OOm’s Wyvan Xu on Online Shopping: Is it the more value-for-money option?

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October 2020, Singapore — On its 26th episode, Talking Point by MediaCorp covered the topic on rampant online shopping in Singapore since the pandemic outbreak. As a digital marketing expert with more than 10 years of consulting experience, Wyvan Xu was invited to give his professional opinion with regards to the value of online and offline shopping. In the documentary, a challenge that involved an online and offline shopper was set up. They were tasked to shop for the same products to find out which platform is more value-for-money. In the challenge, although the overall spend for online shopping is lesser, the experience of a purchase may sometimes take precedence over the value. For instance, certain items such as diapers are more cost-saving as they can be purchased online in bulk, but in the case of perishables, some who like the experience of selecting the freshest produce might prefer to make their purchases in-store.



Concluding the challenge, Xu shared: “For non perishable products, it’s better to shop online because there’s a lot of different platforms and marketplaces where you can get different discounts, vouchers, and other perks.”


In the documentary, it was shared that discounts and vouchers are some of the advantages of purchasing online, especially when buying in bulk or via group buys. That is also one of the main reasons why consumers today prefer to make purchases online.


The Pandemic and Online Shopping

According to the documentary, eCommerce has doubled in Singapore since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

When the pandemic started, the majority of Singapore’s population stayed at home most of the time due to tele-communicating or suspended operations. As such, people prefer to do online shopping to reduce contact with others. Since people were staying at home for longer hours than usual, they also tend to make more non-essential purchases that are beyond their basic necessities.


Business owners made use of the opportunity to either put up eCommerce stores on their websites or listed themselves on various eCommerce marketplaces such as Shopee or Lazada so that they can reach a larger group of audience.


Are you where the consumers are?

When the pandemic started, eCommerce had a major boost. However, this is more than just a trend. Even before the pandemic started, eCommerce was already playing a substantial role in consumerism with the launch of various eCommerce platforms and the creation of onsite eCommerce features for ease of shopping. The pandemic happened to accelerate the adoption of digital usage worldwide and there are no signs that it will dip anytime soon. So only one question remains: Is your business ready?


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