Singapore, 22 July 2010 – According to Experian Hitwise, a leading online competitive intelligence service, Singapore Internet users have shown great interest
in mobile phones, topping the list of electronics search terms by product type at 49.6% in the 24 weeks ending 26 June 2010. In the same period, computers and hardware products stood out as another area of interest for Singaporeans, ranking second with 40.7% share of search traffic.
Local interest around these specific consumer electronics product categories in the first half of 2010 were closely linked to the occurrence of annual events including the Great Singapore Sale and major IT tradeshows - IT Show and PC Show, which offered consumers superb deals and discounts on mobile phones, and computer and hardware products.
The global launch of the iPad in the first half of 2010 also captured the interest of local consumers, with “iPad” ranking as the fourth most popular electronics search term within the Ebook readers category (Source: Experian Hitwise Singapore). Ebook readers accounted for 4.8% of search terms by product type, far outranking other consumer product categories like audio (1.8%), GPS (0.8%) and video (0.5%).
“Electronics retailers keen to increase their level of influence among local consumers can leverage search data to track product types that are top-of-mind amongst consumers when developing website content. This helps forecasting product demand leading up to peak shopping periods like the Great Singapore Sale and around major consumer IT events like the IT Show and PC Show,” said Graeme Beardsell, Vice President, Asia Pacific, Experian.
In an examination of the Top 10 Shopping – Electronics websites visited by local Internet users, it was apparent that Apple’s global branding and marketing strategies worked well with Singaporean consumers, with the Apple Store being the only global website in the list of top five websites visited by Singaporeans in June 2010. Together, the top five electronics websites, all retailers of mobile phones or computer / hardware products collectively accounted for 42.2% of traffic generated by Singapore Internet users.
Apple’s success in product marketing is further cemented by the fact that “iPhone 4G” was the most popular mobile term searched by Singaporeans, with search traffic spiking 270% in the week ending 12 June 2010 leading up to its global launch (Source: Experian Hitwise Singapore).
Ample online market opportunities available for Singapore retailers
Data from the study of Top 10 Shopping – Electronics websites visited by Singapore Internet users also revealed that a Hong Kong gadget website, Deal Extreme, enjoyed high levels of growth in the past year, with an increase in market share of visits by 73.1% amongst all websites by Singapore Internet users. In addition, various overseas electronics websites accounted for 39% of traffic to electronics websites, representing an opportunity for Singapore vendors to grab further market share (Source: Experian Hitwise Singapore).
“When planning competitive online marketing strategies, Singapore retailers need to be mindful of both the local and overseas competitive pressure that the Internet
creates,” said Graeme. “In order to successfully leverage the online medium as a channel to increase sales and gain visibility with their target audience, local retailers may need seek lessons on what may work well for Singaporeans from foreign websites like Deal Extreme. Investing accordingly to gain and maintain a strong online presence.”
Search engines remained the predominant navigation channel for Singapore Internet users to reach Electronics retail websites, accounting for 27.7% of referral traffic in June 2010, up 11.8% year over year. Google Singapore was identified as the major search engine representing 18.9% of upstream clicks. While Facebook was identified as the major social network, trailing behind in second and representing 5.9% of upstream clicks, referral traffic from social networking sites and forums grew at a much faster rate, increasing 21% year over year to represent 18.5% of referral traffic in June 2010 (Source: Experian Hitwise Singapore)
Experian Hitwise also identified Singapore HardwareZone Community as one of top five referring websites to Shopping – Electronics websites, highlighting the importance of review and technical websites to Singaporeans in their online purchasing cycle.
“Given that search engines are a vital navigation channel to retail websites, website owners should ensure their content is easily found through search engine optimization,” said Graeme. “In addition, word-of-mouth and peer recommendations are key to product research. Retailers should actively foster online fan groups and brand advocates as social networking sites, review websites and blogs become increasingly important in the purchasing cycle.”