E-Commerce Sites Compete for Lowest Price: Where Should Singaporeans Do Their Online Shopping?

As competition between e-commerce platforms rises, product prices are set to fall.
E-Commerce Sites Compete for Lowest Price: Where Should Singaporeans Do Their Online Shopping?

It’s no secret that the outbreak of COVID-19 and the start of Singapore’s “stay-at-home” order caused many residents to change the way they operate, by replacing in-person activities with virtual ones. As a result, many e-commerce websites have seen an increase in customers, as more Singaporeans switch to online shopping. While brick-and-mortar stores have their benefits, online shopping comes with its own perks of cheaper prices due to lower operational costs and overhead. However, do all e-commerce sites provide the same great deals to their customers? To find out, the ValueChampion team explored how 4 of Singapore’s largest e-commerce platforms compare on price across 73 everyday products.

Key Findings

  • Qoo10 and Amazon consistently have the lowest prices across categories, costing 10.97% and 4.55% less on average than their competitors
  • Amazon dominates the household and food & drink categories, while Qoo10 dominates the electronics, games & puzzles, health, and literature categories.
  • While Shopee and Lazada are the most popular ecommerce sites in Singapore, Amazon's growth in SE Asia seems unstoppable, powered by its superior prices & Prime services (delivery, video, etc.).

"Smaller" Contenders Seem To Be The Cost Leaders

While Shopee & Lazada are the most popular e-commerce sites in Singapore, we found that they don't actually offer the cheapest prices. Instead, our data suggests that the less prominent e-commerce sites, Qoo10 and new entrant Amazon, provide some of the best deals to customers.

Average Cost of Products per Shopping Category Across 4- Major E-Commerce Sites in Singapore

Overall, Qoo10 had the cheapest prices on average out of all the e-commerce platforms we analysed, with 35 out of the 73 items being the cheapest. Prices were typically 10.97% cheaper than average. Amazon was the second cheapest platform, with 30 items that averaged 4.55% cheaper than average. In contrast, Singapore's most popular e-commerce site, Lazada, was 15.97% more expensive on average for the categories we analysed.

Certain Platforms Dominate Different Shopping Categories

While Qoo10 is generally the cheapest e-commerce site, there are still instances where you can find cheaper products on other platforms. For instance, while Qoo10 was the price leader in the electronics, health, games & puzzles and literature category, with prices ranging from 14.23% to 28.42% below average, Amazon specifically controlled the household and food & drink categories, with prices 10.14% to 11.08% below average.

Price Comparison of Popular Items in Each Shopping Category

ItemCategoryAmazonQoo10ShopeeLazada
Dasani Drinking Water, 1.5L (Pack of 12)Food & DrinkS$7.20S$10.16S$8.80S$7.60
Kleenex Ultra Soft Bath Tissue, 200ct (Pack of 20)HouseholdS$13.44S$14.72S$13.95S$13.44
Monopoly Classic GameGames & PuzzlesS$39.99S$29.16S$49.90S$39.80
Philips 4200 32PHT4233/98 32-Inch Slim LED TVElectronicsS$178.00S$135.19S$189.00S$160.00
Blackmores Odourless Fish Oil, 400ctHealthS$26.48S$14.54S$23.90S$47.99
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (Book)LiteratureS$25.73S$17.14S$25.80S$23.73
Listerine Mouthwash Total Care, 1000mlSelf-CareS$8.57S$11.08S$11.90S$11.90

What Does This Mean for Singapore's E-Commerce Landscape?

Looking forward, e-commerce platforms in Singapore will be looking to capitalize on this increase in online shopping activity. While the current market leader seems to be Lazada & Shopee, boasting an average of 8,241,667 and 10,150,000 visitors per month respectively, Amazon’s rapid traffic growth may be an indicator that the global e-commerce giant may cause a shake-up as consumers move towards platforms that provide the same goods for less. For instance, despite being the most recent entrant in Singapore’s e-commerce space, Amazon has aggressively climbed the ranks with a 61.02% increase in traffic since March 2020. Not only that, as we noted earlier last year, Amazon also provides superior consumer experience in not just price but also in its Prime subscription (i.e. faster delivery & Amazon Prime Video). Since Amazon is using Singapore as its foothold to jump deeper into the wider SE Asian region, the fact that it is growing successfully while providing superior prices & delivery is an encouraging sign for the company's future. On the other hand, both Lazada and Shopee may need to find new ways to pass down savings to their customers or to provide different value-adding elements.

Monthly Traffic For Singapore's Top E-Commerce Sites

Methodology

We collected the best selling products across different categories that were available on the top 4 e-commerce platforms in Singapore. The products included in this study were limited to items that were mutually available on all 4 sites. We then refined our list of data so that each product shared the same quantity, weight, and/or model number to ensure that the data was being accurately compared. This process left us with 73 products spanning over 7 different shopping categories. Once the data was collected and sorted, we analysed who had the cheapest prices based on item and overall product category.

Alex Noonan

Alex is a Junior Research Analyst at ValueChampion, analyzing various financial decisions for consumers in Singapore, from which credit cards provide the best values, how to maximise value of miles and other personal finance matters. Previously an SEO Analyst at a New York based fin-tech company, specializing in small business advice, he has extensive experience in content production & web optimization. He is a recent graduate of Rutgers University, with a major in Supply Chain Management.

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