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The e-commerce market in Singapore is expected to be worth US$5.4 billion (S$7.46 billion) by 2025. With one of the highest internet penetration rates in the region at 82%, Singapore will continue to lead the way in Southeast Asia.

The arrival of Amazon into Southeast Asia, starting with Singapore last month, was met with overwhelming demand for their Prime Now service. Also, CapitaLand announced last Wednesday (Aug 23) their strategic alliance with China’s Alibaba to manage its new Shanghai headquarters and launch an online mall on Lazada Singapore.

In the midst of this highly contested market, iPrice has released their first interactive e-commerce study, comparing 31 e-commerce websites in Singapore. Users can filter e-commerce information based on different parameters such as traffic (based on SimilarWeb), application downloads, and social media followers.

The data was gathered from April to July 2017.

Here are four interesting findings.

1. Qoo10 is the King of Singapore E-commerce Traffic

The king of e-commerce in Singapore in terms of traffic is Qoo10 with 8.4m average monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb. The Giosis owned ecommerce site recorded nearly double the traffic of Alibaba-backed Lazada. This maybe because Qoo10 established themselves in Singapore earlier than Lazada. Although Qoo10 reigns supreme in the traffic arena, there are other parameters that other e-commerce merchants stand strong on.

  • The highest number of Instagram followers is Love, Bonito (122,000 followers)
    Love, Bonito a local blogshop turned fashion retailer has the highest number of Instagram followers. This may be due to their social media strategy for acquiring customers predominantly through photos showcasing their line of clothing on the platform.
  • The highest number of Facebook followers is Lazada (18.1m followers)
    Despite Qoo10’s high traffic numbers, Lazada triumphs over them with the strongest Facebook base in Singapore.

Singapore is Qoo10’s second largest market in terms of users and sales performance after Japan. Qoo10 is the rebranded version of Gmarket which originated from South Korea. Qoo10 is also operating in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Also read: Amazon entry is an urgent wake-up call for Singapore retailers

An estimated 75% of Qoo10’s users are female, and their average age is 27. This demographic drives a significant majority of the business, as Qoo10 appeals due to its large listings in health, beauty, and fashion categories. This is largely different to Lazada’s popularity with electronic goods and gadgets.

2. Local players dominate the local scene

Out of the top 10, seven are local players. They are Lazada, EZBuy, Zalora, Shopee, Reebonz, Love, Bonito and Forty Two.

Lazada leads with 4.3 million average monthly visits, according to SimilarWeb. Lazada gained regional news back in April 2016 when Alibaba acquired controlling interest of the company for US$1 billion dollars. Alibaba has since invested another US$1 billion to up their stake to 83%. Most speculate this is largely to strengthen their presence in the region for the arrival of Amazon.

Although Lazada is second to Qoo10 in Singapore, they are the leader of e-commerce in Southeast Asia, namely Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia. Lazada only launched in Singapore in May 2014 almost 2 years after operating in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines.

EZBuy, formerly known as 65daigou, trails at third place with 2.2 million average monthly visits. EZBuy secured US$20 million in funding for their series B round in March 2016. Acting as a middleman, their website allows users to shop for items available in overseas online stores and handles everything from purchasing the items to shipping and importing them.

Fashion heavyweight Zalora comes at fifth place with 1.2 million average monthly visits. The fashion ecommerce store concentrated their effort on high potential, high growth markets like Indonesia and Singapore following the sale of their Thailand and Vietnam businesses.

The dominance of local players in Singapore may be largely due to the local advantage these brands have and their cultural sensitivity to consumer trends in the city state compared to international brands that take a global approach.

3. The Top 10 highest visited sites are general and fashion e-tailers

Based on traffic, the top 10 websites in Singapore are general-purpose and fashion.

General sites such as Qoo10 and Lazada are a mainstay across all other Southeast Asian countries as they serve to be a convenient one-stop site for online shoppers.

However, from the data, it can be deduced that Singaporean shoppers have a preference to go to fashion specific sites when shopping for clothes. Not to mention, that the fashion sites in the top 10 are all local.

Fashion veteran Zalora remains the highest visited fashion portal in Singapore and ranks in fifth place with 1.2m average monthly visits.

Reebonz, a luxury e-tailer, comes in at #7 with 588,000 average monthly visits.

And blogshop turned major local fashion brand Love, Bonito ranks at #9 with 296,000 average monthly visits.

Also read: Fashion e-commerce group iFashion to raise US$10M via IPO by end of 2017, pursuing a few more acquisitions

4. Local fashion brands dominate Instagram

The list of local ecommerce player who dominate Instagram are fashion sites.

Love, Bonito leads the pack with 122k followers. Love, Bonito was founded by Viola Tan, Rachel Lim and Velda Tan. The site was one of the early blogshops in Singapore and went on to win “Best Blog Shop” at the Asia-Pacific Blog Awards in 2009. It was initially called BonitoChico.

MDS Collections comes in second with 71k followers.

MGP The Label (which stands for My Glamour Place) comes in third with 44k followers.

It can be deduced that fashion and apparel e-tailers are the most followed on Instagram given that the nature of their business requires them to showcase their products visually in an aesthetically pleasing way.

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To learn more about the interactive content, please go to The Map of E-Commerce Singapore.

Featured Image Credit: 123RF Stock Photography