Before setting up a business in Singapore, one of the key factors that you should consider is the country’s consumer market. As you create your new product or service offering, you should be able to identify the businesses and individuals that have the potential to avail your products and services. This includes knowing how they perceive brands, what influences them to make a purchase, and what the emerging consumer trends in the region are.
In the past years, a “one size fits all” strategy has worked well for many companies. Nowadays, the game is rapidly changing. In a market where brands are competing head-to-head, product offerings should be tailored-fit to a country’s local landscape. To help you gain more insights on the Singaporean market, we have rounded up a number of attributes and emerging marketing trends to give you a head start.
Income and Expenditure
Based on the statistics report released by the Singapore Ministry of Manpower (MOM) last June 2015, the 2014 median income of employed and self-employed residents in the city-state amounts to $3,770.
In terms of expenditure, Singaporeans spend most of their income on utilities (20.4%), followed by recreation and culture (13.3%) and transport (13.1%). This is based on data from the Economic Statistics Branch of the United Nations Statistics Division.
Psychographics is the analysis of your target market’s lifestyle in order to create a profile and is made up of a consumer group’s attitudes, interests, values, and opinions. By using psychographics, businesses can reach their market by gaining an ultimate understanding of consumer profile—what catches their attention, what drives them to purchase, and what makes them loyal to a product or a brand.
Singapore is comprised of well-educated and well-travelled consumers originating from different parts of the world. The purchase cycle here is much longer than its western counterpart and business does not happen overnight. For Singaporeans, networking and building a good business relationship is important in doing business and especially in making business decisions. For startup companies to successfully penetrate the market, a huge investment in forging a satisfactory relationship should be given utmost consideration.
Singaporeans are open to try out new products and services, but retain loyalty to brands that they are already familiar with. If you are a new entrant, you should be able to have a foot in the door by creating a very appealing offer such as lowered prices, as bargaining is a widely-accepted trait in the region.
Connie Cheng, the Executive Director of Nielsen’s Shopper Practice in Southeast Asia, North Asia, and Pacific stated in an interview said that the traditional norms are being redefined by the modern Southeast Asian shopper. Before, shoppers are willing to make compromises as long as a product or service fits their budget. Today, however, consumers weigh in not only on the product or service price but also on the benefits that they will gain if they make a purchase.
Quality or Exclusivity?
Values of Asian consumers differ per country. In China, quality and exclusivity are two of the most highly-regarded attributes that influence a purchase. On the other hand, a lofty price point is an additional requirement for consumers based in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Advancements in digital technology are transforming consumerism in Singapore as more than half of the world’s smartphones are in the Asia Pacific region. This paves the way for disruptive innovation in terms of sales and marketing channels.
80% of Singapore’s total population have an internet connection. All age brackets in Singapore use the internet, with 31% of them belonging to the 25-34 age range. Because of this, companies had to initiate digital marketing efforts and launch e-commerce platforms in order to increase the chance of reaching their target market.
The smartphone market in Singapore is well-developed which made digital integration a go-to marketing initiative. This allows for brands to reach and engage millennial consumers through user conversations and branded content.
You can take advantage of the various advertising channels in Singapore depending on your budget. Television is the most popular advertising medium in the country, but it is also the most expensive as almost all households in Singapore have their own television sets.
Alternative above the line advertising media that are available in the country are print media, transit media, and radio, which is the least expensive marketing channel. In terms of emerging channels, internet advertising is also experiencing rapid growth as a means of reaching consumers.
One of the most common mistakes that businesses commit is assuming that a single formula would work across all markets. For your sales to soar, you should make an effort to get to know your consumers and strategize based on insights that you have gathered.