Surekha Ragavan
Aug 31, 2020

Singaporeans value on-demand services in the convenience economy

ASIA’S TOP 1000 BRANDS: Netflix and Amazon soar in rankings as they strive to contest with local and regional providers.

Singaporeans value on-demand services in the convenience economy

WE WANT IT ALL, WE WANT IT NOW

In a country where speed and efficiency are simply a given, it’s no surprise that on-demand services continue to surge in Singapore's top 100 brands rankings.

“Consumers around the world are increasingly shifting to a ‘now’ economy and Singapore is no exception,” says Alex Woodford, vice president, client partner, APAC at Essence. “For many consumers, the time and energy spent physically going to stores or waiting for one’s favourite TV show may be better spent doing something more meaningful and important.”

He adds that consumers’ trust in the delivery of on-demand services has also increased due to huge advancements in mobile technology from user interface to seamless payments and supplier fulfilment.

This year, Netflix gained 72 spots to 63rd place, one of the biggest jumps in the overall list. The streaming platform seemed to have done all the right things to earn its place in Singapore. A deluge of locally produced films and series? Check. Teaming up with a local telco provider to offer entertainment packages? Check. A high-profile reality series that peddles a sparkly fantasy of Singapore? Check. It’s no wonder that Netflix is the most popular SVoD service in Singapore by a significant margin, according to Dataxu research.

“Netflix has long stood by producing and streaming content that attracts and retains audiences. An uptick in Netflix’s performance marketing efforts has been observed, which is no surprise given the recent unprecedented conditions being apt for consumption of their service,” says Woodford.

“And while many original productions were cancelled or put on hold due to safe distancing measures, Netflix’s large repository of both classic and contemporary content provided respite to people in the safety and comforts of their homes. Netflix as a service has become more relevant to people’s lives in 2020, and the addition of over 100 Singapore films and television series will further leverage this alignment to deliver growth among local consumers.”

Also a winner this year is Amazon which still faces tough competition among regional and local competitors such as Shopee, iHerb, Qoo10 and Lazada. Woodford says that Amazon’s competition is considerably ahead in volumes and usage, but it’s only a question of time before the playing field is more level.

“Consumers’ brand awareness of Amazon is likely enormous, but their consideration levels will have fluctuated due to a relatively shaky start in Singapore,” says Woodford. 

“As such, Amazon is unlikely to be thought of as an ‘old faithful’ ecommerce platform in Singapore for the time being. For more established players like Lazada, Shopee and Qoo10, consumers in Singapore generally understand what each brand stands for, and which platform to use for what kind of product. For Amazon, it is not yet fully clear and as such, it may be deemed less integral to local consumers.”

But Woodford adds that Amazon’s high brand awareness has boosted the brand locally as it progressively gains clout in Singapore. “Amazon’s ability to increase SKUs and fulfil orders through a seamless app experience is paying off. It has successfully delivered since the start of Singapore’s circuit breaker, on par with the competition, and its service has become a must-have rather than a nice-to-have for some consumers. The rise of Amazon’s ranking indicates that consumers are now seeing Amazon as a legitimate player in Singapore,” he says.

But would on-demand services threaten legacy local services such as FairPrice?

Woodford conveys a message of hope amid the incredible choice and speed in Singapore: “Leveraging existing brand equity and ensuring that products are best-in-class will help see a positive future for FairPrice and brands in that position.”

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