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Usage Patterns

Total Online Population (000's) in 2012: 4,015
Percentage of Population Online in 2012: 75.0%


There were 4,015,121 internet users in Singapore (representing 75% of the population) at mid-year 2012 (30 June 2012), according to Internet World Stats. (Internet World Stats, December 2012)

The average internet user in Singapore spent 10.5 hours viewing video in April 2010, consuming 130 videos for a period of 4.9 minutes per video on average. The demographic composition of online video viewers revealed that users age 15-24 were the most engaged demographic segment, averaging 192 videos per viewer during the month and consuming more than 15 hours of video content. People age 55 and older also showed heavy engagement with online video, averaging 12 hours of consumption and 155 videos per viewer in April. Although users age 25-44 represented the highest%age of unique video viewers, they spend less time viewing video and watch fewer videos per viewer than the younger and older age segments.

In April, internet users in Singapore watched nearly 320 million videos, with Google Sites ranking as the top video property with 204 million videos, representing 63.8% of all videos viewed online. accounted for more than 99% of all videos viewed at the Google property. ranked second with 10.2 million videos viewed (3.2% market share), followed closely by Tudou Sites with 4.5 million videos (1.4% market share).

In Singapore, 2.5 million unique viewers watched an average of 130 videos per viewer during the month. Google Sites attracted the largest video audience with 2.1 million viewers during the month (99 videos per viewer), followed by with more than 1 million viewers (9.7 videos per viewer) and Microsoft Sites with 403, 000 viewers (6.7 videos per viewer). (comScore, June 2010)

Searches and Search Engines

Experian Hitwise revealed the top search engines sites in Singapore for the 24 weeks ending May 22 2010, ranked by volume of searches.

Top search engines for the industry "All Categories" in Singapore, for the 24 weeks ending May 22 2010 by volume of searches:
1. 66.33%
2. 15.58%
3. 11.14%
4. 2.24%
5. 2.21%
(Experian Hitwise, May 2010)




Visiting Singapore today can feel like you're visiting a global city of tomorrow thanks to its futuristic adoption of near-field communications (NFC) technology. Faster than any other country, the city-state is adopting NFC as a means of contact-less payment.

Singapore's three main mobile network operators are rolling out NFC services accepted by 20,000 shops and taxis. Payment for bus and train trips will be added shortly. The EZ-Link payment system for the country's transportation network is also NFC-enabled, and the mobile operators will soon link up their systems with it.

Singapore is the first city in the world to have mobile operators, digital security providers, banks, credit card issuers, and local transportation systems cooperate in creating a unified service for customers.

StarHub said that its SmartWallet service debuted in August 2012, letting customers make payments and use coupons wirelessly at 20,000 shops. Rival mobile network operators SingTel and M1 quickly matched the move. All three offer credit, prepaid, and stored value services, adding MasterCard and Visa accounts in waves.

Since August 2012, users can download an EZ -Link app for Android devices to check transaction history and balances and top-up the EZ-link purse with any debit or credit card (see a video explaining the system).

Worldwide one out of every eight Android devices worldwide contain NFC chips, which broadcast a signal that enables payment and identification. In Singapore, about one of three smart phones are NFC-enabled. The future is now in Singapore, at least as far as mobile payment is concerned.

Worldwide Google is now shipping 1 million NFC-enabled Android devices every week, according to TechCrunch.  (tnooz, August 2012)

Singapore saw phenomenal growth in mobile commerce in just one year, jumping from S$43 million in 2010 to S$328 million in 2011 (an increase of 660%), according to Paypal.

It attributed the growth to a dramatic increase in spend per head for mobile shoppers from S$93 in 2010 to S$354 in 2011. In addition, internet-enabled mobile devices are becoming a key part of Singaporeans' daily lives. This trend is expected to continue with the mobile commerce market in Singapore forecasted to grow ten-fold to reach S$3.1 billion in 2015.

Key findings from the study show that: 
- Mobile shopping comprised about a quarter (23%) of all online shopping in 2011, nearly six times its share (4%) of the online shopping market in 2010.
- Mobile shoppers constituted close to half (48%) of all online shoppers in 2011, compared to about one in three (29%) in 2010.
- In 2011, 880,792 Singaporeans made purchases through mobile devices, compared to 364,390 in the previous year.
- The majority (75%) of purchases made using mobile devices were via smartphones. Singaporeans spent S$244 million through their smartphones in 2011 - representing almost three-quarters of the total mobile commerce market - compared to S$82 million through tablets.
- The average spend per head on tablets was S$380, higher than the average spend per head on smartphones that amounted to S$274.
- Almost a quarter of mobile shoppers have preference to purchase fashion items, airline and movie tickets on-the-go with their smartphones; while tablet users like to purchase automotive goods and computer hardware.
- There is a clear trend in couch commerce with four out of every ten purchases on both tablets and smartphones made at home. The office was the next common place to shop (18% of smartphone users and 11% of tablet users).
- Mobile shopping while commuting via bus/train or in transit is also popular (13% of smartphone users and 11% of tablet users).
- Quick Response (QR) codes are gaining popularity among Singapore smartphone shoppers. Four out of every ten smartphone users were aware of QR codes, and 48% in this category has used QR codes for an average of eight transactions in 2011. The most common items purchased through QR codes were books, fashion items and computer hardware. Curiosity (33%) combined with ease-of-use (21%) were cited as the main drivers of QR code usage.
- Mobile shopping is much broader than just digital downloads with "fashion and accessories" and "movie tickets" as hot favourites for both smartphone and tablet shoppers.

(Singapore Tourism Board P@SSPORT Newsletter - June 2012, June 2012)

Online Travel Market

Travel Planning

The Singapore Tourism Board has developed a new mobile app to help visitors customise their visit. The YourSingapore app will be launched in the second half of 2011 and it will allow visitors to access information about the city, including current events, merchant privileges, and other activities and places of interest in the area. The app will also enable individuals to share their holiday experience through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and foursquare.

The app will be offered as a free download on the iPhone and Android platforms with zero data charges if visitors purchase the YourSingapore-StarHub tourist prepaid card or surf via StarHub's Wi-Fi hotspots. (, May 2011)

Experian Hitwise revealed the most popular travel websites in Singapore for the week ending December 11 2010 in the categories Agencies; Destinations and Accommodation and Airlines.

Top Agencies websites in Singapore for the week ending December 11 2010 by % of visits:
1. Yahoo! Singapore Travel ( 48.28%
2. ZUJI Singapore ( 4.78%
3. ( 3.77%

Top Destinations and Accommodation websites in Singapore for the week ending December 11 2010 by % of visits:
1. TripAdvisor ( 6.34%
2. ( 5.68%
3. ( 3.05%

Top Airlines websites in Singapore for the week ending December 11 2010 by % of visits:
1. Tiger Airways ( 26.26%
2. Singapore Airlines ( 15.75%
3. Jetstar ( 14.28%

(tnooz - talking travel tech, December 2010)

Nearly 1.2 million people in Singapore (or more than 40% of the country's online population) visited a travel site in January 2010, according to a comScore study on visitation to online travel sites in Singapore. This marks an all-time high for the travel category and represents a 44% increase compared to the previous year.

A demographic analysis of visitors to travel sites revealed that 25-44 year olds account for 53.5% of visitors to these destinations, with visitors age 45-54 composing 19.5% and 15-24 year olds accounting for 17.5% of traffic. This demographic breakdown suggests, perhaps unsurprisingly, that many visitors to travel sites are working professionals who utilize these sites for business travel, on a global, regional and local basis. Females accounted for a slightly larger proportion of visitors to travel sites, representing 51.9% of visitors compared to 48.1% males.

Demographic composition of visitors to travel sites in Singapore in January 2010 (Total Singapore Age 15+ - Home/Work locations*):
- 15-24: 17.5%
- 25-34: 25.7%
- 35-44: 27.8%
- 45-54: 19.5%
- 55+: 9.6%

- Males: 48.1%
- Females: 51.9%

*Excludes visitation from public computers such as Internet cafes or access from mobile phones or PDAs.

comScore indicates that in January 2010, 3 out of 5 travel category visitors browsed 2 or more sites in the category, which suggests that consumers are being very diligent in comparing prices prior to purchase. Consumers are clearly being more cost-conscious these days, which is creating a more competitive environment among online travel agents and suppliers as they vie for consumer loyalty and share of wallet.

The study also shows that each of the top 10 most-visited travel destinations posted double or triple-digit gains. Online mapping and travel guide site Streetdirectory was the most visited travel destination with 475,000 unique visitors (up 33% from the previous year). Nearly half of the top 10 positions were occupied by regional and local airline brands, including Tiger Airways with 197,000 visitors in January (+99%), Qantas Airlines with 166,000 visitors (+122%), Singapore Airlines with 145,000 visitors (+29%) and with 137,000 visitors (+132%).

Most visited travel sites by unique visitors in Singapore, January 2010 (TOTAL Singapore Age 15+ - Home/Work location):
TOTAL INTERNET: TOTAL AUDIENCE: 2,800,000 (+12% compared to January 2009)
TRAVEL CATEGORY: 1,155,000 (+44%)
1. Streetdirectory: 475,000 (+33%)
2. Tiger Airlines: 197,000 (+99%)
3. Qantas Airlines: 166,000 (+122%)
4. Expedia Inc.: 159,000 (+100%)
5. Singapore Airlines: 145,000 (+29%)
6. AIRASIA.COM: 137,000 (+132%)
7. Inc.: 112,000 (+167%)
8. SBSTRANSIT.COM.SG: 101,000 (+22%)
9. ASIATRAVEL.COM: 88,000 (+204%) 
10. TravelAdNetwork: 83,000 (+26%)
(comScore, March 2010)


Mobile Devices

Mobile / Smartphones

With nine in ten Singaporeans owning a smartphone and 39% of the population choosing their mobile device over a laptop to browse the internet, mobile is fast evolving to become a strong marketing tool within the multichannel environment. Given that Singapore is already an IP-based economy, it is one step closer to mandating a standard that enables rapid, widespread adoption of digital wallets and associated technology.

Eight out of ten marketers in Singapore say mobile will be one of the most important tools to engage with customers in the next two to three years, according to research conducted by Experian entitled ‘The digitised pocket: Embracing the mobile age'.

The study also revealed that seven out of ten marketers believe sales achieved through mobile devices will grow in the next year, with 69% expecting mobile sales to either significantly increase (22%) or increase (47%).

The research stated that almost nine out of ten marketers in Singapore agree mobile marketing works. Of those who have tried and tested the channel (49%), 26% rated their most recent mobile campaign as very effective, and a further 57% rated it as effective. More promisingly, two-thirds (66%) of them are already incorporating mobile as a regular marketing channel.

The effects of mobile marketing tactics are also positively reflected in the findings. Of marketers who are already using mobile, 33% currently receive 11 to 25% of their sales via mobile devices, while an additional 28% receive 26 to 50% of their sales via this channel.

Additional findings from the Experian research include:
- Almost all digital marketing mediums are seen as more important than 12 months ago -, website (44%), online advertising (42%), email (41%). SMS (70%) and MMS (53%) remain equally important.
- Face-to-face communications is rated the most important marketing channel (63%), with email coming in a close second (55%).
- 36% of marketers have incorporated mobile as a regular marketing channel, while 14% have implemented one campaign. However, 20% have developed a strategy but have not yet implemented it.
- By far the most popular tactic in use is QR codes, with 68% of marketers deploying this tactic. Other common tactics are email marketing optimised for mobile (50%), m-Commerce (49%) and SMS campaigns (46%).
- Yet, QR codes are also the most likely mobile tactic to be abandoned in the next 12 months, with 21% of marketers indicating they will discontinue using this.
- Mobile-optimised website is rated the most effective mobile marketing tactic by marketers.
- Other tactics to be implemented by marketers in Singapore in the next 12 months include mobile tickets/barcode (72%), in-app ads (67%) and location-based mobile services (56%).

(Experian Hitwise, April 2013)


Social Media and UGC

Experian Hitwise®'s analysis of web searches by Singapore internet users in 2011 has provided interesting insights into Singaporean social habits online highlighting a strong increase in the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in Singapore.

Key social insights from Experian's inaugural one-year online analysis are as follows:
- Singaporeans are notoriously frequent users of social media sites, emerging as the top Facebook users in the world in terms of time spent per session according to an Experian Hitwise report last year. In 2011, Singaporeans spent time on various social media platforms to connect with friends and keep updated on topical news such as the Singapore General Elections and SMRT crisis. Facebook continues to be popular in social networking with website traffic of almost 32%. YouTube peaked at second place with almost 21% share of visits followed by the increasing popularity of Google+ at almost 16%, up from 1.2% in August 2011, a month after its beta site was launched.
- Microblogging and community forums such as Twitter and Singapore HardwareZone Community are also gaining ground in the category with a combined website traffic of 6.67%.
- Singaporeans have increasingly taken an interest in photography, either as leisure or professional users. It is no surprise that Instagram, a photo sharing application (available on Apple's AppStore) is also listed as one of the most popular social networking apps that Singaporeans use. This application allows users to immediately edit the look and feel of photos taken and share it with their friends through social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

(Experian Hitwise, February 2012)

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 June 2013 20:11