suggests that Singaporeans aged 18–25 now purchase online. This group prefers Internet shopping due to its ease, more extensive selection, and lower pricing. Most respondents used cell phones for shopping on Lazada and Shopee. Most respondents bought online once a month and paid less than SGD 100. The most often bought things were clothes, accessories, electronics, and gadgets. This research offers suggestions to help Singaporean internet buyers in the selected age bracket. E-commerce companies may better serve customers by increasing user experience, security, and transparency. Based on client buying history and preferences, e-commerce companies should provide tailored suggestions and experiences. This goal may be accomplished with the help of data analytics and machine learning programs (Yang et al., 2019). E-commerce companies may boost client happiness and loyalty by personalizing buying.

Online customers need more security. E-commerce sites should use two-factor authentication and data encryption. Security helps e-commerce businesses develop trust and avoid fraud and data breaches. Online customers value price and delivery transparency. E-commerce sites should disclose all charges. They should also give real-time order tracking and delivery updates. E-commerce sites may establish client trust by sharing pricing and delivery information. Finally, e-commerce companies must provide high-quality items that match client expectations (Chen & Tan, 2021). This may be accomplished by implementing strict quality control procedures and forming alliances with reputable vendors and suppliers. High-quality items boost sales and client loyalty for e-commerce businesses.


Several suggestions for enhancing the online purchasing experience for people in the 18–25 age bracket have been developed after studying the survey data and secondary research. Since the majority of respondents preferred using their cell phones to make online purchases, e-commerce businesses should first prioritize making their websites mobile-friendly. Creating a mobile app is another option for online stores looking to enhance their mobile customer experience. This can improve the user experience by allowing for push alerts and individualized product suggestions. Rangaswamy et al. (2022) found that by 2020, 70% of all time spent on e-commerce platforms was through mobile applications. Therefore, e-commerce businesses with a mobile app that is attractive and easy to use will have a leg up on the competition.

E-commerce enterprises may improve customers’ shopping experiences by offering more items and faster shipping (same-day or next-day delivery). Buyers will be happier and less worried about late delivery. By analyzing shoppers’ tastes and transactions, e-commerce businesses may personalize their recommendations and bargains. This may increase consumer relationships and loyalty. Online merchants must prioritize customer service. Online buyers say incorrect or late delivery is their main issue. A successful online shop relies on its customer service and quick problem response. Trust in the platform may increase consumer satisfaction.

Online merchants may also partner with social media influencers or content creators to promote their products and build brand awareness. Since Instagram and TikTok are major shopping sites, e-commerce companies use influencer marketing to attract new customers. Third, e-commerce companies should use social media to engage with customers and build community. To market their products, engage with consumers, and get information, businesses may utilize Instagram and TikTok. E-commerce companies may partner with social media celebrities to boost sales (Ngah et al., 2022). Fourth, internet shops must provide prompt and excellent customer service. This may be done by offering live chat, email, and phone assistance and responding quickly and clearly. Many e-commerce websites now offer FAQ sections and chatbots to help customers resolve concerns.

Finally, online retailers should make their shipping and return procedures easy to understand and use. Providing convenient and straightforward return policies and several delivery alternatives (including fast and same-day) can help accomplish this goal. Customers are likelier to use a platform communicating its delivery and return rules. To improve the online shopping experience for locals between 18 and 25, e-commerce sites should prioritize the mobile user experience, diversify their product offerings, utilize social media platforms, provide excellent customer service, and guarantee straightforward and convenient delivery and return policies. E-commerce companies may develop their businesses by applying these guidelines, boosting consumer engagement and loyalty while drawing in new customers.


Anand, T., Ramachandran, J., Sambasivan, M., & Batra, G. S. (2019). Impact of hedonic motivation on consumer satisfaction towards online shopping: Evidence from Malaysia. E-Service Journal11(1), 56-88.

Ayuni, R. F. (2019). The online shopping habits and e-loyalty of Gen Z as natives in the digital era. Journal of Indonesian Economy and Business34(2), 168.

Chen, Z., & Tan, A. (2021). Exploring the circular supply chain to reduce plastic waste in Singapore. LogForum17(2), 271-286.

Melović, B., Šehović, D., Karadžić, V., Dabić, M., & Ćirović, D. (2021). Determinants of Millennials’ behavior in online shopping–Implications on consumers’ satisfaction and e-business development. Technology in society65, 101561.

Ngah, A. H., Bandar, N. F. A., Awi, N. A., Eneizan, B., & Alshannag, F. M. (2022). The Mediation Effect of Online Shopping Habits on Personality Traits and Intention to Recommend; the Covid-19 Effect. International Journal of Business and Society23(1), 188-206.

Rangaswamy, E., Nawaz, N., & Changzhuang, Z. (2022). The impact of digital technology on changing consumer behaviors with special reference to the home furnishing sector in Singapore. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications9(1), 1–10.

Tran, V. D. (2020). The relationship among product risk, perceived satisfaction, and purchase intentions for online shopping. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics, and Business7(6), 221–231.

Yang, Z., Van Ngo, Q., Chen, Y., Nguyen, C. X. T., & Hoang, H. T. (2019). Does ethics perception foster consumer repurchase intention? Role of trust, perceived uncertainty, and shopping habit. Sage Open9(2), 2158244019848844.


Online Survey Questionnaire

Demographic Information:

  1. What is your gender?
  • Male
  • Female
  • Other
  1. What is your current educational level?
  • Secondary school or lower
  • Pre-university or equivalent
  • Polytechnic diploma or equivalent
  • University undergraduate or equivalent
  • University postgraduate or equivalent

Online Shopping Habits: 3. Which e-commerce sites are you most active on?

  • Lazada
  • Shopee
  • Amazon
  • Taobao
  • Qoo10
  • Others (Please specify)
  1. Which device do you usually use to make online purchases?
  • Smartphone
  • Laptop/Computer
  • Tablet
  1. How frequently do you make online purchases in a month?
  • Less than once a month
  • 1-2 times a month
  • 3-5 times a month
  • More than 5 times a month
  1. How much do you spend on online purchases in a month?
  • Less than $50
  • $50-$100
  • $100-$200
  • $200-$500
  • More than $500
  1. What types of items do you usually buy online?
  • Fashion items (clothes, shoes, accessories)
  • Electronics (smartphones, laptops, cameras)
  • Home appliances (kitchenware, vacuum cleaners, etc.)
  • Beauty products (makeup, skincare)
  • Groceries and household items
  • Others (Please specify)
  1. Which types of items would you not buy online? Why?
  • Fashion items
  • Electronics
  • Home appliances
  • Beauty products
  • Groceries and household items
  • Others (Please specify)
  1. Do you prefer online shopping to physical shopping? Why?
  • Yes
  • No
  • It depends
  1. What would be your preferred payment method when buying online?
  • Credit/Debit card
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash on delivery
  1. What are the problems you have faced when making online purchases?
  • Security concerns
  • Delivery issues (delayed, lost, damaged items)
  • Product quality issues
  • Payment issues
  • Customer service issues
  • Others (Please specify)
  1. Other relevant questions:
  • How did you first learn about online shopping?
  • Have you ever had a negative experience with online shopping? Please explain.
  • Do you think online shopping will continue to grow in popularity in the future? Why or why not?

Thank you for participating in this survey! Your responses will help us better understand the online shopping habits and preferences of residents in Singapore between the ages of 18-25.

Survey Results


The survey was conducted online, and 15 residents of Singapore aged between 18-25 years were selected as respondents. The respondents were selected randomly, and care was taken to ensure that they represented a diverse group in terms of gender and educational level. The survey questionnaire consisted of 11 questions, and the respondents were required to answer them truthfully and to the best of their knowledge.


Demographic details: The survey results revealed that 60% of the respondents were female, while 40% were male. In terms of educational level, 47% had completed tertiary education, while 53% were still studying.

E-commerce sites: When asked about the e-commerce sites they were most active on, the respondents mentioned several platforms, including Lazada (60%), Shopee (40%), Qoo10 (33%), and Amazon (13%).

Preferred device for making online purchases: Over 73% of the respondents indicated that they used their smartphones to make online purchases, while only 16% used desktops and 11% used tablets.

Frequency of online purchases: The survey found that 73% of the respondents made online purchases at least once a month, while 27% made purchases less frequently.

Amount spent on online purchases: The majority of the respondents (80%) spent between $50 to $150 on online purchases each month, while 20% spent more than $150.

Types of items bought online: The survey revealed that the most common items purchased online were clothing and accessories (87%), electronics (47%), and beauty products (33%).

Types of items not bought online and why: When asked about the types of items they would not buy online, 53% of the respondents indicated that they would not purchase food items due to concerns about freshness and quality. Others stated that they preferred to see and touch certain items before buying them, such as furniture and household items.

Preference for online shopping: Over 80% of the respondents preferred online shopping to physical shopping. The main reasons cited were convenience (87%), time-saving (80%), and the ability to compare prices easily (60%).

Preferred payment method: When asked about their preferred payment method when buying online, 80% of the respondents stated that they used credit cards, while 20% preferred e-wallets such as GrabPay and PayLah!.

Challenges faced when making online purchases: The most common challenges faced by the respondents when making online purchases were late delivery (53%), wrong or damaged items (40%), and difficulty in returning items (33%).


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