Over the past four years, it’s undeniable that the world’s economy has been through some major ups and downs with COVID-19, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and trade wars. These events have had a big impact on consumers all over the world, and Singapore is no exception.
However, there are always ways for business owners to adapt and get ahead of the latest consumer trends. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through some of the top consumer trends in Singapore in 2024 that you should keep in mind for your strategic planning.
The Era of Conscious Consumer Behavior
According to the Mastercard Economics Institute (MEI), Singapore’s consumer spending is expected to grow at a slower rate of 2.8% next year. This slowdown is attributed to inflationary pressures. Consumers will highly likely spend less, which is a decrease from the 3.5% growth rate observed in 2023. The good news is even with a decline in consumers’ purchasing power, we can expect 2.87% growth of Singapore’s economy in 2024, compared to the 0.9% recorded in 2023 driven by external trade.
This will contribute to a greater amount of disposable income flowing into the economy, maintaining its stability. Singaporeans, overall, cut their spending by 5% on travel and entertainment but increased it by 4.5% on groceries. Similarly, wealthier individuals reduced spending on travel and entertainment by 2% and bumped up their grocery expenses by 2.1%.
What Does That Mean to Business Owners?
Since consumers will be more hesitant to spend on non-essential items, this means that consumers will become more mindful of their spending and prioritise purchases that add value and align with their personal values. Brands will need to re-evaluate their marketing and branding strategies to address the concerns of conscious consumers. Brands can appeal to this trend by being transparent about their sourcing and production methods and maintaining fair pricing.
In a nutshell, we can say that Singaporean consumer trends will be leaning towards consuming products or services that align with their current needs, such as groceries, health and wellness, and home improvement. As remote work continues to be the norm, businesses in the online market, such as e-commerce and delivery services, can expect to see more growth in 2024.
Shift in Grocery and Food Shopping Habits
Singaporean consumers are no strangers to e-commerce, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping in the grocery and FMCG (Fast-moving consumer goods) sectors continue to rise. With the convenience of ordering groceries and food online, consumers are convinced to continue to access a variety of options while avoiding crowded supermarkets. This trend will likely continue in 2024 as Singaporeans are expected to spend more on their daily essential items.
Traditional grocery retailers will need to adapt to these changes as e-commerce continues to be a growing trend in Singapore. Therefore, it’s recommended for retailers to have an online presence to stay competitive in the market. Effective online marketing and promotions can help attract consumers looking for deals and discounts and provide a seamless shopping experience. Singaporean consumers now tend to rely on the convenience of placing grocery orders through the official websites of leading Singaporean supermarket chains like NTUC Fairprice, Sheng Siong, RedMart, Shopee, and many others.
Customers Want Transparency with AI
The fact that Singaporean consumers are now more focused on making meaningful and informed purchasing decisions leads to a growing need for personalised experiences. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping businesses serve their consumers faster, smarter, and more accurately. AI is to be increasingly integrated into retail processes, such as chatbots for customer support. 78% of customers in Singapore expect consistent interactions across departments, and 76% expect to interact with someone immediately when they contact a company.
In a recent report by Salesforce, in Singapore, 87% of customers say it’s important for them to be aware if they’re communicating with artificial intelligence (AI) or a human. Therefore, it’s important for brands and business owners to build trust with consumers by being transparent about the use of AI in their processes to make sure customers feel comfortable and secure.
Online Payment is the Preferred Method
Now, over 90% of stores in Singapore, which is more than 210,000 places, accept SGQR, a type of digital payment wallet in Singapore. As more businesses make the shift towards cashless payments, the adoption of digital wallets and payment services such as PayNow and PayLah! is also expected to continue to rise in 2024. This shift in consumer behaviour is also driven by the convenience and safety of contactless payments, especially amid the pandemic. In order to stay on top of the cashless trend, business owners should ensure that they have platforms in place to accept these forms of payments, providing seamless transactions for their customers.
Utilising open banking solutions can also facilitate digital payments for businesses. Open banking allows for faster, more secure and convenient transactions, as well as providing businesses with greater access to customer data which can help inform their business strategies.
Electronics and Gadgets Keep Booming
Looking ahead, the forecast for Singapore’s 2024 Consumer Electronics Sales is growing gradually, given the tech-savvy landscape and high demand for gadgets and accessories. Also, the increasing amount of remote work and entertainment at home is also expected to contribute to the growth in sales of electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Online retail channels for electronic products have significantly expanded in Singapore, offering a wide variety of products and competitive prices. However, physical stores remain the preferred purchasing channels for electronic products, as they offer consumers the opportunity to physically interact with products before making a purchase.
Businesses can take advantage of the increasing demand for electronics in Singapore by ensuring they have a strong online presence, with a user-friendly website, fast delivery services, and competitive pricing to meet customers’ needs. Offering promotions and deals on popular electronic products and creating an omnichannel shopping experience to cater to both online and offline customers can also be beneficial for businesses.
Health and Wellness Take Priority
The pandemic has brought about a greater awareness and emphasis on health and wellness, and this trend is expected to continue in 2024. Companies in the health and wellness sector, such as fitness studios, supplement providers, and healthy food providers, will likely see an increase in demand for their products and services. Singaporeans are increasingly prioritising their physical and mental well-being, making it a top trend for businesses to capitalize on.
Adapting to this trend by communicating and supporting mental and physical health initiatives through marketing campaigns and offering virtual and in-person services can help businesses cater to the needs of conscious consumers. Providing education and resources on health and wellness can also be an effective way to engage with customers and build brand loyalty.
Final Thoughts on Singaporean Consumer Trends 2024
As we look towards the future, it’s important for businesses to stay informed of Singaporean Consumer Trends to stay competitive and continue to grow. By understanding and adapting to these trends, businesses can better cater to the needs and preferences of their customers, building strong relationships and driving success.
Make sure to keep these trends in mind as you plan and strategize for your business in 2024. And don’t forget to take advantage of innovative digital payment solutions like DSGPay to provide a seamless and safe transaction experience for your customers. With DSGPay, you can accept a variety of payment methods and enjoy low transaction fees, making it easier for your business to thrive in an ever-changing market. So why wait? Get ahead of the game and start using DSGPay today!