Singapore is one of the most digitally-mature societies in Asia, with high internet penetration rates and good access to high-speed internet. There is a high uptake of digital services such as e-commerce among its population. The use of e-commerce was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even after the pandemic restrictions have been fully lifted, e-commerce usage is expected to remain high, buoyed by the convenience afforded by online shopping, as well as the increasing popularity of new models of digital commerce.
Growth and diversity in Singapore’s e-commerce market
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore's e-commerce gross merchandise volume more than doubled as people turned to digital services in the face of lockdowns. Consumers also reported shopping online more during the pandemic, as retail outlets were closed or limited the number of customers allowed on their premises. In 2022, Singapore lifted all pandemic-related restrictions, opening up physical stores and malls to shoppers once again. However, digital commerce is now embedded in the way Singaporeans shop.
Emerging trends in e-commerce
The e-commerce landscape has long evolved from traditional e-commerce websites and marketplaces, incorporating trends in digital content consumption and utilizing popular forms of online media for commerce. Social media sites such as Instagram and TikTok have been especially conducive for e-commerce, with influencers and brands endorsing and selling products directly on their channels. Live streaming has significantly increased in popularity during the pandemic, as it allows sellers and customers to engage directly with each other.
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Research expert covering Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia