Growth prospects for e-commerce sector will remain healthy in 2022: experts

SINGAPORE – As the last of the festive sales draws to a close, e-commerce retailers are gearing up to continue boosting sales with other campaigns.

Lawrence Loh, professor of strategy and policy at the National University of Singapore, predicts that e-commerce growth prospects will remain healthy for 2022 due to the effect of the pandemic.

“Many people have switched to online transactions to meet their needs. Even after the pandemic ended, we built a foundation of buying habits and behaviors among consumers to continue this pattern of buying goods,” Prof Loh said.

Mr. James Sim, a senior lecturer at Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Business Management, agreed that the growth momentum of e-commerce is expected to continue in 2022, with more users jumping on the bandwagon in recent years.

Lazada Singapore Managing Director Loh Wee Lee said the online retailer is holding themed sales like its ongoing Valentine’s Day sale, online tech shows as well as double-digit monthly sales.

Lazada also plans to integrate more local small and medium enterprises to meet the needs of local communities.

E-commerce platform Shopee also plans to hold a consumer sale day on March 15, to provide shoppers with more deals and entertainment without having to wait for the year-end shopping season.

It will be Shopee’s first shopping mega event of the year, a Shopee spokesperson said.

Supermarket chain FairPrice plans to launch campaigns in the coming months around essential Covid-19 items, healthy foods and supplements and exercise equipment to meet the changing needs and lifestyles of its customers, said a FairPrice spokesperson.

“At the same time, we continue to expand the product assortment in our online marketplace to include more specialty offerings such as coffee, wine and pet supplies, as well as selected products from our pharmacy. Unity,” the spokesperson added.

However, Prof Loh said e-commerce would face challenges such as cybersecurity, especially with the recent wave of online scams.

“User identity and payment methods are the primary cybersecurity concerns,” he added.

Other challenges include the user-friendliness of online retail interfaces and competition from other e-commerce players, including foreign ones.

“There is also competitive pressure on pricing, as consumers can switch providers with the click of a button,” Prof Loh said.

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