Live-Streaming Captures Singapore’s Attention Amidst Online Shopping Growth

Fresh insights from Meltwater and Shopee reveal how consumer behaviour and online commerce evolved in Singapore through pandemic-riddled 2020

As COVID-19 accelerated the shift to online shopping, one format emerged the winner: live-streaming.

Insights from media intelligence firm Meltwater found that conversations around live streams and gamification of the online shopping experience in Singapore increased by a whopping 1890% on forums and social media – and are continuing to rise consistently since March. In fact, since the start of the pandemic, Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, noted a 40x increase in the number of live streams from brands and sellers in Singapore who sought to virtually connect and deepen engagement with their customers.

In Singapore, more users continued to shop online this year for a growing number of product categories amidst government directives to stay at home. Overall, social and media chatter around online shopping in Singapore increased by 235% in 2020 as compared to last year – with the biggest jump in conversations during the circuit breaker period in April and May.

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Home furniture and essentials were among the most talked-about product categories, with conversations spiking between April and June, especially on forums such as HardwareZone. Similarly, chatter around fitness and yoga equipment also peaked during Singapore’s circuit breaker, as did demand, with Shopee reporting a 200x jump in fitness equipment sales, and 75x increase in yoga equipment sales.

With more people depending on e-commerce this year, Shopee also saw an increase in time spent in-app. Singapore-based users spent an average of 40% more time on Shopee per week, with an increase in social interactions – over 200,000 messages were sent daily on average as consumers interact directly with brands and sellers.

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Mimrah Mahmood, Senior Director & Partner at Meltwater Asia Pacific, said: “Although the pandemic situation in Singapore seems to have stabilised for now, it’s clear that the prevalence of online shopping is a shift that’s here to stay. This presents a massive opportunity for ecommerce platforms and merchants to look for ways in which they can continue to attract and engage customers remotely. Live streaming has proved to be an extremely useful tool in this regard – and that is driving its growth across Singapore and the region.”

Zhou Junjie, Chief Commercial Officer at Shopee, said: “The pandemic has undoubtedly led to deep, irreversible changes in the way consumers shop today. It has accelerated the need for brands and sellers to go beyond transactional experiences, as consumers increasingly demand greater personalisation, engagement, and social interaction when shopping online. At Shopee, we are dedicated to staying ahead of buyer trends by constantly innovating and evolving our suite of in-app features – this includes Shopee Live, Shopee Feed, and Shopee Games – in order to provide all our users with the best shopping experience possible.

As e-commerce continues to gain greater significance in the lives of consumers, we remain committed to working closely with our sellers and brand partners, empowering them to build robust online retail strategies primed for success in the new normal.”

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