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Online Grocery Purchasing Up 10% In Past Year Among Singaporeans Amidst Burgeoning Ecommerce Scene

Singapore, SG, 26 November 2018 – Online purchasing of packaged groceries among Singaporeans alone has grown by 10% in the past year, with an increase in consumers’ confidence within the online buying ecosystem leading to purchasing in a broader range of categories, according to a new report by global measurement company, Nielsen.

The 2018 Nielsen Connected Commerce Report, which looked at consumers’ online purchasing habits, reported that 95% of global consumers who have access to the internet have made a purchase online, up 1% vs 2017 and up 2% compared to 2016. The report also revealed 26% of digital consumers purchased fresh groceries online, an increase of 15% between 2016 and 2018, which is contributing to overall FMCG e-commerce growth, which Nielsen estimates increased by around US$70 billion globally in the past two years.

In Singapore, durable and service-oriented categories led the way in self-reported online purchasing. Stalwart e-commerce categories travel, fashion and event ticketing continued to account for the largest proportion of online transactions (73%, 59% and 47% of locals respectively purchased within the category). Meanwhile, the categories posting the most significant growth in e-commerce activity include packaged groceries, where 28% of online consumers said they made a purchase (up 10% vs 2017), fashion (up 7% vs 2017) and restaurant deliveries (up 6% vs 2017). 

“The trajectory of e-commerce categories in Singapore has followed similar evolutionary paths in markets around the world,” observed Johan Vrancken, Managing Director, Nielsen Singapore. “Categories such as travel, entertainment and durable goods are the forerunners for exploratory consumers to delve into the online retail sphere. As confidence in online purchasing grows, consumers are also looking towards an increasing range of categories to fulfil their immediate needs for convenience and ease, evident by the increased uptake of online grocery and food delivery purchases over the recent years.”    

Singaporeans were also more open to purchase packaged and fresh groceries online when they were offered certain purchasing options and quality assurances. Close to three in five (59%) respondents highlighted that a money back guarantee for products not matching what was ordered would encourage them to buy online. A further 49% of locals were enticed by same day product replacement service for products not available, while 45% were looking for free delivery services for purchases above a minimum spend.

“With the blurring lines between offline and online retail channels, it is no longer sufficient to think in terms of merely bricks versus clicks: bricks-and-clicks have become the current and future retail reality” said Raymond Cheung, Head of Retailer Vertical, Nielsen Singapore. “The shopper journey has become more complex, with winning brands and retailers being the ones that are constantly engaging their consumers effectively along the various touchpoints, both online and offline.” 


The Nielsen Connected Commerce report provides an understanding of the global connected consumer, shopping traits, category evolution and barriers to identify future growth prospects. It identifies the top online categories and changes in category penetration, along with online purchasing behavior and consumers’ expectations from an online shopping experience. The insights will assist FMCG companies in formulating strategies to enhance consumers shopping experiences in the digital world.

About Nielsen

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Our approach marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. For more than 90 years Nielsen has provided data and analytics based on scientific rigor and innovation, continually developing new ways to answer the most important questions facing the media, advertising, retail and fast-moving consumer goods industries. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit



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