- 88% of Singaporean consumers are keen to try new super app features
- 62% of Singaporeans are open to making purchases using voice commands
- 46% Singaporeans are using digital banking services and expect the banking sector to offer a seamless experience that integrates physical and digital channels
- More than half of Singaporeans are willing to trade data for a personalized experience, but expect incentives and discounts in return
Digitalization is revolutionizing the payment industry and impacting the way Singaporeans interact with businesses. However, digitalization is no longer sufficient, according to findings from a study commissioned by Wirecard, the global innovation leader for digital financial technology. The Six Digital Megatrends Report, conducted in partnership with Blackbox Research, shows that a secure and seamless experience is of utmost importance to Singapore consumers, with more than half of them willing to trade data for a personalized experience, but expecting incentives and discounts in return. The report identifies six digital megatrends in Singapore that are reshaping consumer behaviors and shares insightful recommendations about how businesses can optimize their operations to meet these needs. This report is the latest in Wirecard’s series of content focusing on a new age of retail.
“Our report shows that there is a gap between service experience and expectation across various sectors ranging from banking, travel and hospitality to food and beverage. Consumer behaviors are shifting due to technological advancements and recent changes in the economic landscape, and it is challenging for merchants to keep pace with their changing needs,” commented Eric Tan, General Manager, Singapore at Wirecard. “A customer-centric strategy that focuses on integrating digital and emerging technologies to create a frictionless experience is crucial for successful business growth. By using data to identify the gaps in their business, brands and retailers can offer a personalized, secure and unified journey that effectively engages with consumers across all touchpoints and channels, from research to payment.”
The six digital megatrends are:
- Rise in adoption of Super Apps
Super apps, which are stand-alone, multi-service mobile applications that enable users to perform several functions on a single platform, are valued by consumers today for the convenience and efficiency they offer. More than half of Singaporeans (53%) are current users, with a third (35%) keen on trying them this year. Singaporeans are practical consumers, using super apps to save time (72%) and money (69%). People are using super apps for specific purposes even though they offer a range of services, with the most used functions being for transport and food. The research also shows that 88% of Singaporeans are willing to give new app features a try such as ticketing (40%) and hotel bookings (37%).
Today, various industries including finance, healthcare and wellness are adopting the super app model to expand their existing market share. To retain their competitive edge over other players in the market, brands need to look at offer transactional capabilities, paired with a loyalty program across multiple services within a single app to offer their customers a seamless experience.
- A future enabled by voice assistants
Singaporeans are eager to adopt Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), such as Siri and Alexa. Of the 41% of Singaporeans who are aware of voice-enabled IVAs, 66% are current owners and active users. Majority (90%) expressed high levels of overall satisfaction with their experience. In our agile and evolving digital world where speed, efficiency and convenience are constantly optimized, IVA interfaces will quickly advance. Nearly 2 in 3 (62%) Singaporeans are eager to adopt this technology in their everyday lives. They want to use IVAs to control and monitor home utilities (76%), home and cybersurveillance (73%), and smart home devices (72%).
In an agile and evolving digital world where speed, efficiency and convenience are constantly optimized, IVA interfaces will quickly advance. Based on the Wirecard study, industries ranging from home automation to healthcare and banking should get ready to capitalize on this trend. Developing a proactive IVA strategy could soon become an essential requirement for businesses.
- Consumer experience will be at the epicenter of business transformation
Building customer loyalty is essential to maintaining brand competitiveness. Over 3 in 4 (78%) Singaporean consumers are likely to walk away from a brand as soon as they have a negative experience. In fact, experience has become such a focal point for consumers that 2 in 3 (60%) consumers are willing to pay more to receive exceptional service. Having quality products and services (61%) and competitive prices (58%) are the top two reasons to keep customers coming back.
In 2020, service will play a pivotal role in helping businesses exceed customer expectations that will enable brands to deliver exceptional experience and satisfaction. The study also highlights a gap between service delivery and customer expectations. Across the 11 sectors surveyed, there is a notable gap in healthcare (20%), banking (19%) and insurance (18%), but none of the sectors had managed to match or exceed consumer expectations.
To bridge the expectation-experience gap, brands need to understand what their customers need and redesign their services to meet their expectations. They also need to be more proactive in leveraging the power of technologies such as social media and digital technology to enhance their experience at every step of the customer journey.
- Frictionless omnichannel experience for customers
Singaporean consumers tend to move from one channel to another throughout their shopping journey. In our fast-moving society, consumers expect to be able to make their purchase anytime, anywhere. Majority of Singaporeans start by browsing or researching online (78%), before proceeding to purchase online (58%) or offline (42%). 74% of consumers prefer to have their products delivered to their homes or offices, while 54% prefer to return their purchases to a store.
Banking (46%) is the sector in which Singaporeans expect a seamless experience that integrates physical and digital channels. Nearly 1 in 2 respondents expressed a desire for a true omnichannel banking experience that would allow them to switch seamlessly between multiple channels.
In 2020, we expect to see an increasing number of businesses adopt a unified commerce approach that offers online-offline integration. In order to have an effective unified commerce strategy, businesses need to harness the power of big data to understand customer preferences that can enable them to deliver a seamless customer journey across multiple touchpoints.
- The power of incentives and cost-savings
More than half (52%) of Singaporean consumers are willing to share their data in return for a degree of personalization. This could include discounts (45%) and reward-based incentives for ideal conduct (39%). Key concerns for consumers around data include third party access (74%), data storage and management (70%) and becoming subjected to more marketing activity (60%).
Therefore, businesses need to harness the power of data to understand customer preferences that can enable them to deliver a seamless and personalized experience across multiple touchpoints. To do that, businesses need to strike a balance between a simplified user experience and security, ensuring that data is handled responsibly.
- New technologies will accelerate the adoption of digital payments
The vast majority of Singaporeans are already going cashless, with 60% using mobile wallets and a further 19% indicating that they want to use it in the next year. While only 14% of Singaporeans use voice-activated payments, 34% want to use the technology over the coming year, opening up new opportunities for digital payments. Social commerce adoption, which is the use of social media as a communication and e-commerce platform, is also set to grow from 28% to 32% throughout 2020.
As demand and usage grows, Singaporeans’ expectations for an integrated and secure payment platform will continue to evolve. Retailers need to rethink their payment processes to create a seamless experience for consumers, while payment providers should strike a balance between a simplified user experience and security.
The Six Digital Megatrends Report is based on the results of the Consumer Digital Outlook Survey carried out by Blackbox Research on behalf of Wirecard in February 2020. A total of 1,007 Singaporeans across all demographic groups were surveyed. For further insight and more information about Singaporean consumers’ attitudes, preferences and perceptions towards digitalization in various aspects of their everyday lives, download the Six Digital Megatrends Report.
Wirecard is constantly exploring new and emerging trends affecting the payments industry. The recent Singapore report complements Wirecard’s Retail 2020 survey which explains why technology is such an important part of new shopping experiences. In the new age of retail, retailers need to rethink their usage of new technologies and payment solutions to create a seamless, simplified, and secure experience for consumers. For more information about the digital future of retail, visit our landing page.