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Retail innovation can boost Singapore

News, 06 February 2017
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SINGAPORE: Singapore will not escape the economic slowdown facing many Asian markets in 2017, as lower consumer spending and a more pessimistic business climate take effect, but the city state can use adversity to its advantage, an industry figure has argued.

Subodh Deshpande, Partner at strategy consultancy Innate Motion, predicts that ongoing economic challenges are likely to spur more innovation from brands, particularly in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Trend Watch 2017: Singapore seeks retail revival, economic resilience.)

Singapore's central bank noted in late 2016 that business sentiment remains negative, especially among small and medium-sized enterprises. Redundancies in the city-state spiked in 2016, and consumer spending flagged:.

Recent figures, quoted in the Singapore Business Review, show retail sales of watches and jewellery, wearing apparel & footwear, furniture & household equipment, supermarkets, F&B, department stores, mini-marts & convenience stores, and petrol services fell between 1.1% and 6% during November 2016.

"Since spending is likely to be cautious, the retail sector is likely to focus on offering greater value amplified through experiential initiatives," Deshpande writes.

"Shopping malls will be pushed to offer shoppers more interesting experiences from pop-up shops to new food and beverage concepts … With competition from online retailers heating up, bricks-and-mortar businesses will offer more in-store attractions."

Deshpande predicts that personalized marketing is also set to take off, with a focus on mobile marketing and better video content. In Singapore, 48% of people watch video on their smartphones daily.

"Videos will be a great way for brands and business to reveal their human side as well as create compelling content and stories to capture the hearts and minds of Singaporeans."

Data sourced from Warc, Singapore Business Review

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