International Business & Economy From condoms to cookware, what Singaporeans are looking for online right now

From condoms to cookware, what Singaporeans are looking for online right now

As buying habits change with the circuit breaker, locals try and get healthy and comfortable at home with purchases of yoga mats, weights, cookery items, health food, gaming consoles and condoms




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Singapore—Everyone’s shopping experience has completely changed during this coronavirus crisis, with people forced to buy everything online during this time.

Here’s the thing: Experts say that some of those changes may be more or less permanent, as shoppers have said that they intend to continue with online purchases even after movement restrictions are lifted. And with the coronavirus expected to stay around for the next months, possibly even the next few years or at least until a viable vaccine is developed, this shift to online purchasing is hardly surprising.

So what have Singaporeans been searching for and buying online for the past months, since the coronavirus crisis started? Here’s a rundown of what’s been hot sellers, and what’s been left out in the cold.

Food, yes! As something that’s not only an essential for survival but has the power to make us happy when we’re cooped up, Singaporeans have been buying food, especially the healthy kind and foodstuff with long shelf lives. Alcohol, chocolate, and other snacks have not been purchased as much in Singapore, contrary to Western countries, where beer and snack food are popular online orders.

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Popular items also ordered online at this time are workout clothes and exercise equipment, such as yoga mats, weights, and so on. Again, this is understandable, as people have had to take their workouts home.

Also popular are webcams and other computer equipment. With the multitude of Zoom meetings, webcams have become a must. “The sale of webcams in Singapore also shot up by 82 percent in March, according to the iPrice Group.”

And with people working from home, they’ve needed other equipment as well. “iPrice recorded a 137 percent spike in keyboard searches, 99 percent for Wi-Fi routers, 85 percent for webcams, and 67 percent for printers,” according to one report from last month.

Related to this are gaming consoles since little (and not so little) kids are at home. When they’re not doing home-based learning, they need some rest and relaxation too. The biggest winner by far is the Playstation 4, whose searches grew by an almost unthinkable 713 percent. In comparison, searches for the Nintendo Switch, meanwhile, grew by 57 percent.

Another popular item ordered online are condoms, whose sales have gone up by 61 percent in the country. Likewise, Malaysia and Vietnam have also seen a surge in condom sales. As they say, it pays to be prepared.

Some health care items have been on top of people’s search items since the beginning of the outbreak, such as vitamins (especially vitamin C), face masks, and hand sanitizer.

And since home cooks have sprouted all over the world, cooking equipment searches have also seen a spike of as much as 57 percent, while home appliance searches have gone up by an astounding 252 percent. Hey, if we need to stay home, then we might as well be as comfortable as possible, right?

On the other end of the scale, what products have not seen much movement since the circuit breaker began? There aren’t as many studies specific to Singapore, but we can tell you what hasn’t been purchased so much in countries in the West. These are luggage and suitcases, briefcases, cameras, swimwear, and bridal clothing. —/TISG

Read related: Circuit breaker pushes more companies to do business online

Circuit breaker pushes more companies to do business online

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