There’s a gap in Singapore between service experience and expectation across various sectors ranging from banking, travel and hospitality to food and beverage, according to a new report from Wirecard.

While digitisation has changed the way Singaporeans interact with businesses, it is no longer enough as merchants continue to struggle to keep pace with shifting behaviours due to technological advancements and economic conditions.

Across the 11 sectors surveyed, there is a notable gap in healthcare (20%), banking (19%) and insurance (18%), but none of the sectors had managed to match or exceed consumer expectations.

Eric Tan, GM, Singapore at Wirecard, said that a customer-centric strategy that focuses on integrating digital and emerging technologies to create a frictionless experience is crucial for successful business growth.

“By using data to identify the gaps in their business, brands and retailers can offer a personalised, secure and unified journey that effectively engages with consumers across all touchpoints and channels, from research to payment,” he said.

The report identifies six digital megatrends in Singapore that are reshaping consumer behaviours:

Rise in adoption of Super Apps

More than half of Singaporeans (53%) are current users of super apps, with a third (35%) keen on trying them this year. Singaporeans are practical consumers, using super apps to save time (72%) and money (69%). People are using super apps for specific purposes even though they offer a range of services, with the most used functions being for transport and food. The research also shows that 88% of Singaporeans are willing to give new app features a try, such as ticketing (40%) and hotel bookings (37%).

A future enabled by voice assistants

Singaporeans are eager to adopt Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA), such as Siri and Alexa. Of the 41% of Singaporeans who are aware of voice-enabled IVAs, 66% are current owners and active users. A majority (90%) expressed high levels of overall satisfaction with their experience. Nearly two in three (62%) Singaporeans are eager to adopt this technology in their everyday lives. They want to use IVAs to control and monitor home utilities (76%), home and cybersurveillance (73%), and smart home devices (72%).

Consumer experience will be at the epicentre of business transformation

Building customer loyalty is essential to maintaining brand competitiveness. Over three in four (78%) Singaporean consumers are likely to walk away from a brand as soon as they have a negative experience. In fact, experience has become such a focal point for consumers that two in three (60%) consumers are willing to pay more to receive exceptional service. Having quality products and services (61%) and competitive prices (58%) are the top two reasons to keep customers coming back.

Frictionless omnichannel experience for customers

Singaporean consumers tend to move from one channel to another throughout their shopping journey. A majority of Singaporeans start by browsing or researching online (78%), before proceeding to purchase online (58%) or offline (42%). Seventy-four per cent of consumers prefer their products delivered to their homes or offices, while 54% prefer to return their purchases to a store.

Banking (46%) is the sector in which Singaporeans expect a seamless experience that integrates physical and digital channels. Nearly one in two respondents expressed a desire for a true omnichannel banking experience that would allow them to switch seamlessly between multiple channels.

The power of incentives and cost-savings

More than half (52%) of Singaporean consumers are willing to share their data in return for a degree of personalisation. This could include discounts (45%) and reward-based incentives for ideal conduct (39%). Key concerns for consumers around data include third-party access (74%), data storage and management (70%) and becoming subjected to more marketing activity (60%).

New technologies will accelerate the adoption of digital payments

Most Singaporeans are already going cashless, with 60% using mobile wallets and a further 19% indicating that they want to use it in the next year. While only 14% of Singaporeans use voice-activated payments, 34% want to use the technology over the coming year. Social commerce adoption, which is the use of social media as a communication and e-commerce platform, is also set to grow from 28% to 32% throughout 2020.

The report is based on the results of the Consumer Digital Outlook Survey carried out by Blackbox Research on behalf of Wirecard in February 2020, which surveyed 1,007 Singaporeans across all demographic groups. 

Sourced from Wirecard