Challenger continues to dominate the local electronics retail scene, as far as our readers are concerned that is. With 34% of votes, they continue to be your electronics chain store of choice. Now Challenger has won this category for eight years straight. And this year’s win would technically make it the ninth year in a row. However, as we’ve seen some shift in the ways consumers shop as well as the expansion of electronics products carried in both physical retail and online stores, we’ve re-evaluated some of our award categories in this segment. The Best Electronics Chain Store (Singapore) award used to be called Best Consumer Electronics Chain Store (Singapore). Yes, we know, it is semantics, but it is an important distinction.
The Best Lifestyle Home Appliances Chain Store award makes a return this year. It was first introduced in 2019 but removed in the 2020 edition of Tech Awards because we felt the categories overlapped. However, while we understood that you could purchase a laptop in both Challenger and Courts (that’s why these brands are also represented in the Best Electronics Chain Store category), the rapid expansion of smart and connected appliances meant that there were some things you just can’t get at a regular electronics store such as your robot vacuum cleaners or a smart fridge (like Samsung's Family hub). You can think of our classification rationale as this. These are the stores you go to when you’re shopping for your home, not yourself. And with 39% of votes, our readers have chosen Courts as the Best Lifestyle Home Appliance Chain Store in Singapore.
In one of the most dynamic categories of our Readers’ Choice awards, it’s been really interesting to see which e-commerce platform has managed to innovate and remain relevant. In as little as four years ago, Qoo10 was the runaway winner in our 2017 Tech Awards for this category. In 2018, Lazada grew to prominence and Shopee didn’t even register on our charts then. In 2019 and 2020 editions of the Tech Awards, Lazada continued to be the clear leader, while Qoo10’s vote share dropped from 24% to 9%. Shopee on the other hand grew from 7% in 2019 to 27% votes this year, overtaking Lazada as your new favourite Electronics Shopping Portal. We believe that Shopee’s colloquial marketing efforts have resonated with our readers more than Lazada’s international approach. For example, in 2020’s 11.11 campaigns, Shopee tapped into local comedians and characters, while Lazada banked on Korean celebrities.
E-commerce really enjoyed a boom in 2020 as online shopping became something of a necessity for everyone stuck at home and shopping rebates have become another piece of the puzzle in the e-commerce journey. We started this category only last year, and with 61% of total votes ShopBack continues to enjoy being the primary rebate service as voted by our readers. Now, many of the major e-commerce apps like Shopee and Lazada have integrated their own memberships, point and rebate systems, including regular games and activities, and digital wallet apps such as Google Pay have started to take notice of this category, offering direct cashback rebates to entice users. It would certainly be interesting to see where this category will be in the next few years. And since you’re reading this, here’s a little self plug. You can also check out coupons.hardwarezone.com.sg for some of the latest coupon codes and offers while you’re at it. Yes, that's right, we even have coupons on our own site.